Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) commits $15.7M to the University of Rochester

Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) commits $15.7M to the University of Rochester

Transformational gift will strengthen the Simon Business School, Eastman School of Music, the undergraduate College, and the University overall

University of Rochester Board of Trustees member Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA), has committed $15.7 million to the University of Rochester. Lam—the managing director of wealth management and the senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services—is a visionary leader whose generosity will increase the depth of resources for undergraduate business students and faculty at the Simon Business School; expand the role and impact of music at the Eastman School of Music; provide emergency resources to support undergraduates with immediate needs; fund capital projects for the River Campus Libraries (RCL); enhance undergraduate education overall; and provide funding to address pressing needs across the University.

“I am forever grateful to my alma mater for offering me a four-year scholarship to pursue the best education and realize my American dream,” says Lam. “I came to the United States with only $180 to my name. The circle of my life started here and when I’m gone, I hope that the education I received and also the work that I’ve done here will come full circle again and again, perpetuated by the people with whom I’ve engaged and who have a shared wish to help this great university improve the lives of others. I hope this gift inspires others to do what they can to support the University.”

“We are exceedingly grateful to Evans—he is an exceptional philanthropist, leader, and champion for our students, faculty, and our broad community,” says Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, president and G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor. “This truly transformational gift builds off the tremendous generosity that Evans has shown to the University for nearly 20 years. During that time, his financial support, along with his volunteer leadership on our Board of Trustees and on many other committees and groups here, has made a significant impact on our University and all those we serve.”

Adds Mangelsdorf, “Evans’ role in the evolution of the University and the advancement of our mission cannot be overstated. He has propelled our libraries into the 21st century, helped scores of students reach their potential, and met the financial needs of many talented and diverse students from around the world while personally mentoring them. Evans believes in the University, our mission, and our values.”

Lam’s $15.7 million includes immediate funding to support the following areas:

  • $3.5 million will establish the Lam e.Hub of Undergraduate Business Engagement at Simon. Lam’s gift will fund the creation of a new, preeminent space for undergraduate business students to gain greater access to Simon’s resources.
  • $1 million will create the Evans Lam Research Professor of Music and Medicine at Eastman, a position that will be known as the Lam Professor. This fund will bolster research within the Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) program. Its mission is to deliver the collaborative potential of the performing arts and medicine to the health care environment.
  • $500,000 will create the Lam Caring and Agile Resources for Emergencies Fund. The Lam CARE Fund will support undergraduates across the University who need immediate assistance. It will help them cover housing, food, travel home costs, and more.

In addition, Lam’s gift will ultimately establish endowed funds to further support student scholarships at Simon and within Arts, Sciences & Engineering; emergency needs for undergraduates; the Lam Professorship in support of EPAM; key initiatives at Simon, Eastman, and RCL; and presidential priorities.

“Evans personifies our mission and inspires others in everything he does at Rochester,” says Thomas Farrell ’88, ’90W (MS), senior vice president for University Advancement. “This includes his enthusiastic service on the Board of Trustees and multiple advisory councils and committees, and hosting events throughout the US and around the world, always in the spirit of further engaging alumni, parents, and friends of the University. This latest gift exemplifies all of this and positions the University well for the future, aligns with the emerging Boundless Possibility strategic plan, and sets a powerful example for others.”

Evans Lam—a leader in the financial industry and a difference-maker for many

Lam is the managing director of wealth management and senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services and a renowned financial expert who has advised the State Council of China on monetary reform. Prior to joining UBS in 2008, Lam was senior vice president at Citigroup Smith Barney for 17 years. From 1989 to 1991, he served as vice president of Bankers Trust Co. and was director of corporate finance for Toronto Dominion Bank from 1987 to 1989.

Lam is a longtime supporter and dedicated volunteer with the University. In addition to being a trustee, he is the chair of the George Eastman Circle (GEC), the University’s leadership annual giving society; a member of Simon’s National Council; and an honorary member of the University of Rochester Libraries National Council. He and his wife, Susanna—a retired CPA and accomplished opera singer and performer—are also charter GEC members who make a $100,000 contribution annually to support the University. Since 2018, they have been members of the Wilson Society, which recognizes the importance of planned gifts to the University.

In 2015, Lam established Lam Square in Rush Rhees Library and, in 2014, the Evans Lam Scholarship at Eastman. In that same year, he created the Evans Lam Study Abroad Scholarship, which sponsors five undergraduates annually so that they can pursue scholarly exchange in Hong Kong, China—he also regularly interacts with and mentors many of his scholarship recipients. In 2013, Lam and his wife established the Susanna and Evans Y. Lam Professorship at Simon.

Leading by example, Lam’s seed funding has provided essential support and motivated additional gifts for EPAM and student scholarships at the College and at Simon. Through challenge gifts, he has also led initiatives such as construction of the Mary Ann Mavrinac Studio X, spurred support for student enrichment through the Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education & Connections, and increased gifts during the University’s annual Day of Giving. An ambassador and advocate for his alma mater, he has engaged others from across the country and globally to join him in philanthropy and service to the University.

In addition to supporting the University, Lam is chair of the Southern California Foundation for the Preservation of Chinese Literature and History, vice president of the Hong Kong School Alumni Federation Scholarship Foundation, and vice chair of the Morning Light Foundation, which has granted more than 5,000 college scholarships to underserved students in the US and China over the past 17 years. To recognize his significant role in contributing to society, in 2016, Lam was honored by the Chinese American Museum as a “Historymaker” and given the Judge Ronald S.W. Lew Visionary Award.

Lam holds an MBA in accounting and finance from Simon and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rochester. He and Susanna are also Eastman Centennial Award recipients.

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For more information on how to support the areas that matter the most to you, visit rochester.edu/advancement.

—Kristine Kappel Thompson, April 2023