Thousands enjoy open house

June 15, 2006, volume 36, no. 4
By Diane Luckow

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They came, they saw, they had fun - and it was glorious. SFU's 40th anniversary open house on June 3 attracted many thousands of visitors who were awed by the robotic soccer-playing dogs, squirmed at handling giant African centipedes and pictured themselves convocating in a blue and red convocation gown.

More than 2,000 students, staff, faculty, retirees, alumni, and members of the board of governors, as well as janitorial and dining services contract staff turned out to keep the day running smoothly after months of arduous planning.

“The number of young family groups attending was a surprise,” says K.C. Bell, director of special projects. “There were lineups at the student services carnival on the mall all afternoon.”

The day's best feature, however, wasn't an event or a demonstration but an almost palpable energy, excitement and common purpose that was felt by those working and which was inevitably communicated to guests, says Bell.

Michael Francis, a new member of the board and an open house volunteer, says his experience was “nothing short of exhilarating.” There was, he says, “a pervading air of optimism in everything I saw and encountered. It was in all the conversations I had and in the activities I watched. I talked to many students as I made my way around the campus. Their pride in SFU shows in everything they do.”

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