UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Trek [2015-11]

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 The site at Point Grey
was to him the loveliest
in the world and the
University which was
to move and grow there
must be worthy of it"
UBC's first president,
Dr. Frank Fairchild Wesbrook,
visiting Point Grey, ca. 7976. THE
Did you know that UBC offered the first nursing degree in the
British Empire? Or that it opened the first campus sustainability
office in Canada? Discover UBC with this timeline of significant events.
The Thunderbird is a supernatural creature from Aboriginal
mythology that beats enemies with its wings and rends them
with its talons. It's also a potent symbol for UBC's sports teams.
UBC's Point Grey and Okanagan campuses are located, respectively,
on the unceded territories of the Musqueam and Okanagan peoples.
UBC's Okanagan campus
has grown dramatically
since it opened a decade ago -
but is only just getting started.
A teaching revolution
is transforming student
learning at UBC.
A tenacious writer manages
to get the inside scoop on one
of the most ambitious student
pranks ever attempted.
UBC is regarded as one of the top
research institutions in the world.
Here are some of the reasons.
The official opening of the
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
on September 30 kicks off
UBC's Centennial year.
From royalty and rock stars
to playwrights and politicians,
UBC has welcomed an eclectic
mix of visitors over the years.
COVER image:
Courtesy UBC Archives
quote: Isobel Harvey, BA'18,
MA'19, in a commemorative
article that ran in the 1932
Graduate Chronicle. editor's note
UBC's first construction on the Point Grey campus site was a modest
shack used to store dynamite for clearing the land of tree stumps.
The shack was later commandeered for an office by Leonard Klinck,
first dean of Agriculture and later UBC's second president, as he
oversaw the establishment of agricultural experimental plots in 1915.
Looking out at today's campus from the comfort of the climate-controlled Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre -only
five minutes' walk from where the shack stood on what is now Main Mall - you can see buildings old and new
stretching to the horizon, and the omnipresent cranes are evidence of more growth to come
Having spent the last few months engrossed in
amite shack was
d on what is now Main
Hall. If it were still around   ;
today, it would be dwarfed   -
(and upstaged) by the Beaty
Biodiversity Museum on one
side, and the Applied Science
building on the other.
dents liked to have as
much fun then as they do now.
archival UBC images and footage, and nosing through
boxes of decades-old university correspondence,
see striking contrasts with the past all around
This month, for example, students returned to
campus in their thousands - lugging backpacks, riding
skateboards, texting friends, acclimatizing to student
life. Judging by some candid black and white photos of
early students on UBC's original Fairview campus (there
were fewer than 400 of them back then), it's clear they
indulged in as many antics as students do today - only
they did it in long skirts and three-piece suits. Fashion
isn't the only thing to have changed: the classroom
setting has gone from straight-back-and-chalkboard to
interactive and hi-tech, and the university's campuses
are far more culturally diverse
The passage of time is also apparent from the type
and volume of research discovery. The first recorded
invention disclosure at UBC was for a device to allow
the more efficient planting of trees. More recently,
forestry researchers have mapped the genomes of the
spruce tree and the mountain pine beetle, and are also
exploring how trees might best adapt to climate change
Hand-in-hand with new areas of research, the university now has a staggering number of courses on offer in almost
every subject imaginable - not only on campus but out in the community as well
So UBC evidently started with a lot of big bangs (if the shack's anything to go by) and has been rapidly expanding
ever since. There's a lot to cover in one Centennial issue, which is why we decided to have two:
This one focuses on UBC's first century- covering some of the institution's earliest stories, examining how
student life and politics have helped shape its cultural identity, and highlighting just a few of the research areas in
which it now enjoys a commanding reputation
The less introspective spring 2016 issue, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of UBC's first graduating
class, will check in with some of UBC's 305,000 alumni living and working in approximately 140 countries, and look
ahead to a different world hinted at by emerging fields of research. It will also delve into some of the university's
roles in the community, as well as its fast-expanding international activities and partnerships
We'll never know exactly what Frank Wesbrook was envisioning as he looked out over Point Grey on a chilly day in
1916, or thereabouts, but it's safe to say he'd be mightily impressed by what UBC has become in just a hundred years.
Vanesssa Clarke
EDITOR Vanessa Clarke, BA
CONTRIBUTOR Michael Awmack.B/Voi, MET'09
Elizabeth Powell, BSc
ELECTED CHAIR Michael Lee, BSc'86, BA'89, MA'92, LLB
VICE CHAIR Faye Wightman, BSC'8l (Nursing)
TREASURER Ian Warner, BCom'89
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2012-2015]
Blake Hanna, MBA'82
David Climie, BCom'83
Judy Rogers, BRE'71
an Warner, BCom'89
Faye Wightman, BSC'8i (Nursing)
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2013-2016]
Valerie Casselton, BA'77
Michael Lee, BSc'86, BA'89, MA'92, LLB
Gregg Saretsky, BSc'82, MBA'84
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2014-2017]
Robert Bruno, BCom'97
Ross Langford, BCom'89, LLB'89
Barbara Anderson, BSc'78
Barbara Miles, BA, PostGradinEd.
Martha C. Piper, OC, OBC, PhD
Lindsay Gordon, BA'73, MBA'76
Jeff Todd, BA
Trek magazine (formerly the UBC Alumni Chronicle)
is published two times a year by the UBC Alumni
Association and distributed free of charge to
UBC alumni and friends. Opinions expressed
in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the
views of the Alumni Association or the university.
Address correspondence to:
The Editor, alumni UBC
6163 University Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z1
email to trek.magazine@ubc.ca
Letters are published at the editor's discretion
and may be edited for space
Jenna McCann
Address Changes 604.822.8921
via email alumni.ubc@ubc.ca
alumni UBC/ Discover UBC 604.822.3313
toll free 800.883.3088
Volume 71, Number 2 | Printed in Canada
by Mitchell Press
Canadian Publications
Mail Agreement #40063528
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
Records Department
UBC Development Office
Suite 500 - 5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Paper from
_     responsible sources
JS£    FSC* C011267
UBC Centennial
Event Highlights
This is just a small sampling
of the events on offer during
UBC's Centennial year.
Visit ubclOO.ca for a full listing
of events and regular updates.
One Day «UBC Centennial Lectures
Vancouver - September 2015 through May 2016
UBC Continuing Studies is offering 20 free lectures over
10 Saturdays at the UBC Point Grey campus to anyone
15 years of age or older.
Live Webcast: Centennial Launch and Robert H. Lee
Alumni Centre Opening Ceremony
Watch a live webcast at: ubcwo.ca/live (10:00am to 11:00am)
Distinguished Lecture Series -
Wab Kinew: The Reason You Walk
CBC host Wab Kinew offers an inside view of what it means
to be an educated Aboriginal living in a country that is just
beginning to wake up to its Aboriginal history and living presence.
2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity & Conferral
of Centennial Honorary Degree
Created and funded by alumnus Peter A. Allard, Q.C.,
the $100,000 prize is one of the largest awards in the
world recognizing efforts to combat corruption and promote
human rights. The same evening, an honorary degree wil
be conferred upon Lieutenant-General, the Honourable
Romeo Dallaire (Ret'd).
Wharton Lecture: 'Queen of the Canopies' Dr. Meg Lowman
Dr. Lowman is a renowned biologist, educator and forest
champion who has pioneered the science of treetop
canopy research.
2015 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture,
featuring Richard Goldstone
Richard Goldstone discusses the successes and failures
of reconciliation in post-Apartheid South Africa.
UBC Symphony Orchestra
The orchestra will open its concert with a Centennial
fanfare composed by alumnus Jared Miller, BMus'10.
WALL Exchange with Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture
Can architecture provide new tools of political analysis
and intervention? This question is central to the work of
Eyal Weizman, Israeli architect and scholar.
Earthquake Day
A day-long, city-wide effort to raise earthquake awareness
and achieve earthquake resilience.
Janusz Korczak and the Importance of Listening
to Children's Voices in Education
This presentation will focus on the aspects of Janusz Korczak's
work that can inform both present and future efforts to bring
children's voices into schools.
Brock Talks: Earth's Astonishing Climate History
A presentation by preeminent geologist Professor
Paul F. Hoffman.
Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz - The Great Divide: I
The Causes and Consequences of Inequality and What
We Can Do About It
Professor Stiglitz, who visits UBC this fall, is one of the world's
foremost thinkers on the problem of inequality and wrote the
article "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" that helped give the
Occupy movement its slogan "We are the 99%."
Vancouver Institute Lecture: The Astonishing Simplicity
of Everything
A presentation by Dr. Neil Turok, one of the world's leading
theoretical physicists.
alumni UBC Hong Kong Centennial Gala
Hong Kong
Join special guests, along with alumni and friends from across
Asia, to celebrate UBC's Centennial in style.
The Human Rights of Aboriginal Children
Despite protection under the UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child, many young people remain marginalized in our society.
Aboriginal children are among those most at risk.
Frank Wesbrook,
By Erwin Wodarczak
There is only one thing necessary now to
make the University of British Columbia
blossom into a full-fledged university
with perfect credentials, and that is
a' Varsity ayelY\
leptember 1915)
When he first arrived in Vancouver in 1913 to assume the presidency of the
University of British Columbia, Frank Fairchild Wesbrook was promised that
the provincial government would spare practically no expense to establish
the university and ensure that its facilities and academic programs were
comparable to other Canadian universities. He was told at a meeting with
Premier Sir Richard McBride on May 30 that UBC would receive $2.8 million
over its first two years, plus an additional "ten million if need be... [and]
whatever [additional] sums were necessary from time to time."
The campus designs proposed by the firm of Sharp & Thompson (see
next page), chosen as university architects that same year, promised facilities
as impressive as any in North America. The first buildings at Point Grey,
which had been selected as the location of the campus in 1910, were due
to be completed in time for the start of classes in 1915. Wesbrook's dream
of a "Cambridge on the Pacific" -for which he had given up his position as
Dean of Medicine at the University of Minnesota - looked well within reach.
Two years later, the dream had given way to a harsh reality. An economic
slump starting in 1913 and the beginning of the First World War the following
year had combined to divert money, resources, and political will away from
the university project. In January 1915 the initial budget was set at only
$175,000. Proposed courses of study were cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
The Point Grey campus would not be finished, although land-clearing and
construction of the Science Building had begun. It was still expected that
UBC would open its doors to students in September 1915 - but where?
Since 1908, McGill University College of British Columbia had provided
post-secondary education for the province. It was based in the Fairview
neighbourhood of Vancouver, in two buildings erected three years earlier
at 10th Avenue and Laurel Street, adjacent to Vancouver General Hospital.
Only the first two years of arts and science instruction were offered; students
wishing to complete their degrees had to go to McGill University in Montreal,
or some other institution.
Premier McBride's government insisted that UBC would have to begin
operations in the buildings of McGill BC, which would cease operations upon
the inauguration of the university. The president and Board of Governors
protested strenuously, insisting that at the very least temporary facilities
should be erected at Point Grey for 1915, with operations moving into the
Science Building upon its completion. But the government was adamant.
Only current work on the concrete skeleton of the Science Building would
be funded to completion. UBC would have to make-do with the McGill BC
facilities and whatever additional temporary structures could be erected
at the Fairview site.
With the circumstances of the university's immediate future out of their
hands, Wesbrook and his staff proceeded with planning for its inauguration
as best they could. Faculty were recruited from other institutions, sometimes
after being interviewed by Wesbrook himself. In addition, many of the
academic and administrative staff from McGill BC were retained by UBC.
Altogether, for its first year of operation UBC would have a teaching
staff of 34 - of whom two, classics professor Harry T. Logan and dean of
Applied Science Reginald W. Brock, were on leave for overseas military
service - and 12 administrative staff.
Registration for classes was scheduled to begin on September 27.
McGill BC students were allowed to continue their courses of study at
the new university, with those who had already completed their third year
of study coming back for the fourth year and expected to finish as UBC's
first graduates in 1916. At the same time, more than half the projected
student body would consist of first-years. Most new universities begin
with a freshman class and perhaps a handful of
older students. By contrast, UBC would boast a full
complement of undergraduates from all years, in the
faculties of Arts and Applied Science:
2ND YEAR   40
The third faculty, Agriculture, existed on paper only.
Although Dean Leonard Klinck would offer an introductory
course in agriculture that year, a full program of agriculture
classes would not be offered until 1917.
In addition to those listed above, 56 McGill BC students
who had enlisted - many of whom were already serving
in the front lines in France - had declared that they would
continue their studies at UBC at the end of their military
service. Wesbrook and his colleagues decided that, as
their college had ceased to exist, these soldier-students
were without an "alma mater," and so should be included
in the UBC student body - in addition, any fees they might
owe would be waived. With these overseas men included,
the student body for 1915/16 would eventually total 435.
Students and staff would launch their academic careers
in facilities that were a far cry from what Wesbrook
had originally been promised. McGill BC had left its two
buildings in Fairview to its successor: a two-and-a-half
storey wood-frame building at the southeast corner
of 10th Avenue and Laurel Street, and a single-storey
structure, also of wood construction, immediately beside
it. These would become known as the Physics and
Chemistry buildings, respectively. Also included among
the college's assets left to UBC were its library collection
of 1,910 volumes, and assorted laboratory and office
furniture and equipment.
In addition, the Vancouver School Board agreed to loan
the chairs and desks that had previously been used by
McGill BC. The board also granted university students
access to laboratory and workshop facilities at nearby
King Edward High School.
Perhaps most importantly, Vancouver General
Hospital was very generous in allowing the university
to expand its presence across its property. VGH board
chairman J.J. Banfield agreed to the construction of two
additional "temporary" buildings, each single-storey
and of wood-frame-and-shingle construction, on Laurel.
Completed that summer, these would house classes and
laboratories for geology and mining. FEATURE    •
first day
The Library collection
was not yet fully
catalogued - the books
were simply grouped
on the shelves according
to general subject area.
Finally, the provincial government had paid for the construction of a new, permanent building for
VGH's use as a tuberculosis control and treatment centre, on the condition that it be loaned to the
university for as long as it was based at the Fairview campus. For UBC it would serve as space for
the university administration, the Library, and the Faculty of Arts -the latter gave it its unofficia
name of the Arts Building
By September the Library collections had grown to 30,000 volumes. The Library itself was
located on the first floor of the east wing of the Arts Building. A small reading room, with seating
for about 35 students, was established in space originally
intended as a south-facing deck for hospital patients
The bookstacks were located in a larger room next door.
The Library collection was not yet fully catalogued -
the books were simply grouped on the shelves according
to general subject area. Acting librarian John Ridington
had been hired on a temporary basis in August 1914
only to unpack and catalogue books. He was officially
appointed in December 1914, "in charge of cataloguing
Library," although he had no formal training as a librarian
August and September of 1915 presented a picture of controlled chaos in and around Fairview.
The university's offices were still downtown; the new space in the Arts Building had to be made
ready. Office walls and partitions were put up, and telephone lines installed. Wesbrook's attention
to detail was such that the itemized costs of each project were noted in his diary. His diary was full
of to-do lists, appointment reminders, and notes to see so-and-so re. such-and-such. A reminder
of his wife's birthday on August 7 was written in red ink.
The finalized text for the first UBC calendar was sent to the King's Printer on August 2. When
it was published the following month, Wesbrook made sure complimentary copies were sent
to government officials, local dignitaries, and other university supporters. Demand for this first
tangible product of the university became so great among the general public that copies of the
calendar disappeared as quickly as they were produced
The move of the university's offices from Hastings Street to Fairview happened on September 13
President Wesbrook wasn't even in town that day - the minister of education had delegated him
to speak to a meeting of school trustees in Chilliwack. His first day at work in his new office was
September 16. As he wrote in a letter a few days later: "We have left the Hastings Street offices
and moved in on the workmen which hurried them and inconvenienced us but I think on the
whole the results will be satisfactory."
Even in the middle of such a period of unremitting activity, Wesbrook still had socia
obligations to fulfill. Perhaps the most important of these came on September 18 when he and
his wife had the opportunity to meet Canada's Governor General, His Royal Highness the Duke
of Connaught. The Duke was very interested in military affairs and Canada's role in the war.
Wesbrook took the opportunity to tell him about UBC's plans for an officers'training corps
Other visitors to Vancouver had to be met and shown around. Local friends, colleagues,
and dignitaries were invited for dinner. As new university staff arrived to assume their posts,
Wesbrook would often meet them in person
Another milestone came on the afternoon of September 27 when Wesbrook presided over
the first meeting of the faculty. The president declared that he did not want the university
administration decentralized among the faculties and departments, and preferred a unitary
system. He proposed an administrative body consisting of the deans and department heads
Details of management would be assumed by committees, the functions and membership
of which Wesbrook had already carefully considered before the meeting. Wesbrook's
centralized system would persist until 1921, when administrative responsibilities were
devolved to the academic units.
The university's actual opening was to be a quiet and understated affair. No
special ceremonies were planned for Thursday, September 30. Wesbrook's diary
entry for that day was brief: "9 a.m. - Students assembled meet classes in 4 groups
with 1 Registrar & Mr. Klinck."
One reason for the lack of fanfare was that there was
no auditorium or other space large enough to hold the
more than 300 students who were present that first day.
nstead, they were organized into four groups in four
classrooms. Each in turn was visited by the president and
members of the university staff. To each group Wesbrook
read a letter he had received from Premier McBride
This being the week upon which University work in
this Province begins, I take this opportunity of writing
to you and expressing my pleasure at the fact that in
educational matters we have reached another milestone
of progress. I want to congratulate you upon having
entered upon the actual duties for which you have
for some time been so assiduously preparing, and to
congratulate the people of British Columbia upon their
at last possessing an institution that will some day rank
with the great Universities of the Continent...
I want you, on my behalf, to extend greetings to your
Colleagues and welcome the Students, many of whom
will undoubtedly occupy positions of great responsibility
in British Columbia, to fit them for which is one of the
objects that gave the University being.
It was also felt that owing to wartime conditions
and the general public anxiety regarding the
war, then entering its second year, it would not
be appropriate to hold any formal ceremony
or celebration. Instead, Wesbrook looked to
the future. Opening day was only the beginning
for UBC - there would be opportunities ahead
to celebrate the university's accomplishments
As he wrote to Premier McBride later that day,
We shall hope that when next spring we are able to present candidates for
the first degrees granted by the University of British Columbia, there will be
opportunity for some formal demonstration, at which time the people of the
Province may see something of the work undertaken and accomplished, and
that on such an occasion, they may have some right to congratulate themselves
upon their determination to establish a people's university.
UBC's relatively low profile on opening day did not mean that it escaped
media attention. Newspapers from Vancouver to Victoria to Vernon all reported
on the university's launch. An editorial in the Vancouver News-Advertiser noted
its modest beginnings and the difficulties of launching such a major enterprise
in wartime, but concluded that
[President Wesbrook] is a resourceful and capable organizer and finds
himself now at the head of a school which starts out much better equipped
and manned, and with a far larger attendance, than the other universities of
Western Canada. It is only just to say that the university would not have been
in this position if it had not fallen heir to educational assets of McGill University
College, which has laid a substantial foundation for the larger enterprise now
undertaken by the provincial university.
A separate article in the News-Advertiser concluded, "the enthusiasm of
the faculty is dominated by their desire to see that the university fills its proper
place in the intellectual and industrial progress of the province... Its great future
can but dimly be divined."
That day's feature article in
the Vancouver World paints the
most vivid surviving picture of
UBC's inauguration
There is only one thing necessary
now to make the University
of British Columbia blossom
into a full-fledged university
with perfect credentials, and
that is a 'varsity "yell".
... There were the fresh-faced
and somewhat unsophisticated
freshman, the sophomore with his
year of college tending to make him
regard the "new man" with mixed
feelings of kindliness and pity, the
studious third-year man and the
fourth-year student, eagerly waiting
for the degree that shall be the
"open sesame" to the great world
of struggle and fame.
British (Eolnmbm
Copies of UBC's first calendar disappeared
as quickly as they were produced.
The university's actual opening
was to be a quiet and understated
affair. No special ceremonies were
planned for Thursday, September 30.
Wesbrook's diary entry for that
day was brief: "9 a.m. - Students
assembled meet classes in 4 groups
with l Registrar & Mr. Klinck."
