HAPPY BIRTH­DAY TO YOU

Trek Magazine - - Editor’s Note - Vanessa Clarke Edi­tor

Have you ever no­ticed how UBC grads seem to be ev­ery­where? From the Prime Min­is­ter, to my fed­eral MP, to my den­tist, to the vol­un­teer trea­surer on my strata board, to the col­league who’s sit­ting next to me as I’m writ­ing this – there’s just no get­ting away from them. And (with the ex­cep­tion of said col­league’s of­fen­sive Christ­mas sweater col­lec­tion, which gets aired from Novem­ber) that’s a good thing, be­cause where would we be with­out such well- ed­u­cated health pro­fes­sion­als, law­mak­ers, vol­un­teers, and col­leagues (ob­sessed with Christ­mas or oth­er­wise)? Ad­mit­tedly, there’s a high con­cen­tra­tion of UBC alumni liv­ing here in the Van­cou­ver area, but they can also be found across Canada and in about 140 other coun­tries.

Among them are No­bel lau­re­ates, prime min­is­ters, Olympic medal­lists, au­thors, ac­tors, and en­trepreneurs. But be­yond the bet­ter-known names, there are count­less UBC grads you’ve prob­a­bly never heard of who are qui­etly mak­ing their mark on the world. The small but di­verse se­lec­tion of alumni pro­files we share in this is­sue de­mon­strates the im­pres­sive breadth of ex­pe­ri­ence and ac­com­plish­ment to be found among the mem­ber­ship of alumni UBC.

In fact, if there were an of­fi­cial theme for this is­sue, it would be “multi-tal­ented.” You can read about a vi­o­lin-play­ing, uni­cyling geo­sci­en­tist (that’s not to say he does ev­ery­thing at the same time – he’s multi-tal­ented, not reck­less); a geno­cide scholar with a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy; and a sur­geon who as­pires to be an as­tro­naut one day. If he makes it, he’ll be fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Bjarni Tryg­gva­son, BSc’72, who was the sixth Cana­dian – and first UBC alum­nus – in space (not count­ing Roberta Bon­dar, the sec­ond Cana­dian in space, who was awarded an hon­orary de­gree by UBC last year). It’s enough to make an edi­tor feel like an un­der-achiever.

Al­though we can’t all be No­bel lau­re­ates, prime min­is­ters, prime ath­letes, bil­lion­aire in­ven­tors, or as­tro­nauts – we can all vote with a con­science, re­duce our in­di­vid­ual foot­print on the planet, and do our bit to help pro­pel great hu­man achieve­ment (like the teach­ers, the par­ents, the bene­fac­tors of re­search, the coaches and the ad­vo­cates who are typ­i­cally be­hind the great achieve­ments so of­ten as­so­ci­ated with just one name).

Much good can come from many small ac­tions driven by com­mon in­tent. Maybe that’s what was on the minds of the small group of far-sighted grads who, on May 4, 1917, held a meet­ing and es­tab­lished alumni UBC. There were fewer than 100 ac­tive mem­bers on the rolls, back then. Today there are more than 325,000 UBC alumni liv­ing around the globe, and that’s a force to be reck­oned with.

So happy birth­day, and May the 4th be with you... I mean, Tuum est.

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