/community-engaged / Enriched by Outreach

Young astronomers at Starry Nights@SFU

THE SFU DIFFERENCE As one of Canada’s most inclusive universities, it’s in our DNA to connect beyond the classroom. For almost 50 years SFU has added social, economic and cultural value to the communities we serve.

  • Taking science to the streets

    During Canada’s official Year of Science, faculty, staff and students from SFU’s Faculty of Science spread their passion for science across the Lower Mainland and BC through outreach programs such as Science Al!ve, Science in Action, Taste of Pi and Starry Nights. The latter program hosted more than 3,000 kids and adults at celestial education workshops and evening star parties on the Burnaby campus. Fundraising for a new mountaintop observatory is well underway. More than half of the $4 million cost has been raised to date.

  • First ‘Gathering of the Clan’ beats all expectations

    Talk about a winner: SFU Athletics beat all expectations with its first annual “Gathering of the Clan” fundraising breakfast at the Vancouver Convention Centre last spring. More than 1,000 supporters turned out to support SFU’s transition into NCAA Division II and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. As SFU alum and Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano noted in his keynote speech, becoming the first Canadian school to join the NCAA signals a bright future for SFU’s athletic program: “Like the explorer this university was named after, we are pioneers. When I coached at the Olympics in 2000 in Sydney, I looked around and there was Allison McNeill [former SFU women’s basketball head coach], Mike Renney [current SFU softball head coach] and Dave McKay [former SFU wrestler] serving as national team coaches. I couldn’t count all of the SFU athletes who were competing for Canada. And I thought, ‘Does any other university send anybody to the Olympics?’ The tradition of excellence is here at Simon Fraser University and I’m convinced that tradition will flourish as the school moves into the NCAA.”

  • New downtown arts centre embraces community

    With the opening of a downtown Vancouver campus in 1989, SFU set a new standard for community engagement by a post-secondary institution—and then continued to raise the bar. Today, the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, home to SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, is the beating heart of the exciting Woodward’s redevelopment project. This beautiful new space not only provides world-class facilities for students and faculty, it is an important resource to the local arts community. Through the newly established Vancity Community Engagement Office, SFU will deliver tuition-free cultural programs to inner-city residents.

  • Surrey campus shapes BC’s fastest-growing community

    In Surrey, SFU continues to serve as a catalyst for urban redevelopment, reshaping the form and even the function of this fast-growing city. The dramatic Bing Thom-designed campus—a new city centre landmark—is a thriving community hub, delivering diverse and broad-reaching programs such as the Surrey Transportation Lecture Program, a ground-breaking experiment in community involvement and continuing education. In partnership with the City of Surrey, SFU launched a 10-week course aimed at educating citizens about the decision-making process around controversial transportation planning issues.

  • UniverCity wins tops honours for sustainability

    Once isolated, SFU’s original Burnaby campus is now part of a thriving residential community that is celebrated internationally as a model of sustainability. To its long list of awards, UniverCity this year added the Federation of Canadian Municipalities 2011 Sustainable Communities Award, in the inaugural Integrated Neighbourhood Development category. With the recent opening of an elementary school (that will welcome SFU Education students and researchers), a full-service grocery store (that employs students), and the construction of a beautiful new childcare centre (that will care for the youngest family members of faculty and staff), the new community has greatly enhanced the quality of life on Burnaby Mountain.