When the representative of The World crossed the
threshold of the Arts building at 9 a.m. over zoo eager
students were crowded together in the atrium waiting
for the door to their respective class-rooms to be thrown
open. The buzz of conversation, such as is only heard
on first days, droned through the vestibule. In one
corner a group of girls were enthusiastically examining
new text books. In another two fourth-year men were
debating the war and military training. Two Japanese
students sat as motionless as statues on a long bench,
while a group of young ladies and young men eagerly
reviewed the names of the successful candidates at the
recent supplemental examinations, published on the
announcements' board on the wall.
After the president addressed each of the assembled student groups,
the professors gave general outlines of study for each of their courses, and
advised students as to where to purchase textbooks and other essentials
The students were then dismissed. Classes would start in earnest
the next day.
With that, the University of British Columbia was launched as the country's
newest post-secondary institution. Its beginnings were far more modest
than had been imagined just two years before. Thoughts of the war weighed
heavily on students and faculty alike. At spring convocation - which President
Wesbrook intended as UBC's "real" coming-out party - the graduation
gowns would be trimmed with khaki thread to honour those students who
had enlisted
Nevertheless, optimism and enthusiasm pervaded the Fairview campus
Those feelings would be embodied by President Wesbrook when he wrote
aterto his friend, provincial forester H.R. MacMillan: "If we do not accomplish
good work, it will not be because we do not have good timber. I am delighted
with the students individually and think they will develop the University spirit
although as yet they have not had a chance." Wesbrook's optimism for the
future of UBC would be justified over the next century. D On September 22,1925, the university held its first classes at the new
Point Grey campus. The move from the site of what is now the Vancouver
General Hospital to Point Grey was an important part of UBC's history,
but that was not in and of itself the story. The real story was the massive
student-conceived and executed publicity campaign that convinced the
government to provide funds to build the university and move it from
its overcrowded facilities at the Fairview site. The campaign culminated
in the Pilgrimage, or what we now call the Great Trek.
The Legislature had approved funds to clear the 175-acre site at Point
Grey in 1913, and work began on the Science Building the following summer.
However, the First World War began soon after the concrete and stee
framework began to take shape, and with the diversion of resources to the
war effort, the government stopped construction. The bare girders of the
Science Building would serve as a monument to the unrealized vision of
the Point Grey campus for almost a decade
Everyone viewed the use of the shacks at Fairview as an exigency measure
and hoped that work would soon resume at Point Grey. But with a depleted
treasury, the provincial government did not consider the university a high
priority. UBC spent its first decade at Fairview. Unfortunately, President
Wesbrook died shortly before the armistice in 1918. He was replaced by
Dean of Agriculture Leonard Klinck.
The inadequacy of the Fairview facilities became increasingly apparent
with each passing year. Between 1916 and 1922 UBC enrolment expanded
by 211 per cent (from 378 to 1,178), while the capacity of the buildings
grew by only 25 per cent. The wards of a small three-floor former hospita
building made reasonably good classrooms, while the rest of the facilities,
including the Auditorium, offices and lecture rooms, were housed in old
army shacks. Additional space had to be found as the number of students
grew. Professors held agriculture classes in a private residence, French
classes in the basement of a church unused by its congregation during the
week, and chemistry classes in the famous chemistry tent erected on the
site. Professors often had to repeat their lectures several times because not
enough adequate classroom space existed and neither students nor faculty
members had proper laboratory facilities. The Auditorium, used for genera
assemblies, held only 650 people. But the close quarters and relatively smal
student numbers produced a cohesive and united student body, and a strong
sense of community between students and faculty. This spirit set the stage
for the events of 1922
By the spring of 1922, students began organizing a campaign to generate
support for the resumption of construction at Point Grey. Returned war
veteran and AMS president-elect Albert "Ab" Richards (Class of '23)
became leader of the "Build the University" campaign. As a first step in what
would become a massive and well-organized undertaking, students were
asked to take petitions back to their hometowns in the summer and collect
at least 25 signatures. The petition read, in part:"... we the undersigned
humbly petition the Government of the Province of British Columbia to
institute a definite and progressive policy toward the University of British
Columbia, and to take immediate action toward the erection of permanent
buildings on the chosen University site at Point Grey." While students
collected signatures at home, the Publicity Campaign Committee consisting
of Richards, Marjorie Agnew, Percy Barr, J.V. Clyne, Allan H. Finlay, Jack
Grant, and Aubrey Roberts co-ordinated activities in Vancouver and
organized meetings with service clubs and business leaders to promote
their cause
Students returned in the fall with 17,000 signatures on their petitions
Leaders felt that the numbers, though impressive, were not enough to convince
the government to take action. As part of Varsity Week (October 22-28),
the students conducted a door-to-door canvas in Vancouver to increase the
number of signatures. They divided the city with each class responsible for
canvassing in specific sections. Just prior to the Vancouver canvas, a specia
edition of the Ubyssey provided students with facts and figures they could use
in promoting the cause. The instructions also made clear that the success of
this exercise depended on every student doing his or her part, and reminded
them that as representatives of the university their behaviour would have an
effect on public opinion. At the end of the organized petition blitz, students
had collected 56,000 signatures. Students also solicited support from service
agencies and other organizations. During Varsity Week, many store windows
included displays and posters supporting the campaign. Newspapers, too,
Students form 'UBC in front of
the Science Building. All photos
courtesy of UBC Archives. ULL*
feature   •   great trek
— »•- •**-'# >* *,
Marchers stream along the path of the
' future University Boulevard at the end
of their pilgrimage. The barn and poultry
pens can be seen in the distance.
V i' ■
Professors held agriculture classes in a private residence,
French classes in the basement of a church unused by its
congregation during the week, and chemistry classes in
the famous chemistry tent erected on the site. Professors
often had to repeat their lectures several times because
carried stories about the campaign as the students
established their own news service to send regular
campaign updates throughout the province. President
Klinck observed
No effort on the part of the authorities has ever
attracted the attention of the public as has the campaign
now being carried on by the students for removal
of the University to Point Grey. Their enthusiasm is
contagious. Everywhere one goes questions are asked
as to the progress of the campaign and the best wishes
are expressed for the success of the movement. The
initiative, resource and energy with which the canvas is
being prosecuted has caught and fired the imagination
of men and women in all parts of the province."
(The Ubyssey, 77 October 1922)
As the student campaign neared its end, only one critical
event remained. The Pilgrimage (the term Great Trek would
be coined some 25 years later) was set to end Varsity Week
on Saturday, October 28. Nearly 1,200 students showed
up, along with banners and placards, floats and a marching
band. The procession began at the east end of the Georgia
viaduct and made its way through downtown Vancouver
along Main, Hastings and Granville. At Granville and Davie,
the students boarded trolley buses provided by BC Electric
Railway and rode to the end of the line at 10th Avenue and
Sasamat. They continued on foot along what was little more
than a wagon trail to the Point Grey campus. Along the way
students continued to sing and chant. Lyrics for one of the
official marching songs composed for the event conveyed
their sentiments.
We're through with tents and hovels,
We're done with shingle stain,
That's why we want you to join us
And carry our Campaign.
The Government can't refuse us,
No matter what they say,
For we'll get the people voting
For our new home at Point Grey.
The students gathered on the west side of the skeleton
of the Science Building and then climbed the concrete
stairs to take their place. That symbolic occupation and the
familiar formation of the letters "UBC" with student bodies
were staged so they could be recorded for posterity by
newsreel cameramen conveniently attending the event
The Pilgrimage ended with the dedication of the cairn
that still stands on Main Mall in front of the Chemistry
Building. Students threw stones in the hollow centre of
the structure that had been designed by the university
architects and built from rocks gathered on the campus
site. It was fitting that the students completed the first
structure at Point Grey. Richards expressed the hope
that "very soon around our Cairn of rock buildings will
rise and a university will be established which will bring
honour and glory to our Alma Mater and renown to our
Province and Dominion."
In the week following the Pilgrimage, a student
delegation of Richards, Grant, Clyne and Barr packed
the 56,000-name petition in seven suitcases and
on November 1 met with the cabinet and the Legislature
in Victoria. Captain Ian Mackenzie, a Vancouver MLA
and an active supporter of the campaign introduced the
delegation, and six page-boys hauled the petition roles
into the House. Then Richards addressed the Legislature
This persuasive presentation and obvious public support
helped convince the provincial government to resume
work on the Point Grey campus and within a week
the premier announced that the government would
secure a $1.5 million loan to proceed. These funds
completed the Science Building and built the Library
and powerhouse according to the original plans
Completed in 1923 and 1925 respectively, the Science
Building and Library stood as impressive but isolated
structures on the stark campus
In the spring of 1924, work began
on six new frame and stucco
"semi-permanent" buildings
to house Agriculture, Applied
Science, Arts, the Auditorium,
and the administration
On September 22,1925,
1,400 students crowded
into the Auditorium and
stood for the university's first
inaugural general assembly.
The campus to which the
students travelled on that day
was significantly less grandiose than that envisaged
in the original 1914 plans. Only a few modest buildings
dotted the landscape, there were no trees or grass,
and roads and sidewalks were still under construction
Students had no playing fields or gymnasium, piles of
construction debris littered the campus and mud and
dust were everywhere. Despite these shortcomings,
this was the university campus that the students had,
with single-minded determination, worked so hard
to achieve
Student involvement in the Great Trek and the
entire publicity campaign represents a remarkable,
but not isolated, chapter in UBC's history. The events
of 1922 should be viewed as the beginning of a trend
Subsequent student initiatives led to the construction
of several campus buildings including the Gymnasium
(1929), Brock Hall (1940), Armoury (1941), War Memorial
Gymnasium (1951) and the Student Union Building (1968)
Although perhaps not on the scale of the Great Trek,
these initiatives too, helped define the university. D
A version of this article was published in the inaugural
issue ofTrek magazine in 2001
(IS         ^p     ^ffli
1            1
*  _
. *
Crowded students on
the Fairview campus. message from the president
Dr. Martha C. Piper
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia
Ours were modest beginnings - which is never how it
was supposed to be. In the decades before the University
of British Columbia accepted its first students, BC's
intellectual and political leaders had ambitious designs
There were plans for a substantial new campus at Point
Grey, and in 1913 the provincial government committed
to the kind of budget that would put UBC immediately
on the international academic map
Yet a year later, the world slipped into war and the
provincial treasury into deficit. With virtually none of
the promised funding forthcoming, UBC opened its doors
on September 30,1915, in the "Fairview Shacks," a clutch
of rundown buildings on the grounds of what is now
Vancouver General Hospital (see page 4)
In the opening pages of UBC: The First loo Years,
a wonderful book by Eric Darner and Herbert
Rosengarten, the authors offer a compelling,
if uninviting, picture of a university in its infancy
"The institution had no history, no alumni, and no
benefactors; its physical plant was embarrassingly
inadequate and its budgetary situation precarious."
Perhaps worse, the rousing ambition also seemed to
have faded away. As Darner and Rosengarten report, our
founders welcomed UBC's charter students with a promise
to "provide a satisfactory education... comparable to that
offered by other Canadian universities." We were going
to validate that "satisfactory" standard by conducting
"respectable" research
Nothing special. And not nearly enough
Seven short years later, the city, the region and the
world got its first big UBC wake-up call when 1,178 UBC
students, a handful of professors and a surprising number
of alumni launched a protest march to demand that the
province keep its old promise and build the university.
It would come to be known as the Great Trek (see page 8)
The next week, the AMS President delivered a petition
to the Legislature with 56,000 names - an impressive
proportion of the city's population
We know what followed: a century of innovation in everything from traditiona
sectors like forestry and mining to the most advanced industries like clean energy and
biotechnology; a century of top-quality education in every discipline; and a century of athletic,
artistic and cultural accomplishment. From its first 379 students in those cramped shacks,
UBC now has 60,000, on Point Grey, in Kelowna, at Robson Square and Great Northern Way,
in the Downtown Eastside Learning Exchange, and in co-op and internship placements across
the country and around the world. Our annual economic impact is more than $12 billion, which
includes $1.4 billion in Kelowna. In research alone we spend more than $530 million a year,
the lion's share of which is earned in peer-reviewed competition with the other best research
universities in the country.
And when I say "best," the superlative is both intended and justified. UBC is consistently
ranked in the top three medical-doctoral institutions in Canada and among the top 40 in the
world. A significant amount of credit for that achievement goes to UBC's 305,000 alumni,
whose capacities and accomplishments are the primary measure by which a great institution
must be judged. Certainly, the international rating agencies focus on how often UBC's faculty
and researchers are published and cited. They look for Nobel Prize winners - finding seven
among our alumni and current and former faculty. But if you're measuring the broad quality
of one of the world's foremost universities, you might also count the 69 Rhodes scholars who
earned their undergraduate degree at UBC, and the Academic All-Canadians and Thunderbirds
who have won as varsity athletes and gone on to represent Canada on every sporting
podium, including the Olympics. Among alumni and former faculty, you might consider the
BC premiers - there have been three (Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark, and Ujjal Dosanjh) - and
the prime ministers (John Turner and Kim Campbell). You might ponder the impact of great
jurists - including Frank lacobucci and Beverley McLachlin - and spectacular artists and
performers, like Sam Black, B.C. Binning, Ben Heppner and Judith Forst. You might, especially,
look to the donors and supporters who, year after year, have enabled UBC to attain new levels
of excellence
So, to all UBC alumni I say take a bow, and accept my most heartfelt thanks. Since my first arriva
at UBC in 1997,1 have come to love this institution like no other; I mean it quite sincerely when I say,
"thank you!" for the role that you have played in helping UBC achieve its position as one of the
world's leading universities
And finally, don't stop. We still need your support - and, I promise, we will reward your continued
attention. If you thought the first century was grand, you'll be amazed by what is to come. D
* Eligibility applies to UBC alumni residing in Canada, excluding Quebec, and excluding UBC faculty and staff, and their families. Contest closes June 3,2016. Limit one entry per person.
Full terms and conditions at alumni.ubc.ca/terms100
alumniuBc 1915
1915    The UBC
Motto and Crest
are created.
1908   The Provincial Government Passes the University Act
"The University shall... provide for: Such instruction in all branches of liberal
education as may enable students to become proficient in... science, commerce,
arts, literature, law, medicine, and all other branches of knowledge..."
- from the British Columbia University Act of 1908
1915    The AMS is Established
Three students and a classics professor draft
the Alma Mater Society constitution over
the summer. The AMS advocates on behalf
of students, directs student activities, levies
student fees, and supervises student clubs.
1915    The UBC Players'Club
is Established
Frederic "Freddy" Wood was the first director
of the Players' Club, the longest running
student drama society in Canada.
1915    The founding faculties are Arts,
Applied Science and Agriculture.
1915    UBC Opens on
the Fairview Campus
The Fairview campus, originally
constructed to house the
McGill University College of
British Columbia, welcomes
its first students as the newly
founded University of British
Columbia. The temporary
campus is nicknamed the
"Fairview Shacks" due to
its hasty construction.
1918   The First Issue of
The Ubyssey is Published
The student-run newspaper is first
printed on October 17. Over the
years its editors and contributors
would include Pierre Berton, Eric
Nicol and future prime minister
John Turner.
1922    Students March in The Great Trek
Over the summer break, UBC students collect approximately
56,000 signatures in support of building the university
at the Point Grey site. This public awareness campaign
culminates on October 28, when 1,200 students organize
a parade and rally downtown and then trek to the Point Grey
site. The trek is a success, and the provincial government
commits to raising $1.5 million to construct permanent
buildings on the site (see page 8).
Our Teams Get The Bird
And It Gttt Hailed With
Thttnderout Approval
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1934    Sports Teams Adopt the Thunderbirds Name
The U byssey leads the search for a new sports team
name to replace the "Blue & Gold," finally settling on
Thunderbirds. The Thunderbird is a powerful symbol in
West Coast First Nations culture. In 1948, Chief William
Scow, his son, Alfred (a UBC law student) and the Neel
family of the Kwikwasut'inuxw First Nation formally grant
UBC permission to use the Thunderbird name (see page 28).
A totem pole carved by Ellen Neel is gifted to the university
to establish a bond between the Aboriginal community
and the campus. Alfred Scow would go on to be the first
Aboriginal person to graduate from UBC's law school
and be appointed to the Bench.
1925    The Point Grey
Campus Opens
On October 15, UBC officially
opens the Point Grey campus.
The site now has three permanent
buildings, nine semi-permanent
buildings, and a handful of
agricultural outbuildings.
1932    The University's
Future is Threatened
The Great Depression has
devastating effects on the
economy, and the provincial
government threatens to close
the university. Students mount
a successful campaign to keep
the university open, but the
government drastically cuts
annual grants by more than half.
1940   The First Student Union
Building Opens
The new student union building, with
construction directed and funded by the
AMS, provides a place to host student
recreation activities, which helps combat the
solemn wartime mood on campus. Originally
called The Brock Memorial Hall to honour
Dean Reginald Brock and his wife, Mildred,
its name is later shortened to Brock Hall.
1946    Veterans and the Huts
With the end of the war, enrolment skyrockets
to 9,035. To accommodate the nearly tripled
student population, the university moves
out-of-service coastal army huts by truck and
barge to the Point Grey campus, where they
are converted into classrooms and residences.
1913    The
First President
is Appointed
academic and
Dr. Frank Fairchild
Wesbrook is named
the first president
of UBC.
1917    The Alumni
is Founded
The UBC Alumni
Association is
founded as an
with the aim of
fostering a life-long
relationship between
the university and
its graduates.
1916    The First
Class Graduates
Jessie J. Anderson is the first
student to receive a UBC degree.
She is one of 17 women in a class
of 38 graduating students.
1920    UBC Charges Tuition Fees
Due to a shortfall in funding from the provincial government, the UBC
Board of Governors is compelled to charge students a $40 tuition fee.
1930 Chinese Students
Association is Formed
1920   Outdoor Club Builds Log Cabin on Grouse Mountain
More than 80 enthusiastic members painstakingly climb the old trail up
the mountain, equipped with tools to constuct the cabin. The cabin
is completed in the fall of 1922 but, sadly, burns to the ground in
mid-November, cause unknown.
1945    Faculty of
Law is established.
1947    Enrolment
swells to 9,374.
Almost 50 per
cent of students
are war veterans.
A similar timeline can be viewed on the 2nd floor of the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.
Photos courtesy of UBC Archives, AMS Archives, the U byssey and the UBC Department of Athletics and Recreation Archives.
Ethel John,   full   Director
%    Qfi
eitlb degree   mining     1919
1919    UBC Offers the First Nursing
Degree Program in the British Empire
In 1919 UBC took a great leap by being the
first school in all of Canada to offer a nursing
baccalaureate degree. The induction
of the program at this time was not only
important to the field of nursing, but also
allowed for great advances in the women's
rights movement, as well as combatting
the influenza epidemic of the time.
1927    Musqueam House Posts are
Presented to UBC
The Musqueam First Nation sells two house
posts to the UBC Alumni Association, with
the agreement that the posts will remain
on the UBC campus next to the Musqueam
reserve. The Alumni Association presents
the house posts as a gift to the university the
same year at the second annual homecoming.
1935    The Grand Campus Washout
Heavy snowfall followed by driving rain in January causes
a large pool of water to form on the north end of campus.
A small ditch is dug to help the water drain into the
ocean, but continuing rainfall turns the ditch into a rapidly
expanding ravine that destroys several outlying buildings.
The ravine is dubbed the "Campus Canyon" by students
and is eventually filled in with numerous truckloads of gravel.
1949   The
faculties of
Medicine and
Studies are
1951    The
Faculty of Forestry
is established.
1951    Students Dedicate The New Gymnasium
War Memorial Gymnasium is built and dedicated to
the men and women of British Columbia who served in
the First and Second World Wars. The construction and
funding of the new facility is led by students. The gym is
designed in part by a UBC architecture alumnus, Ned Pratt,
who was the first Olympic medal winner from UBC, winning
a bronze for doubles rowing at the 1932 games hosted in
Los Angeles. 1954    U BC Hosts The British
Empire Games
UBC is one of the hosts for the games, utilising
the newly constructed Empire Pool for the
swimming and diving events. Off campus, the
UBC men's rowing team defeats the heavily
favoured English team and wins the gold medal.
