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University News | 11.12.19

Paying It Forward for Future Vancouver Students

Vancouver Campus students will receive scholarships thanks to a generous $500,000 pledge from alumnus Udo Erasmus, M.A. ’88. The Vancouver-based entrepreneur and best-selling author wants other students to benefit from the education and exposure to Adlerian thinking he received at Adler University.

Erasmus enrolled in Adler University, then called the Alfred Adler Institute, in Vancouver in 1986. During his time there, he learned about Alfred Adler’s teachings and was especially interested in Adler’s call to dissolve the idea of hierarchy and communicate with each other as equals.

He also gravitated toward the Adlerian idea that when people feel encouraged and valued as equals, they then have the capacity to go and help others. “Then they can start thinking about, ‘How can I help?’ and ‘What needs to be done around here?’” Erasmus explained.

He is using this guidance to help pave the way for future Adler University graduates. Since Erasmus attended Adler University, the Vancouver Campus has grown from 26 students to about 380.

Erasmus announced his pledge for scholarships—the largest the University has received in Vancouver—in front of students and guests at an event in support of Adler University’s Campaign for Social Justice on May 30 in Vancouver.

“The idea of helping support students in their educational journey is very appealing to me,” Erasmus said. He credits education and many mentors and generous people for helping him get where he is in life. One of his teachers was Dr. Harold Mosak, an Adler University co-founder and original faculty member.

“I was born during the Second World War and grew up very poor. We didn’t have much, but I got a lot of help from people to be able to become successful in the way that I did,” Erasmus said. He is now a nutrition and health lecturer, author, product formulator, pioneer in the production of oils made with health in mind, and a partner in the Udo’s Choice international “family of nutritional supplements,” a line of natural health products.

Erasmus sees the value in helping Adler University students in their quests to advance social justice. In this mission, especially, he views the University as “forward looking, forward moving, and quality-of-life enhancing.”

“I am just glad there is a place like Adler University,” Erasmus said.

In recognition of Erasmus’ pledge, the Vancouver Campus has co-named its lobby the Erasmus Mosak Lobby. This is the first time that any physical space at the Vancouver Campus has been recognized with a namesake.

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