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Scholarship named for late B.C. ag minister

The British Columbia government, three B.C. forestry firms and a Vancouver Island community college will jointly fund a new scholarship in the name of the province’s late agriculture and lands minister, Stan Hagen.

Hagen, the MLA for the island riding of Comox Valley, died Jan. 20 in Victoria at age 68, reportedly of a heart attack.

The province and North Island College, based at Courtenay, will each put up $35,000, while forestry firms Western Forest Products, International Forest Products and TmberWest Forest Corp will jointly put up $35,000 for a total fund of $105,000.

The fund will be held in trust by the North Island College Foundation and its generated interest is to fund two annual scholarships, equivalent to a year of full-time tuition at NIC.

Hagen served twice in the agriculture portfolio (2003, 2008-09) and was a cabinet minister in a total of 10 different ministries from 1986 onward, including stints in the education and advanced education portfolios.

“Stan was instrumental in securing the funding for our campuses in the mid-1990s, because he understood the importance of ensuring post-secondary education was accessible close to home,” NIC president Lou Dryden said in a separate release last Friday.

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