1954    Brock Hall Fire
The then Student Union Building catches on
fire on the evening of Tuesday, October 26.
Campus fire trucks arrive shortly and put out
the blaze. The A MS immediately starts a fund
to "Rebuild the Brock" and within six months
the building is repaired at a cost of $400,000
and re-opened.
1964   The Faculty of Arts and
Science is split into two separate
faculties, and the Faculty of
Dentistry is established.
1970   Cyclotron Construction Begins at TRIUMF
UBC's TRIUMF facility, in partnership with Simon Eraser
University, The University of Victoria and The University of
Alberta, begins construction of the world's largest cyclotron
particle accelerator. TRIUMF is Canada's national laboratory
for particle and nuclear physics.
1979    UBC awards
its 100,000th degree
Sixty-three years after UBC's first
graduation ceremony, Clair Francis
Wilson receives the university's
100,000th degree from then UBC
President, Douglas Kenny. It was
in Medicine.
1973    Election of
196 Students as Full
Voting Members
In Faculties
Senate approves
for the election of 196
students as full voting
members in UBC's
12 faculties.
1974    The Native Indian Teacher
Education Program is Introduced
NITEP begins as an elementary teacher
education program in response to a need
expressed by Aboriginal people throughout
British Columbia for a more effective and
relevant teacher education program. In 2004,
a secondary teaching program is established.
NITEP builds upon Aboriginal identity and
cultural heritage while preparing persons of
Aboriginal ancestry to be effective educators.
1981    The Asian Centre Opens
UBC expands its interest in
Asia as ties between Canada
and Pacific-Rim countries
increase. The new Asian Centre -
constructed in part from materials
used for the Sanyo Pavilion at Expo
'70 in Osaka, Japan - houses the
Asian Studies library and offers
space for the Asia-related interests
of various departments on campus.
1956    The schools
of Commerce
and Education
are promoted to
faculty status.
1968    The New Student
Union Building is Completed
UBC's first stadium, Varsity
Stadium, is demolished to make
way for the new SUB as the student
population outgrows Brock Hall.
Students direct the construction
and contribute the majority of
funding for the building.
1959    Construction of the
Student Residence Begins
Construction of the Place Vanier
Residence begins and facilities
open in 1961. This is shortly
followed by the opening of the
Totem Park Residence in 1964.
1958    UBC Celebrates its Golden Jubilee
UBC celebrates its Golden Jubilee and launches
the UBC Development Fund, the first public
appeal for capital funds by any Canadian
university. Through government contributions
and fund drives, it raises $35 million.
1968    Students Take Over
the Faculty Club
American social activist and Yippie
Jerry Rubin leads a group of 2,000
students to a sit-in at UBC's faculty
club in the name of liberation and
an end to authoritarian structures
at the university.
1976    The New Museum
of Anthropology Opens
Originally opened in 1949, MOA moves to
a new home designed by Canadian architect
Arthur Erickson. The world-renowned museum
houses an extensive ethnological collection of
objects from Asia, South and Central America,
the Pacific Islands, Africa, and the First Peoples
of the Northwest Coast.
1969    The Leon Ladner
Bell Tower is completed.
1982    The Football Team
Wins the Vanier Cup
The UBC football team wins its
first Vanier Cup after finishing
the season undefeated. During
the 1997 Vanier Cup telecast,
TSN commentators agree this
team is the best in Canadian
university football history.
1982    Students Protest
Increasing Fees and
Government Cutbacks
A university budget shortfall of
$7.5 million and the provincial
government's refusal to provide
additional funding forces UBC
to raise tuition fees an average of
32.8 per cent, and consider cutting
faculty and support staff. Student
protests, including a campus-wide
"day of mourning," have little effect.
1978    The Inaugural Storm the Wall
Students participate in the inaugural Storm
the Wall relay, where they compete in running,
swimming, cycling and scaling a 12-foot
wall. As of 2015, Storm the Wall holds
the title of the largest intramural sporting
event in North America.
1987    John Demco Establishes .ca
Domain Name
Mr. Demco, an IT manager with Computer
Science, conceives the .ca domain name.
By the year 2000, UBC volunteers have
registered more than 100,000 domain names.
1989    The World of Opportunity
Campaign Launches
The goal of the World of Opportunity Campaign
is to raise 566 million in funds from private
and corporate donors to pay for facilities,
buildings and scholarships, with the provincial
government providing matching funds. By the
time the campaign ends in 1993, $262 million
has been raised.
1989    Pacific Spirit Regional Park Created
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is created from
undeveloped areas of University Endowment
tands on traditional Musqueam territory.
The park in total is 874.4 hectares and boasts
pedestrian, cycling and equestrian trails.
1991    The Disability
Resource Centre Opens
Alumnus Rick Hansen
speaks at the opening of the
Disability Resource Centre.
1995   C.K.Choi
Building for the
Institute of Asian
Research Opens
The building is
constructed using
energy efficient
systems and recycled
materials and
utilizes advanced
design principles.
1995    UBC
offers its First
Online Courses
The university
offers one of the
first 100 per cent online
web-based courses.
1998    UBC Leads Sustainability Practices
UBC opens the first Campus Sustainability
Office in Canada. It works with university and
community partners to research and explore
solutions to sustainability challenges. One of
these challenges involves the volume of private
vehicles travelling to and from campus. The
U-Pass program, pioneered by the AMS in
2003, provides discounted transit passes to
students. By 2013 daily transit trips to and
from UBC Vancouver more than double.
2004   The UBC Distributed
Medical Program is Established
Canada's first model of distributed medical
education allows students to train in different
areas of the province. It is originally offered
in three regions: the Island, the North, and
Vancouver Eraser. A fourth, the South, is
established on UBC's Okanagan campus
in 2011. The program aims for increased
rural and Aboriginal medical student
enrolment and is intended to encourage
more medicine graduates to work in
underserved rural communities.
2005    UBC Opens the Okanagan Campus
The campus opens in Kelowna with an initial academic
plan based on four themes: indigenous studies, sustainability,
health and wellness, and creativity. The opening ceremony is
preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
on Educational Cooperation and Programming between
the Okanagan Nation Alliance and UBC Okanagan. The
MOU acknowledges the importance of a strong relationship
between the Okanagan campus and the indigenous people
of the southern interior of BC.
2005   The founding faculties of the Okanagan
campus are Arts and Sciences, Creative and Critical
Studies, Education, Applied Science, Health and Social
Development, Management and Graduate Studies.
2006    UBC and Musqueam First
Nation Sign Memorandum of Affiliation
The historic memorandum recognizes UBC's
special relationship with the Musqueam
community and reaffirms the university's
educational commitment to Aboriginal students.
'Necessary force'
1997    The APEC Riot
The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation
(APEC) meeting is hosted by the federal
government at the UBC Museum of
Anthropology. More than 1,500 protesters
converge on campus in an event that
culminates in a confrontation with police
involving pepper spray and mass arrests.
1993    Michael Smith is Awarded
the Nobel Prize
Dr. Smith, the founding director of the
UBC Biotechnology Laboratory, is awarded
the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the
development of site directed mutagenesis,
a technique which allows the DNA sequence
of any gene to be altered in a designated manner
for use in medical and biological research.
1993    The Centre for Aboriginal
Initiatives Opens
The First Nations Longhouse, built in
consultation with the Musqueam First Nation,
is an award winning building reflecting the
architectural traditions of the Northwest
Coast. As well as providing programming and
services for Aboriginal students, the Longhouse
welcomes people from the broader community
who want to learn about Aboriginal culture.
2001    Engineers Take
Pranks to New Heights
UBC engineering students hang
a Volkswagen Beetle from the
Golden Gate Bridge. Of the many
pranks they have pulled off, this
is seen as one of the greatest.
See page 38.
2001    The Downtown
Campus Opens
UBC Robson Square opens in
downtown Vancouver. The new
campus offers both credit and
non-credit courses and establishes
a central location for university
outreach and community activities.
2007    Kyoto Targets are Met Ahead
of Schedule
Five years ahead of schedule, and despite
large increases in floor space and student
enrolment, the Vancouver campus meets
its Kyoto targets by reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by six percent from 1990 levels.
The Okanagan campus embarks on an
ambitious energy upgrade project that utilizes
thermal energy extracted from the campus
groundwater, with the goal of making the
campus virtually emissions free.
2007    Okanagan Thermal
Energy Upgrade
The Okanagan campus embarks on an
ambitious energy upgrade project that
utilizes thermal energy extracted from
the campus groundwater with the goal of
making the campus virtually emissions free.
2007    UBC Formalizes Global
Access Principles
The university is the first in Canada to
formally adopt a broad strategy to ensure
global access to its technologies and research.
2007    Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman
Joins Faculty of Science
The American physicist is recruited to UBC
to lead the university's initiative to improve
undergraduate science education.
2011    The start an evolution
Campaign Launches
In September, UBC launches the
most ambitious fund raising and
alumni engagement campaign in
Canadian history. It aims to raise
$1.5 billion for students, research,
and community engagement, and
to double the annual number of
alumni actively connected to the
university by 2015. The campaign
is a success, exceeding both goals
well ahead of the September 2015
campaign close.
2012    UBC Honours
Japanese Canadian
At a special ceremony,
UBC grants honorary
degrees to 61 students
who were unable to
complete their studies
and confers the degrees
of 15 students who
were unable to attend
graduation when
they were sent away
to WWII internment
camps in 1942.
2015    The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre Opens
The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre opens September 30,
2015, the day UBC's Centennial launches. The centre is the
home for alumni for life and the first of its kind in Canada.
2015    The New SUB Opens and the Seagull Returns
The new student union building on the Vancouver campus,
The Nest, opens with a name and mascot that pays
homage to the long since rejected UBC sports team name,
the Seagulls. The construction of the building is directed
and predominantly financed by students, continuing
the long tradition of student-funded buildings on the
Vancouver campus.
2015/2016    100 Years in the Making
UBC celebrates its centennial from fall 2015 to spring 2016.
The Okanagan campus celebrates its 10th anniversary at
the same time.
2013    UBC offers its first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
UBC pilots three non-credit courses taught by renowned UBC
faculty and researchers through Coursera's online learning platform.
2010   The Okanagan Campus Doubles in Size
By 2010, the Okanagan campus comprises 208.6 hectares
of land and has 7,004 enrolled students. Both figures have
doubled since the opening in 2005.
2010    UBC Hosts the Olympics and Paralympics
UBC Vancouver is one of the host sites for the 2010
Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Robson
Square and the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports
Centre are used throughout the games. As of 2015, UBC
Olympians total 241 and the UBC Point Grey campus holds
the honour of being the only venue in the world to have
hosted the Olympics, Paralympics, and Special Olympics.
2010    UBC Joins the Max Planck Institute
The Vancouver campus becomes the home of The Max Planck- UBC Centre for Quantum
Materials, the first centre in North America for the world-renowned research organization.
2009    Students Rally to Save the Farm
On April 7, more than 2,000 people march across the Vancouver campus from the SUB to the
UBC Farm to show support for maintaining the farm's size and location. They are successful and
the university agrees to keep this important space for students, research, and community outreach. I»
teaching and research farm was a centn
, ocus of UBC in the early years. John Young
was hired to help build one from scratch,
starting with his fine herd of Ayrshire cattle.
—CI-   *A>
The cattle on the dock in Quebec City after
their trans-Atlantic journey. The small boy on
the far right is Alistair Young, wearing clothes
•bought specially for the trip.
When John and Mary Young and their six children boarded a ship in Glasgow, Scotland,
to move to UBC's farm in August 1929, they couldn't have known what they were getting
into. With 24 cows (and one bull) in tow, John Young was charged with establishing and
maintaining a dairy herd for the university's Faculty of Agriculture. There were already Jersey
cows at the site, but Young and his herd of cattle were employed to ramp up the faculty's dairy
cattle research program
He could be forgiven for taking a flyer on the opportunity half a world away. As the tenant
operator of his family farm, "Waterside Mains," in Dumfriesshire county, he had nursed his
herd through a severe bout of brucellosis and was faced with a crippling rise in the cost of his
farm's lease. When he was approached by a kindly gentleman from a university in the colonies,
he saw the offer as something he couldn't refuse
Young (and his cattle and family) were recruited by UBC professor H.M. King, who was
dispatched to Scotland by the university to find a herd of Ayrshire cattle - along with their
herdsman - to populate the dairy farm. A certain Captain J.C. Dun-Waters, a fellow Scot
and owner of the Glasgow Herald newspaper, operated a farm in Fintry, BC (across the lake
from Kelowna). He was interested in helping develop a powerful Faculty of Agriculture
at the fledgling university, and saw a healthy dairy farm as key to that success. In fact,
one of the essential elements in selecting the Point Grey site in 1911 was its ability to
support a teaching and research farm as the centra
focus of the university. Dun-Waters was convinced
that the Ayrshire was the only breed of cattle worth
using at a teaching farm, and offered to help fund the
purchase and transport of a herd to UBC
In June 1929, Young et al set sail and arrived 10 sea-sick
days later in Quebec City. (His youngest son, Archie,
now 87, remembers being the only member of the family
who didn't spend most of the trip in the latrine.) After six
weeks of quarantine the cattle were put into railcarsand
trained to Vancouver where they arrived on August 10 in
the middle of the Canadian Pacific Exhibition (now the
PNE). Loaded onto floats and preceded by a pipe band,
the elegant, long-horned stock was paraded through
the exhibition and Vancouver's downtown before being
hauled up to Point Grey and their new lives as "the best
examples of the breed ever seen in this part of the world,"
according to a newspaper report.
Loaded onto floats
pipe band, the elegant,
long-horned stock
was paraded through
the exhibition and
Vancouver's downtown
before being hauled
up to Point Grey and
their new lives as
"the best examples of
the breed ever seen in
this part of the world."
But the UBC campus was still in its infancy. Sod had
only recently been broken at the farm site - around
the old "B" parking lot, which is now a residentia
district - and the new barn hadn't been fully prepared
for a large-scale dairy operation. Vancouver was
still a rugged frontier town with limited resources, and the
downtown was a rough, hour-long tram ride away. John,
Mary and their six children had to live in a two bedroom
apartment over a store at the edge of campus for the
first two years. The gentle nuances of life on a farm just
outside the town of Thornhill in Dumfriesshire, Scotland,
must have seemed like a misty dream
But the Youngs were hearty Scots, used to the
vagaries of farming life, and took to their new world with
determination and high energy. Mary Young took a job
teaching kindergarten, English and piano in Japantown,
and became a champion of Japanese rights during the
internments of World War II
John Young began the arduous process of building the
farm from scratch while helping develop programs to teach
Aggie students the art of raising dairy cattle. Using his
years of animal husbandry experience, he began to breed
a larger Ayrshire herd. His spectacular stock included three
of the most famous Ayrshires in the country: "Rainton
Rosalind V" had such amazing milk production that she
required milking four times a day and won many provincia
and national awards, including the Grand Champion
Female in 1934 for the highest daily, monthly and yearly
milk yields in Canada. "Ardgowan
Gladness II" was consistently
awarded for the high butterfat
content of her milk and "Lochinch
Lassie," as well as being an excellent
milker, was a first rate breeder. She
bore the famous bull "Ubyssey White
Cockade" that sired some of the later
stock's most successful milking cows
These three cows were university
stars in the Thirties.
In those days, managing a herd
involved more than milking, feeding
and breeding. Young and his family
grew and harvested crops of hay,
dealt with disease and injury to the
animals, raised pigs and grew
vegetables. Fortunately, he was
able to use agriculture students and
employ a small staff to work on the
farm, but John and his family did the bulk of the work.
Son Archie has fond memories of bringing in the wheat,
working with the horse team and preparing prize cows for
exhibition shows. All the hard work seemed to be paying
off. Young was even able, after two years, to move his
family into a four-bedroom house adjacent to the farm
The Great Depression that started
in 1929 began to have a serious
impact on British Columbia by 1931
Provincial budgets were slashed,
and money earmarked for the new
university was severely curtailed
If not for a determined campaign
by students and faculty, UBC itself
would have been shuttered. As it
was, budgets for the faculties were
cut dramatically, and the farm,
it was decided, would be
closed down, employees let
go and the stock sold. But
John Young had a different
idea. He worked a deal with
the university where he
and his family would run
the farm as a commercia
dairy, supplying products to
residents in the University
Endowment Lands area
as a way of making the
enterprise self-supportin.
The university agreed,
though administrators
were dubious, and the
UBC Dairy was born
These were
the days before
automation, antibiotics
and wide-spread
pasteurization, which
meant that long hours
and hard work were
the only pathways
to success. John Jr.
was required to quit
school to help manage
A certificate
Hire cattle to UBC.
the dairy, and his brothers, Dave, Alastair and Archie, and
sisters Grace and Isobel devoted themselves to the arduous tasks of daily
hand-milking and delivery. In later years, Jean and Andrew, two new "bairns"
added in the early '30s, also pitched in. Archie received special dispensation
from a local constable to drive the milk truck in the neighbourhood though
he was only 14. But a real hardship befell the Youngs when John Jr. died
in 1935 of a ruptured appendix. He had been his father's right-hand man since
the family left Scotland, and his loss was keenly felt by the whole family.
In spite of it all, the family kept its strength and focus and maintained
an efficient, well-run farm that supported the faculty's mission to advance
research into cattle management, dairy production and animal husbandry.
The commercial aspect of the dairy, during these economically bleak
days, was a rare bright spot in UBC operations. As well, Young's acumen
in business and animal husbandry turned the 24 cows and one bull into
one of the finest Ayrshire herds in Canada
As the Thirties wore on, the
university's finances eased enough
to enable it to generate some
funding for the farm, and Young
was able to acquire new equipment,
including a pasteurizer, which made
the home delivery schedule a little
ess hectic. But the war began in
the late 1930s, and sons Dave and
Alastair enlisted in the Air Force. To
the family's great anguish, Alastair
was shot down in March 1944. Dave
returned to the farm after the war
and attended UBC, earning a BA in
Agriculture in 1947. Younger brother
Archie graduated the same year
in Science
By 1951, after 22 years of heroic
work and dedication, Young decided
it was time to retire. With Dave
working in Ottawa with the federa
government, and two of his other children studying at UBC, there was no one to take over
the farm. Dairy land, then becoming one of the dominant agri-businesses in the province, took
over the farm's delivery business, and the farm itself eventually divested itself of its livestock.
But John Young's legacy - hard work, determination, a sense of constant improvement
and advancement - was to establish a strong foundation for dairy cattle research at
UBC and the development of the Dairy Education and Research Centre in 1996. His spirit
has become a hallmark of the university and the prime inheritance of the Young family. D
Thanks to John Young's grandson, Don Young, BSc'89, MD'94, for his biography, For All Thy
Kith 'n Kine, and to Archie Young, BA'4j(Science), for his insights.
The John and Mary Young scholarship was established in the Faculty of Land and Food
Systems (the former Faculty of Agriculture) to support a grad student interested in dairy
cattle research. For more information on contributing to the scholarship's endowment,
please contact Niki Glenning at 604 822 8910 or niki.glenning@ubc.ca.
Saving the Farm (round 2):
The Farm Reinvented
A farm of some description has been a part of UBC's Vancouver
campus since the establishment of the university site on Point
Grey. However, the farm's size, location, purpose, and operations
have all seen many changes over the years.
In the decades following the Second World War, the diminishing
socioeconomic importance of agriculture in the province was
mirrored in campus growth patterns, as new athletics fields,
parking lots, and academic buildings displaced former farmland.
Eventually, the second-growth forest on the far south of campus
was cleared to make way for new agricultural facilities, but by the
late 1990s, activity had declined significantly - some operations
having moved to new locations in Agassiz, BC. By 1997 the farm
had been earmarked as a "Future Housing Reserve" in UBC's
Official Community Plan.
In 1999, however, students enrolled in the new Agroecology
and Global Resource Systems programs "re-discovered" the south
campus field areas. They envisioned the land as an integrated
farm system, which would provide a practical, experiential
complement to the sustainability theory being taught in the
classroom. It was a vision that conflicted with the Official
Community Plan, and it sparked a decade of discussion about
the future uses of the land.
