Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific
Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Metchosin, BC, was established in 1974 and named in honour of Nobel prize winner and former prime minister Lester B. Pearson. He had been impressed by the United World College (UWC) project when he visited the Atlantic College in England. The UWC project began in the 1950s as the vision of German educator Kurt Hahn after he visited a NATO Defence College where he saw former enemies from several nations working together towards a common goal. He believed that NATO's objectives could be further realized if young people from different nations could be brought together in a similar way. The first such college, United World College of the Atlantic (Atlantic College) in South Wales, opened in 1962. Pearson began working to establish a similar college in Canada but died in 1972 just as the project was beginning. Pearson College was built in his name as a living memorial.
Pearson College and Atlantic College are currently two of ten such colleges: UWC of South East Asia in Singapore; Waterford-Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland; Armand Hammer United World College of the American West in New Mexico; United World College of the Adriatic in Italy; Simon Bolivar United World College of Agriculture in Venezuela; Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong; Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway; and Mahindra United World College of India. Students live on campus and follow the International Baccalaureate program. Emphasis is given to community service in the belief that international understanding cannot be created in the classroom alone.
At Pearson College, over 80 countries are represented by the 200 students who are competitively selected by committees in their native countries, and who attend each year on full scholarships funded by donations from corporations, foundations, individuals and governments.