Anniversary activities start in September

March 10, 2005, vol. 32, no. 5
By Tim Kelley

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Forty years ago construction workers were scrambling to finish the new university on Burnaby Mountain by opening day, Sept. 9, 1965.

Billed as the instant university, SFU was built in just 30 months and opened as a not quite completed, three-sided academic quadrangle with automobiles parked in the middle and 2,500 students.

Today, SFU boasts an international reputation for excellence with campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey and more than 25,000 people enrolled in credit courses.

SFU's 40th anniversary celebration committee is scrambling to put the finishing touches to a year's worth of festivities it has been planning in consultation with the university community for the past 12 months.

A huge birthday celebration on Sept. 9 this year will be the kick-off. VP-university relations Warren Gill, who chairs the 40th anniversary celebration committee, says, "We want to celebrate SFU's academic and research achievements and its history of community contribution."

All three campuses can look forward to a year of good times, he says.

"We want to have a lot of fun and make sure that the 40th anniversary celebrations are a great experience for all staff, faculty and students. We also want to let the wider community know how much has been accomplished in such a short time."

Alumni will also be a big focus during the anniversary year. As Gill notes, "There are now 82,000 SFU graduates making important decisions and having a major impact not only in British Columbia and Canada but throughout the world. We are hoping that a lot of them will come back and celebrate with us."

For full details on 40th anniversary activities, visit

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