50th Anniversary

SFU wins global award for 50th Anniversary communications strategy

April 28, 2016

Simon Fraser University has won a Gold Quill Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The award recognizes business communication excellence globally, and is acknowledged as one of the world’s most prestigious business communication awards programs .

SFU’s winning entry, “Canada’s Leading Community­-Engaged University Turns 50” recognized SFU’s strategy to engage audiences during its 50th Anniversary celebrations.

The strategy was developed over many months with invaluable input from departments across SFU, including Advancement, Alumni Relations, Ceremonies and Events, Facilities Services, Meetings, Events and Conferences, Student Services, various faculties, and University Communications.  

The award recognizes SFU’s many achievements during the anniversary celebrations, including the:

  • 50th Anniversary hashtag #SFU50, which trended locally and nationally;
  • Launch of the 50th Anniversary website;
  • Pilot of the new What’s On event and ticketing platform;
  • Expansion of brand ambassador opportunities; and
  • Launch of a 50th Anniversary online brand toolkit.  

The Gold Quill Award of Excellence is the highest IABC award level. Entries are evaluated on a seven-point scale and only those scoring more than 5.75 receive an award of excellence. SFU’s entry scored a six. The University was the only Canadian organization awarded in the community-relations category.

"SFU's 50th Anniversary was an occasion to bring together our alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors and community partners to celebrate what makes our University so special,” says Joanne Curry, SFU’s vice-president of external relations.

“So many departments and individuals contributed to 50th Anniversary initiatives and spectacular events. This significant international award is a tribute to all of their efforts and is a shared achievement." 

Special thanks to the 50th Anniversary project lead Adam Brayford and University Communications’ Fiona Burrows who wrote and submitted the winning entry on behalf of the University community.