SFU’s Vancouver campus celebrates 30 years

May 03, 2019

By Ian Bryce

Simon Fraser University is marking 30 years since opening the Harbour Centre campus—bringing SFU from the mountain to the sea.

While the specific anniversary date is Sunday, May 5, SFU’s Vancouver campus has an entire year of events showcasing the university’s innovative programming, impactful research and deep community engagement. Bringing together departments, programs and centres from across the Vancouver campus' nine sites, events include a special Vancouver Speaker Series in July and the 10th annual production of Bah Humbug! in December.

For more information about the Vancouver campus’ 30th anniversary, visit their website for a full calendar of upcoming events.

SFU draws 70,000 people annually to its nine Vancouver campus locations. It is the largest post-secondary institution in the downtown core and has been celebrated for being ‘the intellectual heart of the city.’

The opening of SFU’s Vancouver campus was the result of a 10-year project recognizing an increasing need for education programming and community engagement in downtown Vancouver. The university pioneered a continuing education program from a storefront centre in the early 1980s but found increasing demand for more services.

Warren Gill, the former SFU vice-president, university relations, said at the time there was a clear need for a downtown university centre. Gill played a key role along with SFU President Emeritus Jack Blaney in the development of SFU’s downtown presence.

SFU achieved Blaney and Gill’s vision and officially opened the rebuilt and revitalized 1927 Spencer building at 515 West Hastings St. on May 5, 1989, as the official home of SFU’s Vancouver campus.