Meanwhile, after the publication in 2000 of a vision document
entitled "Reinventingthe UBC Farm," faculty, staff, students,
and community members worked together to bring previously
fragmented field areas together into a single working farm and
forest system that delivered a growing number of programs
to students and researchers in many different disciplines.
Despite this, by the summer of 2008 there was great
concern among the farm's users and supporters that it would
be replaced by market housing. A "Save the Farm" campaign
mobilized significant support, culminating in a petition
with 16,000 signatures and a Great Farm Trek on April 7,2009,
when 2,000 people marched from the Student Union Building
to the farm, to show their support for retaining its existing size
and location.
Later that year, the UBC Board of Governors stated that there
would be no market housing on the farm provided that "the
university's housing, community development and endowment
goals could be met through transferring density to other parts
of campus." The board also called for an academic plan for
South Campus to advance "academically rigorous and globally
significant" teaching and research around issues of sustainability.
By winter this plan - Cultivating Place - was in place and in 2011,
following public consultation, the farm was re-zoned "Green
Academic" in UBC's Land Use Plan.
Asa result, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems was soon
established at the farm. It is a unique research centre that aims
to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food
systems towards a more sustainable, food-secure future. There
have been approximately 10-15 active research projects on site
every year since 2011. D and Son, Ltd. Allen was one of only two sellers Gerould
trusted to do the job, which was to include binding or
rebinding books before they were shipped, via Blue
Funnel Line, on a 72-day journey across the Pacific
Gerould and Wesbrook had initially discussed shipping
the books in in tin-lined cases, but instead - because it
weighed less and was cheaper - Gerould recommended
using heavy waterproof paper.
For the next few weeks, Gerould went about
his business. A letter from Wesbrook dated
June 16 indicates that they had inadvertently
overlooked a subject: "It is strange that we missed
mathematics," he wrote, instructing Gerould to cut
$1,500 proportionately from other subject areas and
put it towards math books. Another time, a cable
arrived asking Gerould to discontinue purchasing
because of excessive exchange rates
In July, after making large purchases in Oxford and Cambridge, Gerould
made his way to Paris. After that, the plan was to go to Leipzig in Germany.
He found conditions in France less favourable. "I am not so well satisfied
with what I have done here as I was in England," he admitted to Wesbrook
towards the end of his stay there, "but... I don't suppose I can hold myself
responsible for the disorderly condition of the Paris book trade."
He found most books unbound and stockto be poorly classified. It also
rained a lot and he worked long hours. "I shall be glad to get out of it myself for
the twelve and fourteen hours work which I am doing here is beginning to tell
on me," he confided
Although Gerould was eager to leave Paris, he would find things far more
disagreeable in Leipzig. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand had
occurred a few days earlier, and war in Europe was imminent. In a letter to
Wesbrook dated July 31, three days before Germany declared war on France,
Gerould documented the situation in Paris.
"On the surface, perhaps the most striking thing is the scarcity of money,"
he wrote. "A week ago one almost always received gold in exchange for
a note of the Bank of France but on Monday of this week it all disappeared..."
He observed that the streets were crowded yet orderly, with a strong
police presence. But chaos would not be held in check for long. A trial
involving a Madame Caillaux was underway in France at the time. She was
Dr. Frank Wesbrook was faced with many competing priorities on being hired
as UBC's first president, but one of the most pressing was the establishment
of an adequate central library.
For advice, he turned to a former colleague from the University of
Minnesota, the institution from which he had recently been recruited. James
Thayer Gerould was librarian there. He agreed to help stock UBC's Library in
time for the university's opening in 1915
"My dear Doctor Wesbrook," he wrote in a letter dated March 14,1914
"At your suggestion, I am sending for your consideration a plan by which,
at a minimum of cost, your University may have, when it opens its
doors, a library adequate to its needs at the outset and which will be the
nucleus of a later and greater collection."
The plan involved travelling to Europe, where Gerould believed he would
be able to secure a better price - as much as 20-30 per cent less - by going
directly to dealers and bargaining on the spot
"My suggestion is, therefore... that you appropriate the sum of
$50,000 for the immediate purchase of books for your library and that I be
given a commission as your agent to visit England, France and Germany to
buy the books."
Since Wesbrook had yet to hire a librarian, Gerould also offered to oversee
classification and cataloguing. He asked for a salary of $250 per month plus
travelling expenses and requested a swift decision, because he thought it best
to leave as soon as possible
By the following month, an agreement was in place. The librarian set sail
from Boston on Mays on the S. S. Cymric of the White Star Line. "I am eager
to get at the job and to make good on your gamble," he wrote to Wesbrook
the day before
Later that month another letter arrived in Vancouver, written on notepaper
from the Imperial Hotel in London's Russell Square. Gerould reported that
he had secured the services of export booksellers Messrs. Edw. G. Allen
the wife of politician Joseph Caillaux and had shot
dead the editor of Le Figaro newspaper, which had been
publishing letters her husband was writing to another
woman as part of a media campaign against him by
political enemies. It was judged a crime of passion and
she was acquitted. When the verdict was announced,
the Paris streets erupted
"In the tensity of the moment it was enough to furnish
the spark," described Gerould. "In a few moments,
bands of largely young men were parading up and down
chanting almost in the manner of an American university
yell. As-sas-in, Cail-laux, Assassin Caillaux, Assassin
Caillaux. Then the police would charge, drive the bands
down the boulevard for some distance and then turning
would drive the following crowd back again." Gerould took
refuge in a cafe. Things calmed down before long: "The
man who swallows fire was performing before the terrace
of the cafe, the postcard seller and the rag man had
reappeared and it was as usual."
Gerould still had a job to do. Would it be safe to go
to Germany? "All sorts of advice has been given me but
yesterday I wired my correspondent in Leipzig and as
he advised me to come I am going to take a chance,"
he informed Wesbrook. "The books are there and I hope
that mobilization if it comes will leave someone with
whom I can do business. In any event I can only do
my damnedest."
The letter was likely delayed by wartime conditions,
and Wesbrook would not receive it for a few weeks
Days went by with no word from Gerould
"We are wondering what in the world you are doing in
these times of war and desolation and shall be expecting
to hear from you by cable or otherwise if it seems unwise
to go on with your work," the university president wrote
to him on August 3. "If Europe is embroiled in war, it may
be better to stop purchasing and shipping at this time..."
And on the bottom of the typed letter, scribbled in pencil
How will you begetting back again?
On August 8, another letter from
Wesbrook expressed anxiety about the
fate of the books:
"I have been wondering whether they
are covered by insurance which would
protect us against loss in case of seizure by
Germany. These are things however, which
perhaps we cannot help at this time."
By August 11, his anxiety was about
the fate of Gerould
"I was not at all disturbed about you
until now. I do hope that everything
has gone all right with you. We have
not received an answer to the cable
sent the other day..."
\ V^Aju£**r - «~ ■ awagTS
Then a letter arrived that could only have added to
the president's unease. It was from Miss S. L. Stewart,
Gerould's secretary.
"Here at the University of Minnesota we are
considerably exercised about the where-abouts of
Mr. Gerould," she wrote."... It is only in the hope that
you may have a little more definite information about
him that I am troubling you. If you can let us know
where he is, I shall be much obliged to you."
Meanwhile, as concern mounted among his
friends and colleagues back home, Gerould had fallen
into a predicament that caused his regular stream
of letters and cables to be abruptly cut off. Although
he wrote to Wesbrook as soon as he was able, on
September 2, with a detailed account of what had
happened to him, the president would not receive
that letter, nor any other news about the librarian's
whereabouts and well-being, until much later that month
Gerould had arrived in Leipzig in the small hours
of August 3. Later that morning he telephoned his
correspondent, who now advised him to leave Germany
as quickly as possible. Gerould boarded the last scheduled
train for Basel, Switzerland, but the train was stopped at
Mannheim and passengers were instructed to take a ferry
across the river to catch another train at Ludwigshafen
The crowds were so great that Gerould failed to catch the
train and had to find lodging for the night. The next day
he stayed in his room. On August 5, he continued on his
journey towards Basel. He was delayed by police for four
hours at Landau, then allowed to carry on. But not for long
"About three stations further on I was arrested and
taken to the jail at Kandel* where I was examined,
my luggage mauled, and I was stripped in the hope
of discovering that I was an English spy. I had, of
course, a good many business papers with me and letters
from dealers in London and Paris. Most damnable of
all I had the cabin plan of the Cymric and the groundplan
of the Univ. of BC. Fortunately there was in town a grocer
who had for a number of years lived in the States and he
was able to go through my papers and pronounce them
'alles harmlos."'
The librarian spent the night in a cell and the next
morning appeared before some judges:"... though when
they left they assured me that I could not be released
for two or three days," he wrote," I was in point of fact
freed at about two o'clock and committed to the care of
the former American Mr. Stripf. He kept me at his house
for three weeks and was very kind."
Gerould had little cash. He was aided by the American
Consul in Mannheim and friends in Leipzig, eventually
making his way to Vevey, Switzerland. With the embassy
advising against Americans coming to Paris, he would
need to find another route home
WO  ■U.Torto-in  P*-.
"I am in rather poor shape physically," he told Wesbrook
in his September 2 letter, "but it looks now as if I should
have time enough to recuperate but I assure you that
even Switzerland is far from being a good place to be at
the moment." The rest of Gerould's letter dealt with the
comparatively mundane business of book-buying and the
outstanding transactions from Paris.
Eventually, on September 17, Geroud was able to
secure a route out of Europe, via Genoa, on a ship that
was "large and comfortable, tho dirty." A few days before
the sailing, he sent Wesbrook a letter from Le Grand
Hotel in Nervi, eight miles from Genoa. "It is a lovely place
overlooking the Mediterranean and I spend most of the day
sitting under palm trees... It is rather hot in the middle of
the day but the nights are cool and it is altogether delightful
The hotel is one of the best on the Italian Riviera..."
By this time, Wesbrook had finally learned, via a third
party, that Gerould was safe and on his way back to
the States - but he had yet to receive the librarian's
letter containing the details of his encounter with the
German authorities
"My dear Gerould," he wrote on hearing the good news,
"I have not the least idea how many letters and cables of
mine reached you, but we have been very much exercised
about you... The first consignment of thirteen cases of
books arrived and I received the notice yesterday and
ordered the cases taken to the storage warehouse... I shal
be glad to see you sometime in the near future and to hear
your adventures. As I wrote to Miss Stewart, I hope they will
have been interesting, but not too interesting." D
* Please note that Gerould's handwritten letters are difficult
to decipher in parts. The place names described above are,
in our best judgment, correct.
Thanks to UBC Archives for providing access to
correspondence between Wesbrook and Gerould.
-fc/»     't-^|U^_J. 4>!t^
Oi Si    tMr>-*w-^u|
Message from alumni UBC
This issue of Trek is being released on the 100th anniversary of UBC's
very first class of students and the official opening of the spectacular new
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre! In one short century UBC has entered into the
top echelon of the world's universities, most of which are much older than
UBC's youthful 100 years. There have been many great successes in UBC's
history and, of course, numerous challenges as well.
Many of you will know by now that UBC is undergoing an unexpected
leadership transition, as Professor Arvind Gupta resigned in August as
President and Vice Chancellor after 13 months in office. We are grateful
to Dr. Gupta for his dedication and service and specifically his desire to
identify opportunities forgreateralumni engagement and to encourage
the university to be more outward facing. UBC is incredibly fortunate that
former President Martha Piper has agreed to lead UBC through the transition
period to the appointment of a new President. Dr. Piper's love of UBC and
her unparalleled experience will be invaluable during this period.
Our alumni share the university's goal to be one of the top-ranked
universities in the world, one that plays a leading and impactful role in
the province, in Canada and internationally. In view of the challenges and
opportunities facing UBC, this Centennial year is a particularly important
juncture that requires the entire university community to come together
to advance UBC. On behalf of alumni, we look forward to working with our
university's executive leadership, Board of Governors, faculty, students,
and staff to build on and ensure UBC's continuing success.
We will work hard to continue the growth in alumni engagement
across both campuses, which has more than doubled during the start an
evolution campaign. We have opened the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
and created a much deeper and more enriching range of experiences for
our alumni. This progress has occurred with the unwavering support of
Presidents Piper, Toope and Gupta.
This coming year, as the university marks its Centennial, there will be more
opportunities on both campuses for alumni to engage with UBC and with one
another. Centennial activities will culminate officially with Alumni Weekend
on May 28,2016. As part of the Centennial, UBC's 305,000 alumni are being
asked to pin themselves on the UBC global impact map (ubcioo.ca/pin).
If you live in the Lower Mainland, or find yourself in Vancouver, make a point
of visiting your new UBC home for life at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.
You will be greeted warmly and provided with the help you need to make
the most of your visit to the campus.
Michael Lee, BSc'86, BA'89, MA'92, LLB
Chair, alumni UBC
Jeff Todd, BA
Associate Vice President, Alumni
Executive Director, alumni UBC
°t*Jksl O ^ CAME TO UBC
BY cue. noN GOLDFARB, PHP-92^96
In November 1933, the sports staff of the Ubyssey published an article with the
fanciful title "Zoological Cognomen Needed for Our Athletic Teams," which began:
"Students of U.B.C., are you aware that our institution is lacking an important
phase of college life? So important is this deficiency that one wonders how it has
gone unnoticed. While other universities possess admirable mascots, nicknames,
or what have you, for their athletic teams, we have none. Why should not U.
take its place among the horde of Bears, Trojans, Huskies, Mules, Muskrats
Giraffes, and other wonderful aggregations that cavort each Saturday."
The article called on students to suggest a name for UBC sports teams -
something "that roars, screams, growls, or at least shrieks" - and jokingly
offered "a complete set of season tickets (used)" for the best suggestion.
Perhaps because of the jocular tone of the article, few suggestions w
submitted. Among these early
entries were Lions, Pacific
Pachyderms, and (an entry
ahead of its time) Grizzlies.
Perturbed by the lack of
response, the Ubyssey sports
department produced another
article, this time with a more
serious tone, calling for names
"in keeping with the history
or geographical location of
our University."
At first, there were again
only a few entries, among which
were Cyclones, Seagulls, and
Musqueams, the latter suggested
because the campus was located
on traditional Musqueam land.
Then on November 24,1933,
Clarence Idyll, a member of
the sports staff, suggested
in a letter to the editor that the
name Thunderbird be adopted,
noting that it is "common
in BC Indian mythology and
seems appropriate."
Perhaps the Thunderbird
name was thought appropriate
for sports teams because
flf-time at the 1948 Homecoming game, when UBC was
nted permission by Chief William Scow (centre) to use the
^Jerbird name for its sports teams. Ellen Neel is pictured right,
photo courtesy the Ubyssey. Photographer: Doug Barnett)
The Thunderbird is a supernatural creature
which produces thunder by flapping its
wings and lightning by opening and closin
its eyes. It can also beat its enemies with
its wings and rend them with its talons.
of its powerful connotations. In Aboriginal mythology, the Thunderbird
is a supernatural creature that produces thunder by flapping its wings and
lightning by opening and closing its eyes. It can also beat its enemies with its
wings and rend them with its talons.
The Aboriginal connection also must have seemed appropriate.
From very early times at UBC, Aboriginal names were used in various
contexts, and in ways that today would be considered culturally
inappropriate. For instance, one of the early UBC student cheers began
with an invocation of the names of various tribes ("Kitsilano, Capilano...").
And the student annual formerly published by the Alma Mater Society
was known as The Totem.
However, the name Thunderbird was not instantly accepted once it had
been proposed. In fact, in late November and December 1933, there were
suddenly a number of new entries in the contest to name the sports teams,
including silly ones like Morons, Sea Slugs, and Peewits; ones that were
eady used by other universities, such as Huskies, Cougars, and Wildcats;
and ones that the contest administrators said were
not appropriate to UBC, such as Aztecs, Incas,
Mohawks, and Apaches.
Still, there were enough serious entrants to have
an election in which 25 names were listed on the
ballot, among them Tartars, Cossacks, Philistines,
and Prowlers. Other names on the final ballot
included Golden Eagles, Corsairs, Musqueams,
Spartans, and Seagulls - and unexpectedly Seagulls
won. However, the sports staff at the Ubyssey
decided Seagulls was not the best name and
determined to have a new vote.
Such a vote was eventually held at a special pep
rally on January 31,1934, at which time Thunderbird
won, garnering 320 of the 839 votes cast. Runner-up
was Golden Eagles with 178 votes, and Grizzlies came
third with 101.
By February the Ubyssey was referring to the
basketball team as the Thunderbirds, and by March
was using the term for the varsity rugby team and
the ski team.
And that is howthe Thunderbird came to UBC -
although not yet with permission. That didn't come
until 15 years later, when at a formal ceremony during
half-time at the 1948 Homecoming football game,
Chief William Scow of the Kwiksutaineuk people granted
permission for the use of the Thunderbird name and
donated a totem pole named "Victory Through Honour"
(carved by Ellen Neel) to the AMS.
And as to the poor seagull, cheated out of its rightful victory in 1933? Well,
in 2014-15 the AMS brought it back to life, declaring the seagull to be the mascot
for the new student union building, coincidentally named the AMS Student Nest,
and someone in seagull costume could even be seen wandering the halls.
This May UBC celebrated more
than 200 Aboriginal graduates,
and 51 of them gathered with
family, friends, staff and faculty
at the UBC First Nations Long
House for the largest Aboriginal
graduation celebration in UBC's
history. The graduates came -
from just about every discipline
across the university. They are
future doctors, anthropologists,
lawyers and community leaders
- and they are role models for
future generations. Photo by
Don Erhardt
Ellen Neel (Kwicksutaineuk), The Native Voice, November 1948:
"To the Native people of the whole province we can give our
assurance that your children will be accepted at this school
by the Staff and Student Council, eager to smooth their paths
with kindness and understanding. We need now only students
to take advantage of the opportunity, so that some day our
doctors, lawyers, social workers and departmental workers
will be fully trained University graduates of our own race."
(In 1948, Ne
jams. See facing page.)
UBC's Point Grey and Okanagan campuses are located, respectively, on the traditiona
unceded territories of the Musqueam and Okanagan peoples. While faculty, staff and
students have been working for many years to develop mutually beneficial relationships
with these communities, it wasn't until late in UBC's first century that partnerships were
formally recognized with the signing of memoranda of affiliation. A turning point in our history,
these memoranda are the framework for UBC's commitment to increase engagement and
educational opportunities for Aboriginal peoples and about indigenous culture
In addition to many long-standing programs, UBC has formed an Aboriginal strategic plan,
has one of the largest contingents of indigenous professors on permanent appointments
at any research-intensive university, and has increased Aboriginal enrolment to more
than a thousand students
UBC researchers are working with communities to find solutions to Aborigina
issues through programs like the Cedar Project, a community-based research initiative
that will address the impact of generational residential school trauma on HIV and
Hepatitis C prevalence in at-risk Indigenous youth. The university has expanded curriculum
offerings focusing on Aboriginal issues and perspectives in several disciplines, including
the health sciences, law and community planning
In both academics and operations, UBC is working to address educational failures of the
past. In 1915, UBC began building on what is today the Point Grey campus, but for millennia
had been home to the Musqueam people. It did so with little recognition of this community
or attention to their needs and aspirations. This
history of the university has largely been unwritten,
until now.
This Centennial year, after several years of
planning and consultation with local and nationa
groups, UBC is moving forward with plans to open
the UBC Indian Residential School History and
Dialogue Centre on the Point Grey campus. This major
initiative will provide permanent local access to the
records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
of Canada and will provide a home for advanced
research, dialogue, and interactions with indigenous
communities for years to come
"UBC understands and values the honour of
sharing the traditional territories of the Musqueam
and Okanagan peoples," says UBC interim president
Dr. Martha C. Piper. "We enter the university's second
century with a renewed commitment to partnerships
that ensure our common history is understood and
our aspirations shared." D TEN  YEARS  IN  THE
"Ready, Set, Go!"
That was the Daily Courier front-page headline on September 8,2005 - the first day of classes
for UBC's new Okanagan campus in Kelowna.
