Lester B. Pearson, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Prime Minister of Canada, was the driving force behind the founding of Pearson College. After retiring from public life, Mr. Pearson became interested in the United World Colleges movement. At the time there was only one—the College of the Atlantic in Wales, established in 1962. Mr. Pearson visited the College of the Atlantic in 1969 and came away convinced that there must be more such colleges around the world; in particular, one on Canada's west coast. He envisioned that:
“Students will be welcomed without regard to race, religion or politics and we intend to establish scholarships so that the students who attend the College will be from all levels of society and will be genuine representatives of their own peoples. This system … could become a revolutionary force in international education.”
Lester B. Pearson became Honourary Chairman of a committee formed to build what was to be known as the College of the Pacific. He worked tirelessly to get things started, but died in December 1972, just as the project was getting underway.
photo courtesy on the National Archives of Canada