Gift for li­brary

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - — RYAN RUM­BOLT

Be­fore be­com­ing lead engi­neer for the world’s most rec­og­niz­able rideshare com­pany, Con­rad Whe­lan was just a kid grow­ing up in Cal­gary who loved vis­it­ing the li­brary.

Af­ter mak­ing his for­tune at Uber, he left the com­pany in 2016 and has been look­ing to be­gin his “phi­lan­thropy jour­ney,” de­cid­ing the best place to start is his old home­town by do­nat­ing $5 mil­lion to the Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion.

In re­turn, the foun­da­tion has chris­tened the new Cen­tral Li­brary’s concert venue the Pa­tri­cia A. Whe­lan Per­for­mance Hall, named af­ter Whe­lan’s mother who died last year.

“She al­ways got us read­ing a lot,” Whe­lan said while re­flect­ing on child­hood me­mories of go­ing to the li­brary with his late mother.

“Read­ing is still a big part of my life. I love books so, for me, li­braries hold such a spe­cial place in my heart.”

He said the tim­ing of the new li­brary’s open­ing was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to hon­our his mother’s mem­ory while giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity he grew up in.

A pri­vate event with Whe­lan’s fam­ily, friends and col­leagues from the Cal­gary busi­ness com­mu­nity served as a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for the Pa­tri­cia A. Whe­lan Per­for­mance Hall on Fri­day at the new Cen­tral Li­brary.

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