UBC Okanagan has grown dramatically since opening 10 years ago. Student enrolment
has grown from 3,500 in 2005 to more than 8,200 students this year - including 680 research
graduate students.
While growth has been a big part of the UBC Okanagan story, the community's embrace of
the new university campus has been one of the most remarkable aspects of UBC's first decade
in the Okanagan.
"Program offerings in the Okanagan reflect the needs of the rapidly developing communities
in our region," says Deborah Buszard, UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the
Okanagan campus. "We are excited about opportunities for growth in high demand areas such
as management, engineering and health-related professional programs, which will ensure we are
best able to serve the needs of Okanagan communities while providing a world class education
to our students."
The Southern Medical Program, established in September 2011, is just one of the university's
new programs designed to serve the BC Interior. This spring, the first class of physicians will
graduate from the program and enter residency training in family medicine or ^^^^^^_
various specialties for the next two to five years. Thanks to a partnership with
Interior Health, medical students receive their clinical training at hospitals and
clinics throughout the Interior.
The university's partnerships with Aboriginal communities in the region have been mutually
beneficial since the Okanagan Nation Alliance formally welcomed UBC to the Okanagan in 2005.
Recognizing the value and importance of post-secondary education to Aboriginal students from across
Canada, UBC works to increase enrolment and ensure academic success for all Aboriginal students.
students, including
research graduate
L       students       A
* ^85^
Z&     Itltltltlt
^ tifflMMt*
•^mtfi*        • •••••••••
S ititititit
-i^"     Nearly 400 Aboriginal
students including
more than two dozen
graduate students
Research funding for
$1.4 billion
annual economic impact
The university established the Aboriginal Access
Studies program in 2007, and works in close partnership
with the Okanagan Nation's En'owkin Centre in Penticton.
Earlier this year, UBC established a pilot project with
the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society to open the door to
university to Aboriginal youths and adults interested
in post-secondary studies. The Downtown Education
Project works to help overcome barriers to success
in a post-secondary environment.
The tremendous success of these programs is clear.
Since 2005 the number of Aboriginal students at UBC
Okanagan has grown from 58 to nearly 400 - including
more than two dozen graduate students.
Research activities at UBC Okanagan are closely
linked to the community and are on an upward trajectory.
Funding for research has grown from $6.9 million
for 341 research projects in 2005 to more than $18 million
for 633 projects this past year. UBC's total annual
economic impact in the valley is $1.4 billion and growing.
One exciting initiative that is contributing to innovation in
the region is STAR (Survive and Thrive Applied Research).
Launched last fall with a $3.8 million contribution from
Western Economic Diversification Canada, STAR is an
$8 million research centre focused on working with industry
to bring to market novel technologies for human protection
^^^^^^^^^^^      and performance in extreme,
remote or rural conditions.
One of the initial projects
catalyzed by STAR is the result
of a collaboration between UBC, Kelowna-based Helios
Global Technologies, and Imperial College London (UK).
Together, UBC researchers are developing a high-tech
helmet that can reduce the risk of concussion in contact
sports like hockey.
UBC Okanagan is entering a new period of
transformation in its second decade, says Buszard.
"Together with the communities of our region,
UBC Okanagan is growing and diversifying the regional
"economy," says Buszard. "As we mark the 10th anniversary
of the campus this year, we recommit to delivering on
the promise to have a significant impact on the future of
our region and beyond, through our students, ou^Tumni7
and new discoveries. We're just getting started."
We're just getting started.
Visit us at our Wesbrook Welcome Centre located at 3378 Wesbrook Mall
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It may surprise you to hear that at Tapestry at Wesbrook
Village - a unique Retirement Community on Vancouver's
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dine in our restaurant or pub, Chef Shaughn takes great pride
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Call 604.225.5000 to make your reservation today.
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604.225.5000 UBC owes a lot to its students,
who have contributed an astonishing
amount over the generations - not
only to the physical fabric of campus,
through their initiatives to fund
new buildings and amenities, but to
UBC's cultural history and identity.
That's why long-time archivist for
the Alma Mater Society Sheldon
Goldfarb, PhD'92, MAS'96, is
writing a book about it all to mark
the society's 100th Anniversary.
It is a fascinating account of the life and times of the AMS that
vividly captures the essence of student experience and self-governance
through the decades. Here are some excerpts from a few different eras.
Year One: UBC opens. Classes begin on Thursday, September 30,1915. Just over two weeks later,
on Friday, October 15, the students gather in the Arts building on the original Fairview campus to
create an association with the unusual name of Alma Mater Society. In the early years the Society
is sometimes referred to as the Alma Mater, but later it becomes better known by its acronym
(AMS), perhaps because Alma Mater made too many people think of the alumni: perhaps as well
because no one was sure how to pronounce Mater.
War Is Over: But at a cost. Another 11 UBC students died, bringing the total to 78. And while the
fighting wound down overseas, the worldwide influenza epidemic struck Vancouver:
.    three more students died, and the University closed for five weeks. One final blow
.    landed in October 1918: UBC President Wesbrook died after being ill for several
■   months. Still, the Annual struck a celebratory note about the war, speaking of
the pride that students could feel in having taken part in "the greatest crusade
ever entered upon by men in the history of the world."
Ubyssey: A new publication was born this year, a newspaper, the Ubyssey,
a respelling and a reimagination of the old literary monthly, the Ubicee. Skits
and poems are all very well, the new paper commented, but what is needed
is news while it is still "hot," by which the editors meant no more than a week old.
Naughty Oscar: The Players'Club provoked controversy by staging a production
of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. The Ubyssey expressed "disgust"
>.    at this "trash," and said it would prefer something with "a healthy moral tone."
Captain Guy
Borthwick Moore,
KIA on April 17,1918
CAMS Archives)
,    \ 1925-26
\   Refreshments will be served: There was talk this year of
establishing a Student Court to deal with discipline cases, and already
t I   in September the Ubyssey was registering the need for such a court by
/    reporting on a "criminal" who was being charged with playing bridge for
:ar Wilde was f     I
shedbyUBC's      I    money, i.e., gambling in contravention of AMS Bylaws.
entnewspaper,   /    Though the defendant said —
re U bysseyi \Ly —
/      the charges were a violation
of his individual rights, a trial
was going ahead; however, since
there was not yet a court, the case was to
be heard by a joint meeting of the Men's and
Women's Literary societies (!). Everyone was
welcome to attend, said the Ubyssey, adding:
"Refreshments will be served."
*— .,   ,.    rt,« Public**"*" Board or
A week laterthe defendant
was acquitted by reason of
"insanity": the whole thing was
treated as a bit of a joke, yet the
push for a system of student-run
discipline continued, resulting in:
The Vigilance Committee: In
Novemberi925 Council decided
to create a secret body known
as the Vigilance Committee,
consisting of 10 men who would go
undercover to try to catch smokers,
loiterers, and other wrongdoers. The Ubyssey called the
plan "obnoxious" and smacking of espionage. A general
meeting of the students was called to vote on whether
to abolish the new system, but voted in favour of keeping
it. However, it was replaced the following year by the
Honour System.
The Depression hits home: Barely mentioned in previous
years, at the beginning of 1931-32 the Depression was
still someone else's problem. In the fall the Women's
Undergraduate Society (WUS) launched a clothing drive
for those affected by the recent economic difficulties.
"We are making an endeavor to help the more unfortunate
members of the community who have been harder hit by
the depression than ourselves," said the WUS President.
But by January it was the students themselves who
felt hit. Rumours began to fly about cuts by the provincial
government, which might result in the closure of certain
departments (Agriculture, Nursing, and Commerce were
mentioned). There was even talk that the University might
shut down altogether.
The students organized, launching a publicity campaign
to enlist public support for the notion that the University
was essential to the province. As in the days of the Great
Trek, a petition was started (garnering 70,000 signatures),
and there was large-scale public support (from the
Archbishop of Vancouver to the Trades and Labour
Congress), but this time the government did not give in.
Major cuts were made to the University budget, resulting
in layoffs and a reduction in library hours. There was
even a plan to merge Agriculture and Applied Science,
which the Agriculture students objected to but which won
support in some AMS quarters, causing internal
Q g      division among the students. (The plan did not
'-o      go ahead.)
1 =:     They Do Things Differently Here: The visiting
^ §"■     editor of the student newspaper at the University
m  3
°K »■     of Toronto was shocked to discover that at UBC
<» I     the male and female students sat together in
I S'<°      the cafeteria and the library. He also noted how
1   <* different it was that the students at UBC were the
ones raising the money for campus buildings and
that there were no residences for students on campus (those wouldn't
come till much later). The students were younger too: admission age
at UBC was 16.
Students to the left of them, students to the right of them: UBC had
never seen so many students: 5,200 showed up in September, and
another 1,200 (mostly ex-servicemen) arrived in January. The Library
was crowded, the buses were crowded, everything was crowded.
One of the downtown papers wrote a piece about the supposed
division between the more mature returning servicemen and the
younger "bobby-soxers." The Ubyssey ran an article deriding the
idea, but felt compelled to revert to the topic more than once,
so there may have been something to it.
The Jokers! Founded in the fall with the slogan, "Come and
make an ace of yourself," the Jokers tried to liven up campus
with their offbeat brand of humour. Members, all of whom were
vice-presidents of the club, walked around carrying yo-yos. They
organized goldfish swallowing contests to raise money for the new
gym, along with a carnival, an egg auction in which students could
buy eggs to hurl at one of the Jokers, and a roller-skating marathon
for which the slogan was: "Break a Limb! Support the Gym!"
Students to the left, students to the right (Part 2, political version):
Sid Zlotnick of the left-wing Labour-Progressive Party (LPP) got
in trouble with the Discipline Committee for distributing leaflet
No publications allowed unless approved by Student Council, th
committee said. Zlotnick then lobbied to allow a Labour-Progressive
campus club to be formed. Council hesitated. We don't have
political clubs, they said, but let's ask the Board of Governors.
The Board said, This is a student matter; you decide. Grant
Livingstone, a Conservative, said if the LPP can become a club,
so should other political groups.
Still uncertain what to do, Council decided to hold a plebiscite
of the whole student body; this seems to have been the first one
held on campus, and it resulted in a 2:1 vote against political clu
Politics would have to wait for another day.
We are, we are, we are... the AUS? The Arts Undergraduate
Society fell on hard times again, finding it difficult to get their
members out to vote. The ever helpful Engineers sent 200 of the
members to an Arts election meeting. Only 15 Arts students showed
up, so the Engineers happily elected themselves to all the positions
on the Arts executive. (Of course, this was all ruled out of order,
but it did not bode well for the AUS.)
A Sexy Year: The Kinsey Report on female sexuality came out
this year, and UBC students engaged with it in a formal debate
competition, in which victory went to the side arguing that the
report was a threat to Western civilization (!). But if sex was
defeated on this occasion, which is how the Ubyssey put it,
nevertheless it seemed very much in the news, or at least in the
Ubyssey. Sex is more important than religion, the paper said.
It also ran an article on excessive kissing in Brock Hall and
suggested that the kissing booth at the annual Blood Drive was
responsibleforthe record turnout of male blood donors.
1970-71 Cyclists protest
- see page 35. (UBC Archives) 1932 Students rallying the public to fight
the cuts to education. (The Ubyssey) LT'
1945-46 The Jokers
tried to liven up campus
in the 40s. (AMS Archives)
Off with her head! Lots of Queens around this year: Homecoming Queen, Mardi Gras Queen,
Frosh Queen: in fact, two rival Frosh Queens (almost). The Frosh Undergraduate Society protested
when one of the fraternities announced that they were anointing the Frosh Queen. That's just your
Fraternity's Queen, said the official Frosh; we're going to choose our own. In the end, however, the
official Frosh backed down, so no one ended up in the Tower, thankfully.
Apathy, Lethargy, and What is the AMS, anyway? Not for the first or last time, both Council
and the Ubyssey complained about a lack of student interest in the running of the Society, noting
the number of Council seats that were filled by acclamation. The Ubyssey also did a survey that
revealed that some students didn't know that being the AMS President meant being president
of the student body.
Perhaps the fault lay with the proliferation of mysterious acronyms, which had become
so widespread that the Ubyssey ran an "alphabet soup" contest, asking students to identify
as many acronyms as they could, from MAD, PhUS, and CUS to SCM, NFCUS, and the like
It's the Sixties, Man: Paris, Chicago, Berkeley... UBC? For a day at least, the day Jerry Rubin came
to town. The leader of the Youth International Party (the Yippies), fresh from confrontations with
police during the Chicago protests, showed up with his pig (a protest candidate in the 1968 US
presidential election) and asked the students of UBC what they would like to liberate. "The Faculty
Club," someone called out, and 2,000 students invaded the professors' inner sanctum, liberating
not only the space but the contents of liquor cabinets and the club pond (skinny dipping!). Someone
even brought a band
But what's it all about? The Ubyssey thought the occupation was an undeveloped expression of
protest against oppression. Radicals, like the visiting Rubin himself, talked about rejecting traditiona
institutions, not accepting minor positions in the existing power structure, opposing corporate
control of education and society, and revolutionizing society. Rubin also talked about having fun
"Free yourself," he said. Also: "Wherever you see a rule, break it."
No, but what was it really about? Well, the occupation of the Faculty Club took place against
a worldwide backdrop of student unrest, and at UBC itself the AMS had produced a brief calling
for a variety of educational reforms to make courses more "relevant" and to give students a say
in running the University. Demands were in the air: There should be students on governing bodies,
Gambling: Were
these UBC students i
tt=from the 1920s
up to no good?
,     \f
1933-54 UBC President
MacKenzie crowning one of the
year's queens. (AMS Archives)
1968-69 It's a party, man.
A band plays an unscheduled
set during the Faculty Club \
-occupation. (UBC Archives)
1968-69 Hey, man, I'll tell you
what it's all about. A protester
explains things at the Faculty
Club. (UBC Archives)
the students should have a say in making appointments,
something should be done about overcrowding. Some
said, We should not have to attend dull and boring
courses. Indeed
In fact, the University was already experimenting
with new approaches to teaching (introducing a new
sort of inter-disciplinary first year course called Arts
One). It had also granted student representation on the
University Senate, though radicals called the appointment
of four student senators (out of 81) tokenism
And what good came of it? Well, the next day there
was a giant rally (5,000 students) which called
for a teach-in on educational reform, and there was
indeed a teach-in the following week, endorsed by
AMS President Dave Zirnhelt and UBC President
Kenneth Hare. Zirnhelt, later an NDP cabinet minister,
played a moderating role in the events, as did Hare, who
seemed quite sympathetic to the students' demands,
so much so that even the radicals said nice things about
him, though adding that of course he couldn't really do
anything because of the conservative power structure
Hare eventually resigned just seven months after taking
office (making him the shortest-serving UBC president),
and in response to AMS demands the committee to
find a replacement for him included four students
The Battle of Jericho: \nd lothe people of Jericho did
refuse to move from their hostel until the army and the
police force did forcibly remove them, pushing them out
of the Jericho army base and onto Fourth Avenue, from
■^970-71 The Jericho   ^r-
1 Occupation (The Ubyssey.'
•   Photographers: Maurice
Bridge and David Bowerman.)
whence they journeyed to the Student Union Building at UBC campus, where the students had said,
"O ye homeless ones in need of shelter, you can rest here" - but then on second thought had said,
No, sorry, you can't
But the people of Jericho, jobless youth with nowhere to go, did come anyway and occupied the
SUB for 16 hours, staying overnight until the AMS Executive could find alternative lodging for them,
while regular students grumbled that this was too much and the Ubyssey said it was not enough
it was time to stand up to the police state and oppression..
And that was the high point of militancy and activism for the year, a carryover from the Sixties
perhaps, and occurring the same weekend in October that the FLQ crisis erupted in Quebec and
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, prompting protests at UBC, but
not too much, despite the best efforts of the Ubyssey.
Human Government: If activists had mixed results against evictions and the War Measures
Act, they found more success at the ballot box, electing a new slate to all the positions on the
AMS Executive. Steve Garrod's Human Government group swept all before them, though not
before the AMS had to rerun the presidential election because of irregularities. Garrod pledged
Canadianization and democratization of the university, and also promised a referendum in October
to let the student body pass judgement on his program, a promise he would live to regret
Shades of Stan Persky: The Human Government slate drew inspiration from Stan Persky, the
radical leader of the late Sixties who had almost become AMS President. (Perskyists, the Ubyssey
called them.) Persky himself was still around and was even elected as a student Senator, though
when he showed up for his first Senate meeting dressed up as an old man in a wheelchair, he was
denied entrance
Engineers Gone Wild: The Engineers reached new heights (or lows) this year, kidnapping a Ubyssey
columnist and putting him through a mock crucifixion, kidnapping the Ombudsman and covering
him in honey and feathers, trashing the Commerce students' lounge and stealing their beer,
vandalizing the Commerce students' chariot, and causing the injury of a Forestry participant in
the annual chariot race. Some even accused them of plotting to attack the SUB during the Jericho
occupation to oust the occupiers, but that may have simply been their reputation at work. They did
get into a fight with Maoists distributing literature in the SUB, and altogether their antics were so
extreme that one group of Engineers, unhappy to be associated with such things, started a petition
to withdraw from the Engineering Undergraduate Society.
0-71 Stan Persky,
out of costume.
(UBC Archives)
New forms of activism: If the AMS and students at
arge seemed uninterested in the Ubyssey's agenda, new
causes were arising that would capture more support in
subsequent decades. One was feminism: there was talk
of starting a Women's Studies program this year, and
eft-wing labour leader Michel Chartrand found himself
called out for being dismissive of women: it was the old
activism giving way to the new.
Also this year saw a cyclists' protest: about 400 of them
disrupted traffic on University Boulevard to demonstrate
in favour of bike paths. This protest even seemed to lead
somewhere: within a month there was talk of improving
cycling facilities on campus
The Cuts! The Cuts! Restraint, restraint, said the new
Socred government, cutting back spending and taking
away people's rights. Solidarity, solidarity, said the
people, forming coalitions, marching in rallies, going
out on strike. We will join you, said the AMS of UBC,
worried about funding cuts and the tuition increases
that might follow.
Andthey did: 33 per cent of them, and for good
measure the government jumped in and cut student
financial aid by 83 per cent and abolished all grants,
eaving students free to accumulate debt
And if you were a foreign student, good luck.
For the first time in its history UBC began charging
more to international students
And there were petitions and marches, but the
increases went ahead FEATURE    •
great trekking
Nogood deed: And there were complaints that the AMS
was becoming too much of a business, making too much
money from such things as the Pit Pub and the Games
Room. We're supposed to be a non-profit society, said
a presidential candidate, and when General Manager
Charles Redden was given a raise for his good work,
the Ubyssey complained bitterly and published his salary
for all to see
Politics: That's what the Ubyssey wanted the AMS to spend
more time on: the Solidarity movement, of course, and also
the campaign against military research. Some students
petitioned successfully for a referendum calling for an
end to such research, but it failed for lack of quorum. The
Ubyssey took comfort in the fact that at least the majority
of those who turned out to vote supported the anti-military
side, but in general it sighed about apathy and wished there
was more politics and less business on campus
The Other Solidarity: The provincial Solidarity campaign
took its name from the Polish movement of the day, and
to bring things full circle, another Solidarity group sprang
upon campus to protest the bringing to UBC of a Polish
professor known for his connections to the pro-Soviet
military government. Led by Bill Tieleman, later a Vancouver
political analyst, Campus Solidarity picketed outside the
visiting professor's classroom, prompting debate about
free speech and academic freedom
Here's Pepper in Your Eye: And the world's leaders came
to UBC to discuss free trade, and the students protested,
and the police sprayed them with pepper spray. And
Nardwuar the Human Serviette (from CiTR student radio)
asked Jean Chretien what he thought about it all, and the
Prime Minister said pepper was just something he put
on his plate. And the press went wild. Such was APEC
(Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) in Vancouver in
November 1997.
The Gagged Goddess: Even before November the students
were protesting and for some reason vandalizing the
Goddess of Democracy. At one point she was gagged
with a label saying Coca-Cola, suggesting that the point
was to attack what some saw as excessive corporatization
of the campus. Not only was the Coke deal still in force
[in the 1995-96 year, the AMS had joined the University
in a ten-year exclusivity agreement with Coca-Cola], but
there was talk of both the university and the AMS entering
into other exclusivity deals. This sort of thing led to one
graffiti artist putting up slogans on the new Koerner Library.
