Trek Magazine - - -

Although there were only 40 stu­dents in UBC’s first grad­u­at­ing class of 1916, the UBC Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion was formed the fol­low­ing year – its stated aim be­ing sim­ply “To fur­ther the in­ter­ests of the Univer­sity and the Alumni.”

Since those early days, alumni have been one of the most in­flu­en­tial forces shap­ing UBC’s his­tory. They have con­trib­uted to univer­sity gov­er­nance through ad­vi­sory roles and rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the Board of Gov­er­nors and the Se­nate. They have pro­tected the univer­sity’s in­ter­ests with their po­lit­i­cal sup­port when its fu­ture was un­cer­tain. They have part­nered on nu­mer­ous bold stu­dent ini­tia­tives. And they have given fi­nan­cially to sup­port im­por­tant re­search, stu­dent schol­ar­ships, and cam­pus de­vel­op­ment.

To­day, there are 305,000 UBC alumni and they are just as vi­tal to the univer­sity’s con­tin­ued suc­cess as their pre­de­ces­sors. The im­por­tance of a strong and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween UBC and its grad­u­ates is sym­bol­ized by the re­cently com­pleted Robert H. Lee Alumni Cen­tre, the first of its kind in Canada.

The cen­tre is an eye-catch­ing four-level struc­ture in the heart of UBC’s Van­cou­ver cam­pus. It is a place for con­nec­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion and life-long learn­ing, as well as a show­case for the ex­cep­tional ac­com­plish­ments and as­pi­ra­tions of UBC alumni. It’s also the univer­sity’s of­fi­cial wel­come cen­tre – in ef­fect, UBC’s front door.

The build­ing is named for Robert H. Lee, a former univer­sity chan­cel­lor and gov­er­nor, and the founder of UBC Prop­er­ties Trust. As some­one who has been lend­ing his sup­port and busi­ness ex­per­tise to the univer­sity for the past three decades, Dr. Lee was the nat­u­ral choice for this hon­our. De­spite a full sched­ule, he finds as much time as pos­si­ble to ac­com­mo­date fre­quent meet­ing re­quests from ad­mir­ing com­merce stu­dents, thus demon­strat­ing his be­lief in the kind of in­ter­ac­tion that will be a cor­ner­stone of ac­tiv­ity at the alumni cen­tre.

Lo­cated next to the AMS Nest (the new stu­dent cen­tre com­pleted at the same time), the alumni cen­tre is ide­ally placed for fos­ter­ing all the nat­u­ral con­nec­tions be­tween stu­dents and alumni – es­pe­cially in the ar­eas of men­tor­ship, em­ploy­ment, and in­no­va­tive learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Other part­ner­ships in­clude the univer­sity’s en­trepreneurism pro­gram – e@UBC – which is now op­er­at­ing out of its new premises in the cen­tre, and UBC Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies. Vis­i­tors will also dis­cover a café, his­tor­i­cal dis­plays, an in­ter­ac­tive screen show­cas­ing all UBC grad­u­ates, stun­ning art­work, and a va­ri­ety of beau­ti­ful spa­ces avail­able for rent.

The idea for an alumni cen­tre first sur­faced in 1999, and many alumni vol­un­teers have been in­volved in driv­ing the project. When UBC’s start an evo­lu­tion cam­paign was launched in 2011, the cen­tre was iden­ti­fied as one of its top five pri­or­i­ties. The univer­sity it­self showed the way, com­mit­ting the site and a size­able an­nual grant to­wards build­ing op­er­a­tions. Since then, more than 1,000 alumni and friends of UBC have con­trib­uted to mak­ing the dream of a UBC alumni cen­tre a re­al­ity, and a trib­ute wall in the cen­tre’s main re­cep­tion area is a per­ma­nent ac­knowl­edge­ment of their gen­eros­ity.

The of­fi­cial open­ing of the Robert H. Lee Alumni Cen­tre on Septem­ber 30, 2015, kicks off UBC’s Cen­ten­nial year; the of­fi­cial close of the Cen­ten­nial will be Alumni Week­end on May 28, 2016. As UBC’s next hun­dred years un­fold, it’s clear alumni will be an in­te­gral part of the story – as they have al­ways been.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.