University Trustee Evans Lam includes bequest to the libraries in a transformational gift.
Author: Matthew Cook
Evans Lam next to a plaque for Lam Square

For more than a decade now, University of Rochester Trustee Evans Lam ʼ83, ʼ84S (MBA), the managing director of wealth management and senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services, has been an enthusiastic leader and committed volunteer at Rochester. His vision and support have manifested scholarships; a professorship; broad-spectrum funding that has initiated projects, bolstered services, and ensured the availability of resources; and now, a transformational gift.

Lam is strengthening the Simon Business School, Eastman School of Music, the College, and the University at large with a $15.7 million commitment. Part of the commitment includes a $2 million estate gift to the River Campus Libraries, establishing the Evans Lam Library Endowed Fund to be used at the discretion of the libraries’ dean for capital improvements—with a preference for maintaining Evans Lam Square—in perpetuity.

“Evans has been an extraordinary leader and friend to the University and libraries,” says Kevin Garewal, the vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. “I’m tremendously grateful that we are again the beneficiary of his generosity. His gift helps ensure our spaces’ long-term health and vibrancy and capacity to support learning, teaching, and research at Rochester.”

Lam’s gift also represents the passing of the torch.

Since 2012, Lam has been at the forefront of library projects as an advocate, advisor, and inspirational benefactor, helping former University libraries dean Mary Ann Mavrinac realize a shared vision for the River Campus Libraries. With that vision, by and large, accomplished and a new dean at the helm, Lam believes it’s a good time for him to take a step back—but not away.

“My passion for the library is the same,” assures Lam, “But I’m not going to be in the strategic seat to direct the library."

Lam hopes that his gift will inspire others—particularly members of the Library National Council at Rochester—to help lead the next phase of the library. “I’m leaving that to Kevin [Garewal] and others who love the library to do what they want to do,” he says. “I’ll be there in a supporting role.”

By taking more of a back seat at the libraries, Lam can turn his attention and resources to other areas at the University. For example, the Simon School, where he gave $3.5 million to establish the Lam e.Hub of Undergraduate Business Engagement, a new space that provides greater access to the school’s resources.

Lam also cares deeply for students, evidenced by the $500,000 he gave to create the Lam Caring and Agile Resources for Emergencies (CARE) Fund, which will support undergraduates across the University who need immediate assistance. While talking about the fund, he doesn’t sound like someone who just made a $15.7 million commitment. He laments not being able to give more, and starts talking about his goal of endowing the CARE Fund. But he ultimately relents, “one at a time.”

It’s classic Evans Lam—always looking for ways to do more, to be ever better.

“Evans story and journey are so inspirational,” says Garewal, “but what impresses me most is that every time he comes to campus, he makes a point to engage with students. He embodies the collaborative spirit we aim to nurture in our spaces. He lives Meliora.” ∎

More details on Evans Lam’s gift can be found in the official gift announcement. For questions about how you can help support the libraries, contact Pamela Jackson, senior director of advancement for the River Campus Libraries.

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