Feminist Triumphs? Meanwhile the AMS Executive
achieved a high point of female power this year: four of
the five Executives were women. And in the presidentia
election for 1998-99, the two serious candidates were
both women: Vivian Hoffman, the outgoing Director
of Finance, bested the Coordinator of External Affairs,
Shirin Foroutan, to become the new president
Kinder,gentler Engineers: The president of the Engineering Undergraduate Society vowed that
the Engineers would henceforth be less rowdy and boisterous. Less drinking, fewer dunkings in the
ibrary pool. But still stunts: this year they performed their signature stunt of hoisting a Volkswagen
Beetle on high, in this case on top of Rogers Arena (then known asGM Place)
They also stole the Great Trekker trophy and returned it with a new inscription, honouring that
greatest of Great Trekkers: James T. Kirk.
And the Pall of 9/11 Hangs Over It All: At least it did for a while. The attack on the World Trade
Center captured the attention of the campus. There was a memorial service led by UBC President
Martha Piper. The AMS started a blood drive and raised donations for the Red Cross. And when
the Americans responded by entering Afghanistan some students countered with protests and
"die-ins." But eventually life moved on
Bye-bye Freeze: The big news post-9/11 was the end of the tuition freeze, lifted by the new Libera
government of Gordon Campbell. UBC responded by saying it would raise tuition to match the
national average. Why, said the AMS, wondering about the relevance of tuition levels in Ontario
Show us what you're going to spend the money on, and make sure some of it is on financial aid and
other student services. The University did back down from its objective of matching the nationa
average and did begin producing booklets showing where the money would go, but fees did rise
Protests! While the AMS leadership made presentations to the Board of Governors, some students
decided more radical action was needed, marching on campus, occupying the Administration
Building, and even invading the Executive corridor at the SUB to criticize newly elected AMS
President Kristen Harvey. Harvey said the protesters, who were calling not just for a continuation
of the freeze but for a reduction in tuition, did not represent majority opinion on campus. They
certainly did not represent the majority view on AMS Council, which defeated a motion to support
the reduce tuition campaign; some Councillors said that the tuition freeze, coupled with government
cutbacks, had jeopardized the quality of education at UBC and increases were needed
Klahowya: Speaking of Kristen Harvey, her election meant that for the first time the AMS had an
aboriginal president. It was a far cry from the days when UBC students appropriated aborigina
themes without being aboriginal themselves.
' «q
1997 Police disperse
protesters at the APEC
Summit. (The Ubyssey. '
Photographer: Rich Lam)
The Nest! The Nest! Finally, after years of planning and negotiating, delays in construction, and
the appearance of Gus the Seagull as mascot, the New SUB, aka the AMS Student Nest, opened
The AMS moved from the suddenly shabby looking Old SUB to the spectacular new building next
door, which quite dwarfed the Old SUB and everything else in the area. D
Great Trekking will be available spring 2016. Details on purchasing copies will be posted on the
AMS website (ams.ubc.ca). For more information, please contact AMS Archivist Sheldon Goldfarb
at archives@ams.ubc.ca.
For most of the last century, teaching was the same. A university lecture in
1920 did not look that different from a lecture in 1980. A professor stepped
up to the podium and imparted wisdom in a 45-minute monologue. Students
took notes. The end
Those days are long gone at UBC. The introduction of the Internet and the
advent of personal computing have changed everything.
Today, when Dr. Simon Bates holds a physics session for 300 undergraduates,
they arrive having read and digested all the material in advance. His role
is facilitating engagement, which includes problem solving, spontaneous
questions and discussion in breakout groups. It's called a "flipped classroom"
and it has changed the post-secondary learning environment at UBC and
transformed the student experience
"If you were to parachute into one of my lectures, you'd probably
think I'd lost control of my class," says Bates, Professor of Teaching in the
Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Academic Director of the Centre
for Teaching, Learning and Technology. "It's noisy, interactive and slightly
unpredictable. I have a rough map of what I'd like to do, but I vary it. I spend
time challenging understanding, highlighting connections or testing."
According to former UBC President Stephen Toope, four factors are
driving a warp-speed acceleration of learning models at UBC: a better
understanding of how we learn, transformative technologies, new demands
for options and the rising costs of the traditional model
First, thanks to advances in cognitive science, we know more about how
to design effective learning. For example, research has shown that testing
more often teaches us to retrieve information under stress and improves
long-term memory.
teaching revolution
„s transforming student .
learning at UBC
Then there are technological advances. Today, information is accessible
anywhere, anytime. "From about age 14, we carry a device that gives us
information about anything on demand," says Bates. "By 21, people have been
exposed to more information than they were in an entire lifetime a generation
ago. It's absolutely startling."
Technology also provides untold opportunities for collaboration. Professors
can continue conversations online. Undergraduates studying food security
can connect with peers in other countries. Says Bates: "Technology allows you
to bring the world into the classroom in a very real, tangible way that has not
been possible or practical before."
These changes have shifted the role of faculty at UBC. Rather than
delivering content for the first time, professors are adding value as guides
who help students navigate and evaluate the influx of information. UC Irvine
Professor Alison King noticed this shift in 1993 and penned a seminal essay
about it entitled "From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side" for the journa
College Teaching
The marketplace is also having an impact. Employers want staff that can
identify problems and ask questions, while students want practical learning
opportunities. UBC's focus on experiential learning gives students the chance
to dive into real-world problems
UBC's 66 years of distance learning has also helped the university educate
thousands of non-traditional students, such as the 40-year-old working mom
in Prince Rupert seeking advanced certification
These are just some examples of how UBC faculty members are backing
away from the lectern in order to engage students and spark critical-thinking
skills that drive innovation in today's world. D >JM
What's that dangling from
the Golden Gate Bridge?
Photo: Craig tee/San Francisco
UBC engineering students are known
for their elaborate pranks and also for
being stubbornly tight-lipped when asked
to talk about them. In 2007, writer Erin
Millar came closer than most to getting
At about 3:40 AM on February 5,2001, a moving-van stopped abruptly in the middle of the Golden
Gate Bridge. Although it was still dark, witnesses said they saw around a dozen figures emerge and
push a large object over the side of the bridge. They then reboarded the van, and sped away into the
night. Nothing to see here. Move along
A couple of hours later, as the morning light began to filter through the thick fog that often
envelops San Francisco, viewers at Vista Point on the north end of the Golden Gate could
make out the silhouette of a red Volkswagen Beetle. It was dangling from the underside of the
bridge, 10 storeys above the water. A Canadian flag was painted on one side of the car. A big red
"E" was on the other side
The stunt caused traffic jams and stopped ships from passing under the bridge for hours, while
the US Coast Guard and California Highway Patrol puzzled over the Bug and how it got there. The
feat had involved stringing a 27-metre steel cable below the underside of one of the world's most
famous and photographed structures, somehow manoeuvring what appeared to be a 1970s vintage
VW Bug (which weighs more than 1,600 lb.) into position beneath the bridge, and attaching it to the
cable - all without anyone noticing
At about 8:10 AM, the Highway Patrol cut the nylon cord holding the car to the steel cable,
plunging it into the water below. It sank quickly to the bottom of San Francisco Bay. The story was
on evening newscasts across North America and articles followed in newspapers the next day,
from Miami to Britain, making this one of the most widely covered pranks of all time
The police were infuriated by the chaos, and pledged
to prosecute the perpetrators. They threatened fines and
charges of criminal conspiracy and trespassing, possibly
eading to jail time. "We're pursuing every lead we have,"
one Highway Patrol officer told the San Francisco Chronicle
The most obvious lead: a press release faxed that
morning to the San Francisco media by anonymous
engineering students from UBC. They claimed that they
had executed the stunt in order to "draw attention to the
masterful feats of professional engineers and to celebrate
the skills of the tradespeople who built the bridges."
Canada's engineering students have a long history
of pranks, and this one may have been the greatest
of all time. It was an exceptional technical challenge,
its execution provoked awe and wonder, and the UBC
students who carried it out did so in total secrecy.
The rich history of university stunts brings a wide
spectrum of differing opinions about what a good
prank is. Notorious American prankster and anarchist
Abbie Hoffman identified three types of pranks: "'good'
pranks," he said, "were amusingly satirical, 'bad' ones
gratuitously vindictive, and 'neutral' ones surreal and soft
on the victim." Hoffman's classic example of a "good"
prank occurred in 1967 when he and a group of activists
threw fistfuls of dollar bills into the trading pit at the
New York Stock Exchange. They managed to pause
the ticker tape for six minutes while traders scrambled
below: some booed, some chased the money. In 1971,
Hoffman essentially pranked himself, publishing Steal This
Book. Many readers took his advice; bookstores and the
publisher were less amused
For ample cases of the vindictive sort of prank, look
to any university frosh week. They are often targeted
against freshmen, rival disciplines, or competing
universities. At the annual Yale-Harvard football game
in 2004, Yale University students, disguised as the
non-existent "Harvard Pep Squad," distributed white and
red placards to 1,800 unsuspecting Harvard fans. The fans
were told that when they lifted the placards, they would
spell "Go Harvard." They actually spelled "We Suck."
Harvard fans, all sitting on the same side of the stands,
were the only ones not in on the joke. Most didn't know
they'd been duped until reading the next day's extensive
media coverage
The most diligent and technically ambitious university
pranksters, however, are almost always engineering
students. Stunts have become an engineering tradition,
in part designed to show off the skills engineering
students have learned from their education, which they
consider much more valuable than a fluffy arts degree
The best engineering pranks go beyond being clever or
poking fun. In the words of Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's anonymous Institute Historian T. F. Peterson
(whose initials refer to the MIT engineering signature
HTFP, or "I Hate This F-king Place"), engineering stunts
require "accessing the inaccessible," and "making possible
the improbable." An engineering signature - left on pranks
across North America to identify engineering students as
the tricksters - is ERTW, or "Engineers Rule the World."
MIT claims to be one of the founding fathers of engineering
pranks, with the first-documented underground pranking
society, the Dorm Goblin, established in the 1920s. Since then,
cars and telephone booths have appeared on the roofs of
campus domes and full-sized sailboats in swimming pools
Like the Yale "We Suck" stunt, engineering pranks are
often aimed at rival institutions. But UBC's pranksters
have often set their sights beyond rival departments
or universities and targeted more prominent victims,
ike government
In 1978, after much planning, a trio of enterprising
engineers broke into the British Columbia legislature
in Victoria, entered the assembly chamber, and stole
the Speaker's ceremonial chair. A white concrete cairn
with a red "E" - the signature of the UBC engineers - was
eft on the Speaker's desk. The chair was returned a few
weeks later. Over the years, UBC engineers have also
stolen (and returned) the Rose Bowl trophy and Stanley
Park's Nine O'Clockgun. Hundreds of citizens who had
gathered to see the return of the gun were outraged when
the engineers threw it into the ocean, but that was part
of the stunt: the dunked artillery piece was a decoy.
The individual identities of pranksters are closely guarded,
as I discovered while pursuing the Golden Gate perpetrators
"The Engineering Undergraduate Society of UBC," goes the
group's official statement, "has had, and continues to have,
no knowledge regarding the planning of, execution of, or
persons involved with any stunts past, present and future."
Bruce Dunwoody, now an associate
professor emeritus of engineering,
first heard of the Golden Gate
prank when he arrived at his office
that Monday morning in 2001
His first phone call of the day was
from a San Francisco radio station
Dunwoody was careful not to
admit culpability on air, but that
didn't stop authorities from trying
to get information out of him
"I had someone phone me from
the California Highway Patrol looking for a list of names of
students so they could try to figure out who had done this by
comparing the students to the list of people who had come
into the States," Dunwoody recalled. He refused to hand over
the names without a request in writing.
"UBC proper had never been involved in [the stunt], as
we never are," said Dunwoody. But did he or UBC ever find
out who was responsible for the act? "Let's say we didn't
ask," he said
Engineering pranks are often aimed
at rival institutions. But UBC's
pranksters have often set their
sights beyond rival departments
or universities and targeted more
prominent victims, like government
Dunwoody, who was an engineering student at UBC in
the early '70s before becoming a professor in 1985, thinks
that creativity is the key to great pranks. His favourite prank
occurred in the mid-6os when a number of modern art
sculptures mysteriously appeared on campus. "There was
some questioning, but various folks chimed in that these were
good and they became a part of UBC," Dunwoody said. "Later
on that year, the engineers went around with a sledgehammer
and started smashing these things up, at which point there
was great furor that the engineers were heathen sorts of
people who didn't appreciate fine art." The engineers allowed
the outrage to reach a climax, then introduced photographs
showing that all of this supposedly fine modern art was
nothing but junk they had created themselves. "At that point,"
said Dunwoody, "everybody shut up real fast."
Dunwoody argues that the sculpture stunt's originality
was what made it one of the best all-time hoaxes. "A lot
of pranks are the same thing as last year," he said, and
noted that the Golden Gate Bridge prank commemorated
the 20th anniversary of the first VW Bug prank, when UBC
engineers hung a car off Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge
"Without the creativity, it comes down to audacity and
technical difficulty."
While Canadian universities officially discourage pranks,
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has practically
incorporated pranking into the curriculum, believing that the
technical ambition of most engineering stunts contributes
to the students' education. MIT pranks (which the schoo
calls "hacks") have become an establishment activity.
But at least one UBC engineering alumnus believes that
MIT has nothing on UBC's trickster traditions. I was put in
touch with a graduate who, in the words of one blogger, "is
egendary at UBC for taking 14 years to complete a normally
four-year bachelor's program, and leading the 'Geers
in their drunken tomfoolery for most of that span."
"There is no rivalry," said the engineer, who
asked to be identified only as Yo. "No one else
has taken this to the degree that we have." He
calls MIT's pranks "not clever," carried out on
campus and without daring. For Yo, a great prank
must appear difficult or impossible to the genera
public. Involving a famous landmark earns bonus
points. But the most important part is the sense
of accomplishment. "When you do something
ike this you are adding to decades of history," he
said. "It feels great to belong to this organization that has
done these things in the past." The stunts are also like
advertisements for the department, according to Yo. "They
say, 'Hire a UBC engineer.'"
Yo claimed to know people directly involved in the Golden
Gate prank but would not reveal their names. "Stunts are
done in the name of UBC, not in the name of an individual,"
he insisted, noting that some of the pranksters choose to
stay silent to avoid liability or prosecution FEATURE    •
Cat Mills, a former UBC film student, can attest to the UBC pranksters'
combination of pride and secrecy. They agreed to participate in "Engineering
Notoriety," a short documentary on UBC engineering stunts she produced
for a school project. She found that while her subjects agreed to speak in detai
about many stunts, the pinnacle of pranking, the Golden Gate stunt itself, was
almost always out of bounds. But not entirely. She managed to get some key
information about the prank on tape. She allowed me to watch the film, which
is not intended for public viewing, so long as I agreed not to identify those
she interviewed
So how did they suspend a Beetle from the Golden Gate Bridge?
Some insight into the stunt can be garnered from details of the prank
it commemorated, the hanging of a VW Beetle 20 years earlier from the
Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver. According to a former engineering society
president from the 1980s interviewed in Mills's film, that seminal stunt
was carefully researched, and included retaining an engineering consulting
firm to ensure that the weight of the car would not damage the bridge's
support beams
However, as US authorities involved in the Golden Gate stunt discovered,
the weight dangling from the nylon cord was not as significant as it appeared
the vehicles hung from the Golden Gate and Lions Gate bridges were only
shells, the heavy engines, wheels and windows having been removed. "A group
of us tore down a Volkswagen in a basement," an engineering alumnus
from the 1980s says in the film, recalling an earlier VW experience. In what
was apparently UBC's first successful stunt involving a Beetle, he and three
accomplices placed a car on the top of the university's Ladner Clock Tower.
"We pulled the two halves of the Volkswagen up either side," he told Mills,
"and bolted it together on the top." ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^_
The Golden Gate prank may also
have been a two-step, two-day
ordeal. The original Lions Gate stunt
was. On the first day, according
to the former engineering society
president, a steel cable was hung
in a loop from the support girders
underneath the bridge. The loop
Since the Lions Gate stunt, vintage
VW Bugs have been spotted hanging
from almost every bridge in the
Vancouver area, the Massey Tunnel,
and the wooden rollercoaster at the
Pacific National Exhibition.
Engineering stunts have
also involved generous
gestures. This jacket on
the inuksuk at English
Bay was stuffed with
clothing donations.
Photo by Jack Simpson.
was then clipped to the handrail for easy access
Attaching the cable required a delicate touch to avoid
triggering an alarm, but once it was in place it was barely
visible. On the second day, the students were given an
unlikely gift: a minor car accident on the bridge stalled
traffic. The traffic jam gave them just enough time
to remove the shell of the VW from their flatbed truck,
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^_      unclip the cable from the handrail, attach it to the car,
and throw it over the side of the bridge - all in just minutes
Since the Lions Gate stunt, vintage VW Bugs have been spotted hanging from almost every
bridge in the Vancouver area, the Massey Tunnel, and the wooden rollercoaster at the Pacific
National Exhibition. The preceding 20 years of experience must have contributed to the success
of the most challenging part of the Golden Gate stunt: slinging a 27-metre cable under the bridge
in advance, without detection
In the film, an engineering student says that the team that laid the San Francisco cable stayed
in hiding under the bridge for an entire day, waiting for the moving-van to arrive under the vei
of darkness. When the van drove up, they quickly clipped the nylon cord and let the Bug drop.
The UBC engineers who hit the Golden Gate had also apparently originally planned for this to
be a simultaneous, two-city prank, with a second Bug to have been hung from the Lions Gate Bridge
The Vancouver end of the plan was foiled when students triggered sensors on the crossing, and
were discovered by the RCMR
Though I spoke to a number of engineers who claimed to have knowledge of the event, no one
ever admitted to being a Golden Gate prankster. And I suspected that, of all of those I spoke to,
Yo had the most inside knowledge of the stunt. So, exasperated, I asked one more time: how the hell
did they get the 27-metre cable under the bridge? "Oh," said Yo, slightly surprised by my question,
"that was the easy part." D
The original version of this article was written by Erin Millar for Maclean's Magazine inzooy.
alumni UBC 98th Annual General Meeting
6:30pm I Thursday, October 15,2015
Jack Poole Hall, Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
Join us at our 98th AGM and hear what we've been up to in the
past year.
The alumni UBC Governance and Nominating Committee is always
seeking recommendations for alumni to be considered for service
on the organization's Board of Directors and Advisory Council.
In particular, the committee seeks potential candidates who have
the skill sets and experience necessary to effectively set strategic
direction, engage alumni and ensure alumni UBC has the resources
necessary to effectively fulfill its mission and vision. For more
information on the role of the Board of Directors or Advisory
Council, please contact:
Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee
c/o Sandra Girard, Manager, Board Relations
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
3rd Floor
6163 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1
alumni UBC Event Highlights
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre Home Opener
Yater Worries: What is the state of our most valuable resource?
This UBC Dialogues event will discuss threats to the quality and quantity
of our fresh water supply and the steps we need to take now to protect
it for decades to come.
alumNIGHTS at the Kiip Headquarters in San Francisco
ine in a friendly, relaxed setting.
New Directions in Forestry
the sustainable management of forests. Join us to learn how you can make an
impact in your community.
a place of mind
Currently reporting on development pressures in Brazil
Gwyneth Gunn was known for her stories, her love of politics and the peace
movement. Gunn appreciated the power of education and expressed this
passion into a tax-efficient bequest to UBC. Today, her gift ensures vita
funding for students in the Schools of Journalism and Social Work, and First
Nations students in all fields of study.
UBC can help you plan a lasting legacy in a field important to you. Call
604.822.5373 or visit www.startanevolution.ca/Gunn
tan: Meet Your Mentor
Kelowna | October 21,
Connect with entrepreneurs and community leaders, set realistic goals,
and find that mentor who can help you define your career path.
rig the Border
Vancouver | October:
Considering immigrating to the US for employment? Learn about the steps
required and considerations you should think about.
