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VIDEO: UFV’s 50th anniversary celebrated across Fraser Valley

Fifty years forward: UFV campuses connected through simultaneous live broadcast on Thursday (April 4)

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) celebrated its 50th anniversary on Thursday (April 4) with a live broadcast connecting the campuses in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Hope.

On April 4, 1974 provincial education minister Eileen Dailly visited Abbotsford to formally announce the creation of Fraser Valley College. Since that day, 50,000 students have graduated, more than 100 programs have been established and more than 15,000 students from 60 countries enrol each year.

“When the idea of a Fraser Valley College was first conceived in the 1960s, a university education was a privilege that was not broadly available,” UFV president Joanne MacLean said. “And it certainly wasn’t available close to home in the Fraser Valley. Those who imagined a college here truly conceived it from scratch.”

In attendance across all four campuses to celebrate the achievement were the mayors of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Hope, as well as Indigenous representatives.

The anniversary was meaningful to two Fraser Valley leaders, as Mission Mayor Paul Horn was a student and professor, and Abbotsford Mayor Ross Siemens was also a student.

“I applaud the university for their work on sharing the values and culture we share for success,” said Hope mayor Victor Smith.

“A strong university builds a better community. I remember when in 2008 it became the University of the Fraser Valley. The hard work by so many people was rewarded in providing a higher education for people, and it’s more important now more than ever to give educational opportunities for all people of all ages.”

Chief Elaine Malloway from Yakweakwioose First Nation, Chief Joseph Chapman from Sq’ewlets First Nation, Chief Norman Florence from Chawathil First Nation and Coun. Chris Silver from Sumas First Nation all shared their appreciation for a means of education.

“With this milestone of 50 years, I really want to put my hands up to the ones that have been part of all the education, continuing to bring people back to their course, back to the studying and advanced education,” Florence said.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Lisa Beare and Agriculture Minister Pam Alexis sent their well wishes through a previously recorded message.

UFV student union executives Ashley McDougall, Gabriella Wertheimer Cinque and Jayden Hovey expressed their gratitude for the hard work that was put into the celebration.

The celebration also included performances from Pil’alt Warrior Group, Strong Bow and Wry, Rooh Punjab Dee and Maddi Krulicki.

Classes at Fraser Valley College began only five months after the announcement to fulfill the demand for a post-secondary educational institution for residents in the region.

The school became a university college with degree-granting status in 1991, and the name changed to University College of the Fraser Valley. The provincial government granted full university status in 2008, and the school officially began operating as the University of the Fraser Valley on Sept. 1, 2008.

UFV has also gone global with a campus in Chandigarh, India. Since 2006, UFV India has given students the option of completing the first 30 credits in business, computer information pathways, liberal arts or the global masters pathway program and then transferring to UFV in Canada to finish.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary UFV has already announced a new housing addition, named a new chancellor and held a history exhibit.

RELATED: UFV names new chancellor ahead of 50th anniversary

About the Author: Ryleigh Mulvihill

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