Jane RuleVANCOUVER, BC – An anonymous gift of $1.7 million earmarked for research into human sexuality and relationships will allow the University of British Columbia to establish Canada’s largest center for such scientific endeavor.

The gift was tendered in memory of lesbian literary icon Jane Rule, who died in 2007 of liver cancer complications.

Rule, a writer of novelized non-fiction with lesbian themes, was born in New Jersey but lived most of her life on Galiano Island in British Columbia. She served as an executive for the Writers Union of Canada and received the Order of British Columbia in 1998. In 1989, she donated a collection of her writing to UBC.

Most noted for her books Desert of the Heart, Memory Board and After the Fire, Rule was a devotee of lifelong education and a passionate voice for lesbian issues.

She once wrote, “I became, for the media, the only lesbian in Canada, a role I gradually and very reluctantly accepted and used to educate people as I could.”

UBC also has received a number of other large endowments within the past year: $2.5 million to create a professorship in rural teacher education, $1 million to fund an international journalism program and $2 million to support the education of museum and gallery curators.

(Image: Jane Rule)