ABOUT PETRO JACYK
"Ukraine is a nation that has often been at the crossroads
of history and has faced many difficult, sometimes
extreme challenges. But despite the hardships often
endured by its people, their spirit is warm and friendly.
This is a vibrant culture with a fascinating history
and great prospects for the future."
Jacyk was born July 7,1921 in Verkhnie Syniovydne, Ukraine.
After immigrating to Canada in 1949, he established a successful
building and land development firm. He generously supported the
Ukrainian Encyclopedia project, and was instrumental in the
establishment of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
He financed the Jacyk Collection of Ukrainian Serials, the
Central and East European Resource Centre, the Endowment for
Ukrainian Periodicals, and other projects at the University
of Toronto Library. In 1989, the Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian
Historical Research was established at the University of Alberta
based on Jacyk's one-million-dollar donation. The Centre's
projects include the English-language publication of Mykhailo
Hrushevsky's History of Ukraine-Rus', two publication series
in Ukraine and in the West, and archival projects. He has supported many
other initiatives through
the Petro Jacyk Educational Foundation, including the endowment of the Jacyk Ukrainian
Studies Program at Columbia University in New York (1994)
and the Jacyk Lectureship in Ukrainian Studies at the University
of London (1991).
1995, Petro Jacyk received an honorary Doctorate of Law from
the University of Alberta. President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine
honoured Petro Jacyk with the Presidential Prize of Ukraine
for his patronage of Ukrainian culture, education, and scholarship
in 1996. In 2000 Petro Jacyk
was honoured for his philanthropy with the Yaroslav the Wise Order award, Ukraine's highest
distinction presented to civilians in service to Ukraine.
2001, a $1 million gift from a Ukrainian-Canadian businessman
established a graduate program and graduate scholarships in
the study of Ukraine at the University of Toronto. Since then,
the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine has promoted the study of developments in contemporary Ukraine as well as Ukrainian
history and culture.