When adventure calls, Dave Lang ’70, P ’99 answers. As COVID-19 suddenly swept around the world, he narrowly escaped South Africa before quarantine, setting sail from Capetown in his boat Yonder with his son Rob, daughter-in-law Carli and grandson Adrian across the Atlantic to Annapolis – the final stretch of a round-the-world trip, with a small window to get the boat home before hurricane season.
A year after graduating from UTS, he cycled 5,000 kilometres from Toronto to the Maritimes with his classmate Paul Wright ’70 – or ‘Harv’ as Dave calls him – and nearly 40 years later, they regrouped to finish crossing Canada, cycling another 5,000 kilometres from Paul’s Vancouver home to Dave’s north of Toronto.
And even before UTS officially launched the Building the Future campaign, Dave was already all in with a $1 million gift, stepping up in 2016 to become one of the first UTS Founders.
There’s something special about UTS, he says, that attracts the smart, the curious and the adventurous (like himself); how instead of teaching compliance it fuels passion, really allowing students to express their natural abilities and follow their aspirations. “I feel a really strong commitment to the school,” he says. “And I find that early commitments to projects like that can help them a lot in terms of drawing other people in. Nobody is going to give money, if they think nobody else is. I really believe in this project.”
The campaign “checks all the boxes” for the things he cares about: youth, education and the environment. “Youth education and development enables them to protect our environment and our wilderness – they all go together for maintaining a livable future for the next generation,” says Dave, a retired farmer and teacher who served on the Board of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) for over 20 years.
The gift was also on behalf of his father and daughter: James Lang ’46 and Lindsay Lang ’99, marking three generations at UTS (Dave’s uncle Gordon Lang ’44 also attended).
Dave says UTS creates an excellent foundation for long-lasting friendships. His Class of 1970 is still really in touch, almost daily. “I feel very close to them after 50 years. I count the people I went to UTS with as my closest friends, the people that I can talk to most easily.” There’s something extraordinary about the school, he adds. “I don’t know exactly what it is, but it needs to go on, and it needs the new building to do so.”
In the renewed building, the maker space will be named in honour of Dave Lang.