Home Post-Secondary Royal Roads University RRU closer to realizing Japanese Teahouse with $250,000 donation

RRU closer to realizing Japanese Teahouse with $250,000 donation

Former RRU student grateful for her experience.

japanese garden, royal roads
Artist's sketch of the Japanese Garden at Royal Roads University. [RRU]

Thursday July 4, 2024 | COLWOOD, BC [Construction photos added July 9, 2024]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

A $250,000 donation to Royal Roads University (RRU) brings the campus significantly closer to their fundraising goal to realize a teahouse within its 100-year-old Japanese gardens.

The donation was gifted to RRU by Eve Martin and her spouse Paul, announced today by the university.

hatley castle, royal roads
Hatley Castle at the Royal Roads University campus in Colwood, BC, summer 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

The teahouse will offer a space for formal tea ceremonies and celebrate Japanese culture and tradition. It is currently under construction and slated to open in Fall 2024.

Thoughtful design and carefully selected wood shapes are key features of the Japanese Teahouse.

japanese garden, royal roads
Artist’s sketch of the Japanese Garden at Royal Roads University. [RRU]
japanese teahouse, construction, royal roads
Construction of the Japanese Teahouse in the gardens at Royal Roads University was underway in June 2024. [Royal Roads University]

Fond memories:

“I have many fond memories of the Japanese garden during my studies,” Martin says. “It was a calm, peaceful place that brought much needed space for reflection in the maelstrom of assignments, presentations and exams.”

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Through this donation, Martin, a graduate of the Master of Arts in Leadership and Training program, celebrates the importance of nature, recognizing how contemplative spaces offer health benefits as well as rich learning environments, says RRU in their news release today.

“This donation will help ensure the garden Eve loved during her studies will continue to be a sanctuary for future students to enjoy,” says RRU’s release. 

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Beyond classrooms:

“We’re very fortunate at Royal Roads that our place of learning is not limited to our classrooms,” says Philip Steenkamp, president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads.

phillip steenkamp, royal roads, may 2023
Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp viewing the campus lawn and growing area during May 30, 2023 fundraising announcement. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“Eve and Paul’s generosity helps us to provide a place where visitors can immerse themselves in nature, ceremony and Japanese culture. We are deeply grateful for their support.”

Once all funds required for the project are raised, the new teahouse will provide a unique venue on campus where tea ceremonies and special gatherings can occur, offering students and community members an immersive educational experience in Japanese culture, history and tradition. It is the first of several phases to revitalize the Japanese Gardens that see more than 50,000 visitors annually. 

royal roads, japanese tea house, construction
Construction of the Japanese Teahouse in the gardens at Royal Roads University was underway in June 2024. [Royal Roads University]

The Martins’ generosity will positively impact the campus and extend to other communities as students take their learning here and apply it around the world.

Other garden ventures:

st year $196,000 was donated by the TD Bank toward the food-growing garden at Royal Roads University.

td bank, executives, donation, rru
Six TD Bank Group executives showed up for the $196,000 donation announcement at the Farm at Royal Roads on May 30, 2023. Bruce Gray, Vancouver Island District Vice President for TD Bank Group was joined by other local TD leadership: Nav Jhawer, Spencer Wattling, Jeff Dunnill, Todd Vaughan and Abdul Mukit Shah Mohd. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

There might also be a community garden with the upcoming new Royal Roads University west shore campus in downtown Langford, some senior leadership have said.

About Royal Roads:

The well-known post-secondary institution with roots as a military college now attracts students from numerous global locations for mostly Masters level and post-graduate studies.

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Leading with Courage:

This gift, which marks one of the first to be announced towards the university’s most ambitious fundraising campaign—Leading with Courage—will join others to harness the power of local and global communities to find solutions and connections that transform lives and the world. 


Paid tours of the Royal Roads University campus are available through the summer.

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===== RELATED:

Dr Philip Steenkamp continues the journey at Royal Roads (July 20, 2023)

TD Bank Group donates $196,000 to Royal Roads food-growing initiatives (May 30, 2023)


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