Geologist donates $100K over past 25 years to students through book sales

Geologist donates $100K

A local geologist has now donated $100,000 to Okanagan College, generated through the proceeds of five best-selling geology books on the Okanagan.

Murray Roed, for the last 25 years, has given 100 per cent of the proceeds of his books to the students at Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO). 

With the latest donation of $5,000, Roed and his contributors have given more than $100,000 to local students.

“We’re all quite proud of how this turned out,” says Roed, adding the books were never about making money.

“We wanted to share our knowledge of this valley with residents and in doing so help future students entering the field with their studies. It’s worth celebrating what we’ve achieved, there are many contributors to these books and we’re really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

Origin of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia was first published in 1995. Roed and John D. Greenough released a second edition in 2004 and a third edition in 2014 entitled, Okanagan Geology.

Okanagan Geology South, co-edited with Robert J. Fulton, was first published in 2011 with a second edition out in 2017.

Roed also includes artistic renditions of geological landmarks in each of the books, which he paints himself. In total, more than 15,000 copies of the books have been sold by Mosaic Books, Indigo Books & Music, and a number of wineries that are still carrying the latest editions. The books are distributed by Sandhill Book Marketing.

Taylor Cornett is one of the students who received the Kelowna Geology Committee award nearly three years ago. He recalls feeling humbled to receive the support from Roed and others, who are well respected in the industry.

“I have Dr. Roed’s books on my bookshelf and I use them as a reference guide in my work,” says Cornett. “To meet him was very humbling and the award helped pay for my education.”

Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation executive director, says the College is incredibly grateful for the legacy built by Roed and the other authors.

“Their support has lifted nearly 100 aspiring engineers, technologists and geologists into the field. It’s incredibly motivating for the next generation to know that industry leaders are supporting their education and career development,” says Jackman.

In addition to his books, Roed’s wife Debra says her husband has spent several decades volunteering his time to give talks at schools, neighbourhood groups and conferences for free.

“He’s really put his time and energy into educating the public. It’s just the kind of guy he is. He is a very generous person and generous with his time.”

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