; with Dr. Samantha Nutt
Vancouver | Novembe
Hear from the award-winning
War Child & bestselling author 1.
I doctor, founder of
.ares experiences from her more
ste of BC: A BC Craft Beer Evening
Jeer Revolution from the Thirsty Writer,
nfi. before enjoying a range of beer samples.
\Vn Annual Grape Debate
Should wine be made to age or made to drink? RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
UBC's research discoveries are hugely influential. They are
advancing new knowledge and have led to countless new products,
treatments and services that are improving lives around the world.
Here are some of the research areas in which UBC is excelling.
Collaboration key to unravelling mysteries of the mind
Call it the ultimate brain trust. At UBC's Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, more
than 250 researchers from the fields of neurology, neuroscience and psychiatry are working
together to solve the world's greatest mystery: the human brain.
Bridging basic science and clinical care in a state-of-the-art facility, the centre provides
opportunities for education, collaboration, and interaction with patients from across
BC. It is the largest and most comprehensive brain care and research centre in Canada,
and is a partnership between UBC's Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver Coastal Health, and
Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.
Under the leadership of co-directors Drs. Brian MacVicar and Jon Stoessl, the centre is
poised to move research from the bedside to the bench and back again, in order to understand
disease and translate research into better patient care and therapies.
"Interaction is key for us," says MacVicar of the collaborative nature of the centre. "We want
scientists and clinicians working together, sitting down to talk about the possibilities out there,
learning about each other's constraints, and talking about crazy ideas. We need the crazy ideas
to challenge dogmas in brain science and come up with new solutions."
The good news is that it's working. The centre's unique approach is helping UBC to
recruit some of the world's leading scientists, and is providing students with unprecedented
experience in collaboration that could change the future of medicine. That's welcome news
given that brain disease is on its way to becoming Canada's leading cause of death: it already
affects one in three Canadians and costs the economy more than $30 billion a year.
The centre is home to clinics that investigate and treat virtually every kind of brain illness and
injury, from Parkinson's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington's and Alzheimer's, to concussion,
addiction and mental health.
It's a hub for researchers such as Dr. Lara Boyd, a neuroscientist and physical therapist who
holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Motor Learning. Boyd's multidisciplinary team
in the Brain Behaviour Lab is successfully curbing the effects of stroke through early intervention
and innovative treatments that stimulate healthy parts of the brain to take over lost functions.
"The centre's integrated approach has been critical to my lab's success," says Boyd. "Solving
problems such as strokes requires research from multiple angles. It's making connections and
leveraging information that we share - drugs and therapies - to maximize solutions."
'redictingthe unexpected: laying
sudden cardiac deaths to rest
Sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 30,000 Canadians
of all ages and all fitness levels every year.
In some of the most dramatic instances, seemingly
healthy young athletes collapse suddenly on the playing
field and die. Equally devastating are the cases that
don't make the headlines: the teenage daughter who
goes to sleep and never wakes, or the mother who loses
two babies to sudden infant death.
I    Up to 60 per cent of such cardiac arrest cases are
due to arrhythmias - irregular heartbeats - passed
down through families. But what if your child or loved
one had this condition, and you didn't know it?
It's a terrifying scenario, and one that UBC's head of
Cardiology, Dr. Andrew Krahn, hopes to eliminate through
his research into the genetic causes of arrhythmias.
An internationally recognized cardiac researcher,
Krahn knows that with testing and timely intervention
most of these deaths are preventable. He's determined
to develop an accurate test to detect and treat these
hereditary conditions in people who otherwise
appear healthy.
"Simply put, my goal is to stamp out sudden death,"
says Krahn. "With accurate detection, preventative
treatments like the use of beta-blockers or implantable
defibrillators are extremely successful at controlling
Krahn's research, in collaboration with his peers in
the fields of medical genetics and pediatrics, is making
remarkable advances towards this goal.
In late 2013, the province launched the BC Inherited
Arrhythmia Program (BCIAP), a groundbreaking
initiative operating under Cardiac Services BC, an
agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.
BCIAP, where Krahn is co-medical director, brings
together specialists in cardiology, pediatrics and
genetics to diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias.
There are an estimated 7,000 British Columbians living
with, or at risk for developing, arrhythmias.
There are clinics at St. Paul's and BC Children's
hospitals in Vancouver and Royal Jubilee Hospital
in Victoria, with outreach programs in Northern
BC and clinics across the province that connect via
videoconferencing. People concerned about their family
history of inherited heart arrhythmia can be referred to
BCIAP by their family doctor.
Krahn believes that with his team's research and
clinical work, and the leadership of institutions like UBC
and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the "lightning
strike" of arrhythmia may soon be a thing of the
past - not just in BC, but around the world.
UBC Research takes a quantum leap forward
Mere decades ago, the Internet emerged full of limitless possibilities
and as-yet-unimagined potential. No one quite knew what it might
become - only that its future looked promising.
Welcome to the world of quantum materials at UBC, where researchers
are emerging as global leaders in the hunt for materials that could
trigger a technical revolution to rival the Industrial Revolution.
Just as silicon transformed the microelectronics industry, quantum
materials are set to transform existing industries in areas such as
information processing, nanoelectronics, medicine and sustainable
medicine. And they may well spawn totally new industries.
UBC's Quantum Matter Institute, and the prestigious, state-of-the-art
Max Planck-UBC Centre for Quantum Materials partnership have attracted
some of the top quantum materials research scientists and students from
around the world.
From killer to chronic, epidemic to eliminated:
stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS through effective,
sustained treatment
Just two decades ago, an HIV diagnosis brought with it stigma and suffering and
eventually, death. End of story. But not anymore, thanks in large part to ongoing
work pioneered in the 1990s and continuing to this day at the BC Centre for
Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Julio Montaner is the determined and much-decorated head of UBC's
Division of AIDS and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a UBC-affiliated
centre based at Providence Health Care's St. Paul's Hospital.
Montaner was the principal investigator of an international 1996 study that
showed a cocktail combination of drugs to be the most effective way to prevent
HIV turning into AIDS. Known as HAART, or "highly active anti-retroviral
therapies," the cocktail has essentially turned HIV/AIDS from a catastrophic
diagnosis into something manageable with consistent, sustained lifelong
treatment. This means people living with HIV can now lead healthy, normal lives,
have children and plan for a future.
UBC researchers have made pioneering contributions to the field:
original ideas and proof-of-principle experiments that have spurred new
ways of thinking, launched new experimental methods, and led to new
materials with unprecedented properties.
One such internationally recognized advance is in the understanding of
superconductors that, unlike today's conductors, allow electricity to flow
without resistance. This could have many applications, such as smarter
and speedier computers, able to process intensely complex problems.
Until now, however, superconductors have only functioned at extremely
low temperatures - like minus-150 Celsius - renderingthem completely
impractical for everyday use.
Dr. Andrea Damascelli leads a team of international scientists that
recently made a breakthrough in our understanding of some of the common
principles of superconductors. The team's findings, published in Science in
December 2013, could lead to the creation of a superconductor that works
at a much higher temperature, and one day even at room temperature.
As quantum materials research advances, we are learning how to
control the properties of the new materials we discover. With this comes
the prospect of a whole new world of technical possibilities.
HAART was just the first step, however, in a battle that continues to this day
in Canada and around the world. That is why Montaner developed a program
he calls "Treatment as Prevention®," or TasP®.
Many UBC researchers at the Centre for Excellence have supported
Montaner in his work towards eliminating the spread of HIV and other related
diseases, including Drs. Evan Wood, Thomas Kerr and Richard Harrigan.
On a global scale, TasP® has been adopted by the United Nations as
its standard of care for HIV and AIDS. By expanding testing and access
to anti-retrovirals following a diagnosis, people living with HIV can receive
effective, sustained treatment that improves their health and longevity,
while dramatically reducing the likelihood that they will spread the disease.
So far, TasP® has been implemented to great success in BC. Between 1994
and 2013, the number of new AIDS cases in BC decreased from 696 to 84 -
a drop of 88 per cent. It has also been embraced by China, Brazil, Spain, France,
major US cities, and Queensland, Australia - among many others.
That is not to say the battle against HIVandAIDS has yet been won -
there are still many barriers to accessing sustained treatment for some living
with the disease - but the principles of TasP® are strengthening the global
fight against it.
The UNAIDS 90-90-90 program aims to ensure 90 percent of people
infected with HIV are tested; 90 percent of those diagnosed are on
sustained antiretroviral treatment; and 90 per cent of those on treatment
have undetectable viral loads. The goal: to virtually eliminate progression
to AIDS, premature death and HIV transmission by 2020.
By 2030, the worldwide HIV/AIDS pandemic could be transformed
into a low-level sporadic endemic.
"We turned what was a crazy idea into a sound public policy," says Montaner.
As the leader of both the BC-CfE and the Division of AIDS at UBC, a former
head of the International AIDS Society and a special advisor to the United
Nations, Montaner wears many hats. They all have one thing in common:
to eliminate HIVandAIDS, no matter what it takes.
This October, Montaner will be honoured with an alumni UBC Achievement
Xward (see page 51). ENVIRONMENT
Sally Otto
Preserving the planet, species by species
The earth is home to an estimated 30 to 50 million species- many of them not
yet discovered, and virtually all of them threatened by our human footprint.
At UBC's Biodiversity Research Centre, more than 50 scientists
representing disciplines from botany to zoology are conducting research
aimed at helping us understand and conserve the diversity of plants and
animals on the planet.
Researchers at the centre study the entire biological spectrum - from
individual genes to entire ecosystems - to reveal the complexity and
interrelated nature of life on our planet.
"Species extinctions, as well as widespread shifts in ecosystems, are on the
rise due to human activities," says Dr. Sally Otto, the centre's director. "At the
Biodiversity Research Centre, several of our teams study how global warming,
ocean acidification, and habitat destruction impact the natural world and
what steps are needed to reduce these impacts."
Using techniques such as mathematical modelling and evolutionary
experiments with yeast, Otto, an evolutionary biologist, explores how
different species evolve and adapt to changing environments.
Understanding the factors involved in biodiversity, evolution and
adaptation can inform future decisions around conservation and preservation,
and could also contribute to the development of new medical treatments.
With the 2010 opening of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC, researchers
like Otto can now share their research and findings about ecology, evolution
and conservation with each other and the public. The museum is home to
more than two million specimens of plants, animals and fossils - including its
iconic centerpiece: a blue whale skeleton (pictured behind Otto). But more
importantly, it brings top biodiversity researchers and their teams together
under one roof, where they are able to share their knowledge and discoveries,
and inspire a more sustainable future.
Walking the talk as a clean energy powerhouse
When it comes to clean energy, UBC walks the talk.
Home to a living lab that fuels campus heat and electricity requirements from biomass,
a state-of-the-art research centre, and partnerships with prestigious international institutions
and corporations, UBC is leadingthe charge to develop and utilize cleaner energy sources at home
and around the world.
Sixty faculty and more than 200 graduate students work in the Clean Energy Research Centre
(CERC), a hub for advancements in greener, cleaner energy.
"There is little doubt that energy is one of the most important challenges facing humanity in
the 21st century," says Dr. Walter Merida, the centre's director "Our scientists and engineers are
doing pioneering, world-class work on sustainable power innovations in the areas of sustainable
transportation, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, conservation and energy conversion
and storage."
The centre's work has also attracted fundingfrom leading international academic and industrial
energy experts to support both pure and applied research.
A $5 million partnership with the Fraunhofer Society, Europe's largest applied-research
institution, is currently focused on five areas of clean energy research, from wind energy
to zero-emission vehicles.
The centre has also initiated collaborations with Tech Mahindra in India in smart grid
technologies, the three South African centres of competence regarding hydrogen and fuel cells,
the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy in climate change modelling, and the
Korean Gas Corporation in natural gas processing and liquefaction - an important advancement
for British Columbia's emerging LNG sector.
Closer to home, the centre has been running a Master's of Clean Energy Engineering program
since 2009 (the first of its kind in North America). It is also is working with provincial stakeholders
to develop a sustainable transportation system. In 2012 UBC's partnership with local company
Nexterra Systems Corporation and GE Energy resulted in the launch of its on-site Bioenergy
Research and Demonstration Facility. This small-scale power production plant supplies
heat and power to the 50,000 students, staff and faculty at UBC's Vancouver campus using
biomass - mainly waste lumber production products such as tree trimmings and wood chips.
Another project utilizing the campus as a living
lab features a new smart-grid storage system that
efficiently stores energy from renewable sources. It was
created in collaboration with Alpha Technologies and
Corvus Energy.
Such innovation isn't new: Westport Innovations, one
of the university's most successful spin-off companies,
has commercialized technology discovered at UBC
almost 30 years ago to allow diesel truck engines to run
on clean-burning natural gas. That single innovation
has ultimately led to Westport slashingthe emissions
of vehicle fleets through collaborations with partners
around the world, and becoming a global leader in
alternative fuel, low-emissions technologies that allow
engines to operate on cleaner-burning fuels.
No fish tale: UBC centre fights to protect the world's oceans
As the planet's fisheries reach their ecological limits, marine ecosystems
face a catastrophic collapse. Consumers can make a personal choice to eat
responsibly harvested fish, but is it too little too late? Are we doing enough
to stave off the impacts of overfishing and preserve a healthy ocean
environment for future generations?
The UBC Fisheries Centre brings together leading multidisciplinary
researchers to understand the impact we are having on our oceans and to
work with maritime communities, government, NGOs and other partners
to reverse the decline.
Their research runs the gamut, from looking at ways to run, restore
and sustain fisheries, to a project that studies seahorses, all in an effort to
advance our knowledge of marine conservation and the management of
competing populations, habitats and trades.
Take Dr. Villy Christensen. The fisheries professor and co-director of
the UBC Fisheries Centre is driven by a single, complex question: Will
there be seafood and healthy oceans for our children and grandchildren to
enjoy? To find the answer, he is using global ecosystem models to measure
the effect of human activity and climate change on marine populations.
Dr. Rashid Sumaila leads the Fisheries Economics Research Unit,
which explores how ecosystems can provide sustainable and equitable
economic and social benefits to both present and future generations, while
maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
In 2010, UBC launched a $13 million, nine-year international partnership
with The Nippon Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Tokyo,
with a mandate to research solutions to the over-exploitation of resources
around the world.
The impetus was the serious decline in fish populations, which has led
to widespread concerns for the future. The NF-UBC Nereus Program,
named for the ancient Greek god of the ocean's bounty, is developing
an international research network that is capable of evaluating future
scenarios for managing fisheries in the world's oceans and change how we
exploit them - for our children, grandchildren and descendants long after
we are gone.
"One of the biggest challenges for conservation of fisheries is that
most people can't see the state of our oceans with their own eyes
because from the surface, everything seems unchanged," says Dr. Daniel
Pauly, a professor at the Fisheries Centre and chair of the Nereus steering
committee. "This program will bring the real impacts of our decision and
actions right before our eyes."
Closer to home, fish, and salmon fishing in particular have always been
an important part of BC's heritage and identity.
The Aboriginal Fisheries Unit marries traditional ecological knowledge
to modern science in order to better support and manage ecosystems and
aquatic resources.
Elsewhere, Dr. Tony Farrell in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems has
looked at the impact of rising water temperatures on the province's salmon
population. And from UBC Forestry Professor Scott Hinch and Carleton
University Professor Steven Cooke comes important research that shows
when sockeye salmon on the way to their spawning grounds are forced
to "burst swim," or sprint, through rapids or areas downstream of dams,
many of them die from the effort before they reach their destination.
Maintaining healthy diverse oceans and preserving ourfish stocks has
never faced greater pressures.
Imposing the right kind of order on the chaos of data
We are in the midst of a veritable information explosion. In the digital
universe, we create, capture and store facts and figures at unprecedented
rates on every topic imaginable. It has led to a unique 21st-century problem:
Big Data overload. How can we possibly sift through the massive fog of
complex and confounding data and make sense of it?
UBC researchers are developing the field of visual analytics to find the
answers. This multidisciplinary field combines research in both computer
science and psychology to create systems that turn vast quantities of
interrelated information into visual images and patterns that are easily
understood by the human brain.
In the same way that bar graphs and pie charts have helped us understand
simple relationships between data, visual analytics is finding ways for us to
understand relationships within even the most complex data sets.
By imposing the right kind of order on the chaos of data, visual analytics
enables us to leverage uniquely human abilities - such as reasoning,
problem-solving, and raw visual intelligence -to analyze the data.
"It's a marriage of sorts, blending complex computational processes with
human cognitive abilities to let us quickly see the hidden gems of knowledge
contained within diverse sets of data," explains UBC Computer Science and
Psychology Professor Ronald Rensink.
In 2004, UBC incorporated its pioneering visual analytics research into
the Media and Graphic Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), which gathers
academics from fields as diverse as music, graphic arts and computer science
together under one roof.
Since then, researchers at MAG IC have been creating visual
representations of large volumes of complex data, leading to improvements
in areas as diverse as aircraft safety, childhood injuries and disaster relief.
These examples are just the beginning. Visual analytics can bring data
to life in virtually every sector and topic imaginable, and the university is
helping to do just that through the Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics
(VIVA), a collaborative project between UBC, Simon Fraser University and
the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Born out of a series of collaborations with the Boeing Company, VIVA
bridges academic theory with real-life practice by connecting researcher
with industry, as well as offering training courses to anyone - students,
researchers, government or members of the public- interested in rendering
massive, interlinked amounts of data comprehensible through images.
"Visual analytics is like using technology to find a needle in a haystack,"
says Rensink. "It allows us to pick out patterns, context and connections
from data that would otherwise be too overwhelming on its own. Ultimately,
it allows us, often at a glance, to better understand today's world." ENOMICS
Breakthrough discoveries change how we understand cancer
Scientists at UBC and the BC Cancer Agency have transformed our understanding of breast
cancer and set the stage for the development of new treatments.
It began with a landmark discovery in 2009.
By decoding - for the first time in history - the three billion letters in the DNA sequence
of a patient's metastatic lobular breast cancer and following its evolution over nine years,
Dr. Samuel Aparicio, Dr. Marco Marra and Dr. Sohrab Shah were able to show how this
complex cancer mutates and spreads.
Aparicio is a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC
and heads the BC Cancer Agency's Department of Molecular Oncology; Marra directs the
Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre and the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC;
and Shah is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
at UBC, a scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, and Canada Research Chair in Computational
Cancer Genomics.
The research team they led found that of the 32 mutations in the metastatic tumour, only five
could have been present in all the cells of the original tumour, thereby identifying them as the
suspected cause of the disease getting started in the first place.
The internationally significant findings were published in the prestigious journal Nature.
"This is a watershed event in our ability to understand the causes of breast cancer and
to develop personalized medicines for our patients," declared Aparicio at the time.
In 2012, international research led by Aparicio at the BC Cancer Agency and Dr. Carlos
Caldas at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute was able to classify breast cancer into
ten subtypes. They then grouped these subtypes by common genetic features, which correlate
with survival, to suggest how treatments could be tailored to treat women with better defined
types of breast cancer.
This discovery followed on the heels of Aparicio, Shah and Marra leading the decoding of the
most deadly triple-negative breast cancer. This research similarly discovered new genes that
had never before been linked to the disease and showed that breast cancer is an umbrella term
for what is really a number of unique diseases.
Aparicio and Shah have since led further research to understand and predict how these
complex cancers evolve over time.
The two researchers used Shah's statistical modelling software, PyClone, to analyze the
billions of pieces of genetic data gathered from the tumour samples. Their findings, published in
Nature in 2014, provided a map for how certain breast cancers evolve to become drug resistant
"By pinpointing which individual cancer cells are the 'resilient'ones that are most likely to
have an impact on patient survival," says Shah, "We are paving the way for drug development
and treatment practices that will stop these cellular superbugs from taking over."
"Because of this research we have a way to identify the cancer 'super-cells' and stay one
step ahead of disease progression by tailoring effective treatments to individual patients,'
adds Aparicio.
It's a radical shift in the way we understand cancer-one that is of vital importance to both
lobal cancer research community and to futi
Seeing the forest and the trees -
and making them stronger
It sounds like something out of science fiction: a wily
scientist using state-of-the-art DNA bio-surveillance
technology to defeat an invasive alien species. But voracious
forest-destroying insects such as the Asian gypsy moth
and the elm bark beetle are a clear, present and very real
danger - and Dr. Richard Hamelin has them in his crosshairs.
Hamelin, a professor in UBC's Faculty of Forestry,
leads a $2.43 million, cross-Canada research project aimed at
protecting Canada's 400 million hectares of forest and urban
trees from devastating pests. It's just one of several important
environmental research initiatives at UBC involving genomics.
"Establishing a link to origin is crucial to prove scientifically
the source of pests - and genomics can do that. This means
that Canadian officials will have verifiable evidence when
managing non-compliant exporters and trading partners," says
Hamelin, who is leading a team of scientists from UBC, Natural
Resources Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
through a partnership with Genome Canada and Genome BC.
Most recently, the team discovered a deadly tree
fungus - Mycosphaerella populorum - which uses extra genes
to produce a toxin that causes fatal lesions on the leaves, stems
and branches of poplar trees.
Other natural resource genomics projects at UBC have
included mapping the genomes of the spruce tree and the
mountain pine beetle, the insect that has devastated BC's
lodge-pole pine forests. It marked only the second time in the
world that a beetle genome has been sequenced.
There is also the aptly named Adaptree, a UBC-led initiative
led by Dr. Sally Aitken to understand where trees have
historically been and understand where they should be in the
future. This research is vital to improving provincial seed transfer
policies and forest management responses to climate change.
How do trees survive drastic changes in climate? How do they
make it through year after year - after century - of harsher (or
milder) winters? And how do they adapt to environments that
are, to say the least, ecologically different?
"We know that those climatic niches are moving way faster
than these tree species have historically been able to move,"
Aitken says.
While this phenomenon challenges the forestry sector,
that same industry - which plants 250 million trees a year in
BC - is best positioned to do something about it. With the
right information in hand, there is an opportunity to assist the
adaptation of forests by relocating the right genomes to the
right places in the course of normal business operations.
"We can at least increase diversity," notes Aitken. "More
diversity in the genomes of a population makes it more resilient,
and with unpredictable and complex changes taking place,
resilience is key to the health of the forest."
These stories, along with others, can be found on the website
of UBC Research and International. To learn more about UBC
research, please visit research.ubc.ca
As a UBC alumnus, you've earned more than a degree.
You've earned exclusive access to benefits, discounts
and great rates at partner companies across the country.
And the best part - it's free.
UBC alumni have access to the EBSCO Academic Search and Business Source alumni editions that
include more than 4,150 full-text journals from many of the top academic and business publishers
worldwide. All you need to access this wealth of intellectual resources is your free A-Card.
Nature ■ Bloomberg Businessweek ■ Entrepreneur ■ Anthropology Today
Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Be sure to regularly check the alumni.ubc.ca/acard page for current perks and how to access them
iS 3
Art! Vancouver
Cathay Pacific
Legacy Liquor Store
Terminal City Club
Avis/Budget Rental Car BC Business BC Lions    •    Broadway Across Canada Cirque Du Soleil
Dreyer Group Next Issue Park'N Fly Sparkling Hill Resort Unhaggle Wesbrook Village
Don't have an A-Card or want more information about these exclusive benefits?
Visit alumni.ubc.ca/acard
Interested in becoming an A-Card corporate partner?
Contact jenna.mccann@ubc.ca
alumni ubc EW HOME ON CAMPU
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, CM, OBC, BCom'56, LLD'96, 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 natura
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 cafe, 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'sstartan 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. D
The form is thought of as a cloud, a larger volume floating
above the ground plane. Material choices would emphasize
that dematerialized notion. Current investigations include
mirrored frit on the glass that would reflect the surroundings:
clouds, trees and mountains. The ground floor exterior
will be transparent, open and accessible, allowing views
in and beyond the project while also showcasing warmer,
natural materials and colour pallet. This would include
the use of stone and wood. At night, the building would
transition from the reflective, to the luminous: A beacon
terminating University Boulevard."
Our 300,000 alumni are at the heart of UBC. So UBC and alumni UBC have built the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre at the heart of
our Vancouver campus. The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre is a new home for alumni; a place to welcome all who visit UBC; a place
to connect and integrate, fostering entrepreneurship, networking, mentoring and learning
The Centre is named in honour of alumnus, benefactor, former UBC Chancellor and founder of the UBC Properties Trust,
Dr. Robert H. Lee, CM, OBC, BCom'56, LLD'96. Bob is affectionately known as 'Mr. UBC due to his many contributions over
three decades
To help the new Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre become a vital and vibrant space, we invite your support.
UBC       a place of mind
alur    iuBC alumni ubc 2015
presented by      Boyden
UBC alumni are capable of amazing things.
This October, we will honour seven in
nienjbers of the UBC community who,iU
extraordinary endeavours, Pfave crea*~J
global executive search
Dr. Gordon McBean
BSc'64, PhD'70
r. Gordon McBean has led-global
rts to raiSe atvareness about climate
hange'impacts and played a key role in
ie development ofrne Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
,whiqj| in 2007, along^ith Al Gore
was awarded^he Nobel Peace Priz
Sheila Purves
Sheila Pw* has spent the past thr^ cftcades
promoting modernjiieiical rehabilitation and '
community b*ed approaches to the healthcare
system in'China. She has developed training programs
forfhousandsof care providers, and her students
have improved the quality of life immeasurably for
patients and people with disabilities.
Dr. John Gilbert
Dr. John Gilbert is
professor emeritus of UBC's School of
Audiology and Speech Sciences. He is#
internationally recognized for his pioneering
role in the development of interprofessional
health education as a vital component of
collaborative practice and quality care.
Dr. Julio Montaner
Dr. Julio Montaner has been
leading the fight against HIV/
His innovative drug therapies and
treatment programs, now the
standard of cara^lobally, have
transformed the disease from
a death sentence into a long-term
manageable condition, and
dramatically reduced the spread
of HIV.
Hari Varshney
Prominent philanthropist afld
venture capitalist Hari Varshney
credits the time he spent atUBC
with planting the seeds for his
success. A devoted community
leader with a generous spirit, he has
made several rnajor gifts to the
university and serves as a cabinet
member for UBC's $1.5 billion start
an evolution campaign.
Nimisha Mukerji
,     Award-wPhninjp^ducerand
director Nimisha Mukerji'sipowerful
and inspiring documentaries create
awareness and inspire change.
Her critically acclaimed features,
65_RedRoses and Blood Relative, won
awards at film festivals around the
globe, and inspired international
fundraising and awareness
campaigns for cysticribrosis,
thalassemia and organ donation.
Dr. Michiko Maruyama
Dr. Michilto Maruyama, a graduate
of UBC's Northern Medical
Program, is a talented artist who
has integrated her background in
industrial design and the arts with
her medical studies through several
projects, including her Medical
Daily Doodles, educational toys
and health books for children and
learning resources for medical
students and patients.
Find out more at alumni.ube.ca/awards
UBC ICO famous ubc visitors
Image courtesy
Library of\ongress.
Alexander Kerensky
A key figure in the Russian Revolution, Kerensky led the Russian
Provisional Government in 1917 before being overthrown by Lenin.
He came to give a talk at UBC in 1966. "If the Russians realized Lenin
wanted a totalitarian regime he wouldn't have lasted two days," the
Ubyssey reported him as saying. "Lenin won Russia as a democrat
and offered constitutionalism to the people. He later revealed his
true plan and the communist regime began." Professor Emeritus
Herbert Rosengarten was on campus at the time. "I remember
passing him in the Buchanan quadrangle, as he was being escorted
to or from his talk by some students," he says. "It seemed amazing
me that he was still around, a figure from history and another
age." Kerensky was 85 years old at the time of his visit.
Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, visited UBC in April
1967. "I heard that the Emperor was coming to campus
at lunchtime, so I grabbed my camera and hurried over
to the Faculty Club," recalls Professor Emeritus Herbert
Rosengarten. "There was a large black limo outside the
entrance, with a driver and a Mountie, but there was
no crowd to welcome our visitor; indeed, I think I was
the only person in the parking lot. I didn't have to wait
long: a large group tumbled out of the building - security
people, various big-wigs, mostly tall men in dark suits
almost obscuring the small figure of the Emperor. I stood
on the far side of the limo, and took four or five snapshots;
no-one stopped me, or asked for my credentials, or told
me to step away from the car; but of course the world
was a rather different place almost half a century ago."
Image courtesy
Herbert Rosengarten
Lee Kuan Yew became Sn
first Prime Minister in 1959 and
remained in the post for 30 years.
In 1968, he visited North America
for a two-month period of study
and rest and visited UBC to give
two lectures, meet faculty members,
and use the Library for study.
According to the Ubyssey, he wanted
uss: "'I've heard it's beautiful and quiet here,"
portedly said a press conference. "I want to
'way from the ceaseless administration I'm faced
in Singapore." Unfortunately for Lee, his visit
;ided with the student take-over of the Faculty
led by American activist Jerry Rubin, and he was
I building when it happened. Ubyssey reporter
s Conchie explained what went on: "Against
pposition of several very worried-looking faculty
ibers, he agreed to speak to the Ubyssey. Lee,
..o has indicated a strong desire for privacy during
his stay, seemed amused by the occupation of the
club. With a large grin, he said: 'All this isn't bothering
me at all. It takes something of a much more serious
nature than this to get me excited. What is happening
here? Everyone seems to be running around in a great
fluster,' he said. And then, after promisingto speak
to the Ubyssey again before he leaves the city, the
quiet prime minister locked the door and returned to
reassuring some very, very upset faculty members."
r- <&
[Van Morrison
On Februarys, 1974, more than 4,500 people
crammed into the smoke-filled War Memorial Gym to
hear Van Morrison belt out his hit song Brown Eyed Girl,
Jamong other fan favourites. "There wasn't a parking
space available within a square mile of the War
Memorial Gym," reported the Ubyssey two days later.
-"People double and triple parked. Inside you couldn't
move and the smoke was thick. If you didn't want to
hear this concert stoned, you couldn't breathe. People
crushed onto the floor space clutching bottles in paper
bags. It was not a place for claustrophobia victims...
The gym floor bounced up and down. In the back row
asses jiggled and toes tapped."
UBC Archives
Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Elliott Trudeau visited in 1976 to speak at the
official dedication ceremony forTRIUMF, a facility
on the university's south campus that houses the
world's largest example of a cyclotron, AKA a high
energy particle accelerator. Trudeau candidly
acknowledged that he knew nothing about cyclotrons
but was excited about the research potential they
offered. "I don't really know what a cyclotron is
but I am certainly very happy Canada has one," he said.
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"' pmii
In 1980, Tennessee Williams, one of the most critically acclaimed
playwrights of the twentieth century, accepted the position of
Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at UBC. Jo Ledingham, BA'82, MA'8y,
attended a creative writing class to which Tennessee Williams had been
invited. "It was a highlight in my student life sitting around a table with
him," she says. "I was overwhelmed to be in the same room with him
and was, as I recall, speechless in his white linen-suited, panama-hatted
presence." Many writers have visited UBC over the years for readings
and booksignings, including Margaret Atwood, who also taught at UBC
in 1964, Michael Ondaatje, Northrop Frye, Alice Munro, Carol Shields,
Robertson Davies, and Dylan Thomas, who described Vancouver as
"a quite handsome hellhole."
I* \m u fl wiuuTmmmYtX
and Boris Yel
On April 3,1993, UBC gained
worldwide attention when two
world leaders, US President Bill
Clinton and Russian President Boris
Yeltsin, converged on campus for
their two-day Vancouver Summit. The 1
first formal meeting between the two leaders
was held at Norman MacKenzie House, the residence
of then UBC president David Strangway. Today, two
brown-leather wingback chairs used by the two leaders
serve as a lively topic of conversation for visitors to
the house. "The beauty of Vancouver has inspired our
work here, and this weekend I believe we have laid the
foundation for a new democratic partnership between
the United States and Russia," said Bill Clinton at a news    1
conference following the summit.
Honorary degrees were conferred
upon Nobel Peace Prize recipients
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness
the XIV Dalai Lama and human-rights
activist Professor Shirin Ebadi on April 19,
2004. Jo-ann Archibald, associate
dean for Indigenous Education at UBC,
remembers Musqueam's community
leaders and elders welcoming the Dalai
Lama to Musqueam's ancestral and
unceded lands at UBC. "The Dalai Lama was draped in a Salish robe while he stood
on cedar boughs in the First Nations Longhouse," she recalls. "Eagle down feathers
were sprinkled in the air to symbolize the highest respect Indigenous people have
for a visitor. Imagine white fluffs of eagle down mingled with the scent of cedar;
drumming and singing; and good feelings of mutual respect experienced by all who
attended this ceremonial event." All three Nobel laureates attended a round table
dialogue on the theme "Balancing Educating the Mind with Educating the Heart."
UBC Archives
Muhammad Yunus
In 2008, renowned economist and
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad
Yunus, received an honorary degree
and participated in a colloquium on
social corporate responsibility. Yunus,
founder of the microfinance model and
the Grameen Bank, has been praised for
conceptualizing and building the field
of "micro-credit," which has created
financial independence for thousands of
people in the world's poorest countries.
Princess Takamado
On June 9,2004, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan
presented a collection of books on Japanese society and culture to
UBC's Asian Library in honour of her late husband, Prince Takamado.
During her visit, Professor Emeritus Herbert Rosengarten (pictured
right) led heron a tour of the Nitobe Memorial Garden. "My stroll
with the princess was very pleasant," he recalls. "We had both been
students at Cambridge, and we exchanged reminiscences of struggling
up Huntingdon Road ongearless bikes. Afterthe walk we went
to a reception in the Liu Centre; there were lots of people waiting to
greet her, but despite all the handshakes and polite trivialities she had
to endure, the smile never left her face." Their Imperial Highnesses
the Emperor and Empress of Japan visited UBC in July 2009. Emperor
Akihito's first visit to UBC was in 1953, when he was crown prince.
Michael J. Fox
In recognition of his outstanding
contributions both as an entertainer
and an advocate for Parkinson's research,
0BC conferred an honorary degree on
[hometown hero, Michael J. Fox in May
2008. "In every aspect I have been blessed
Kith the opportunity to work toward
aving an impact on the world and on
the lives around me and to be a partner
in the critical research for answer
he said duri-~ l-: l	
UBC Archives
Chris Hadfield
In October20i3, astronaut Chris
Hadfield gave a talk- The Sky is Not
the Limit- at the Kelowna Community
Theatre as part of UBC Okanagan's
Distinguished Speaker Series. Stephen
McNeil, an associate professor of
chemistry, was one of those lucky
enough to have dinner with Hadfield
before the event. "What struck me
most about Colonel Hadfield was his
modesty," says McNeil. "An astronaut
in command of the ISS has achieved
the pinnacle of a career that only the
elite of the elite may ever begin and
from which the smallest deficiency is
grounds for dismissal, but to his mind
he's just a farm kid from Ontario who
one day decided to be an astronaut."
Douglas Coupland
In 2010, Douglas Coupland donated
his archival records to UBC Library.
Dating back to 1980, these records
include manuscripts, photos, visua
art, fan mail, correspondence, press
clippings, audio/visual material and
the first hand-written manuscript of
Generation X. On May 27, 2010, he was
awarded an honorary degree for his
prolific and prodigious contributions
as a writer and artist
At a reading, Coupland once invited
attendees to draw him. This is one of the	
results, and all are included in the collection
A note accompanying the portraits says: —
"Tonight I asked attendees to draw me.
A brave request with humbling results."
Rick Mercer
Photo by Varun Saran
For his dedication to the "Spread the Net" campaign,
which aims to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa
with bed nets, for his contributions as an advocate for
individuals living with HIV and AIDS, and for uniting
Canadians in laughter, RiqjM
Mercer was awarded an ™  « .7^^
honorary degree on May 26," -*M
2010. During his acceptance
speech, he said: "... each and
every one of you, and believe me
when 1 say this, is a huge inspiration                   1
because we know nobody graduating
today has done so without a lot of hard work,
sacrifice, talent and dedication... otherthan        //
me." In 2013, Mercer was the star attraction     [y
at Alumni Weekend, presenting his show          l^v^/,
at The Old Gym.                                                    V
Many special visitors to campus would have been
invited to the Faculty Club, where they might have
been offered tea in a china cup like this one that
features the UBC Coat of Arms. Did the Queen
drink from this cup? Maybe Dylan Thomas?
For more information on prices and other items
on sale, go to: ceremonies.ubc.ca/china-sale
Guestbooksignatures courtesy UBC Ceremonies. UBC IN
i    435 Students in 1915,
¥    including serving soldiers.
UBC's economic
impact (2014-15]
ffffffff   59,659 UBC students
in 2015, (8,212 of them
on the Okanagan campus
and 11,Q65 of them
international students).
Number of Aboriginal students
studying at UBC in 2014-15.
"When I arrived at UBC
in 1974. there were more
totem poles on campus than
Aboriginal students."
-Victor Jim, BEd'78,MEd'gg,
Wet'suwet'en First Nation
member and graduate of the
Native Indian Teacher Education
Program established at UBC in
W74. (UBC News, October 21,2014)
"... this university scheme contemplates
erecting on a magnificent site, visible to
every ship entering Vancouver, a small city
capable of being made one of the most
interesting and beautiful in the world."
- From the BC provincial government's
1Q12 document inviting architects to submit
their plans for UBC's Point Grey campus.
The amount offered
to architects by the
provincial government
in 1Q12 to reward the
winning design for
a campus at Point Grey.
The proportion of all post-secondary research
conducted in British Columbia for which UBC is responsible.
Cost of a monthly U-Pass
(a universal transit pass
for UBC students).
Full-and part-time faculty
members (1Q15-16).
UBC faculty (2014-15).
Number of YouTube views
of UBC's 2011 LipDub
Video "Raise Your Glass."
.40 cents
How much a bottle of beer set you back at the Pit in 1973.
Number of volumes
in UBC's library when
volumes (physical
and digital), in UBC's
Library 2014-15.
Price of a domestic beer at
today's Pit, now operating out
of swanky new premises in
the new students' building.
We now have table service '
whereas in the old Pit it was walk-up
service. And really, really, really good food.
Now we are a proper pub bistro outlet."
- Gary Carlson, Pit Pub manager
(Georgia Straight, June 26,2015)
Among current or former faculty and alumni:
2 Canadian prime ministers
7 Nobel Prize winners
69 Rhodes Scholars
195 Royal Society of Canada members
241 Olympians, representing a tally of 65 medals
We are all bound by familiar milestones in life - and the financial
responsibilities that come with them. Whether you're raising a family or a roof over
your head, make sure you've got the right insurance plan in place for your family.
Find out how Alumni Insurance Plans can help.
» Term Life Insurance    Health & Dental Insurance    Major Accident Protection
• Income Protection Disability Insurance    Critical Illness Insurance
To learn more visit manulife.com/alumnimilestones or call toll-free 1-888-913-6333
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When you choose Alumni Insurance,
Manulife provides financial and marketing
support for alumni UBC communications,
programs and services.
Underwritten by
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
Manulife and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license.
© 2015 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife). All rights reserved. Manulife,
PO Box 4213, Stn A, Toronto, ON M5W 5M3.
Get an online quote
for Alumni Term
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No purchase necessary. Contest open to Canadian residents who
are the age of majority in their province or territory of residence
as of the contest start date. Approximate value of each prize is
$1,000 Canadian. Chances of winning depend on the number of
valid entries received by the contest deadline. Contest closes
Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Only one entry
per person accepted. Skill testing question required. uiq
At UBC we embrace our past and look forward to
the future. Former student Cecil Green donated
Cecil Green Park House (1912) to provide a unique
venue for the wider community, including alumni
Now the university and alumni UBC have come
together to create a new home for our 300,000
alumni and visitors to connect with each other
and the campus. The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
is a gathering place, physically and virtually, for
continued learning, for entrepreneurship and for
mentoring the next generation of students and
alumni. Step by step we are building on past and
present innovations. The UBC Centennial celebrates
thinking that moves us all towards a better future.
=independently organized TED event


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