Community: Best of 2011

Report to the community 2010-11
Check out SFU’s 2010-11 report to the community--Making a difference--at It highlights the unique interplay between learning, discovery and community outreach that all make a difference to how SFU students engage, adapt and achieve; how research is advanced and applied; and how our myriad communities are served and strengthened.

Passage to India
SFU wants to become Canada’s “bridge to India,” said President Andrew Petter, who accompanied BC Premier Christy Clark on a trade mission to South Asia, Nov. 8–18. Petter attend meetings in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh aimed at strengthening relationships with new and existing academic and industry partners in the areas of clean energy, public health, new media and business research.

Donation creates new SFU Hellenic Studies centre
SFU is poised to become one of the world’s premier locations outside of Greece for studying Greek history, culture and language, thanks to a $7-million donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The university’s new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies will offer expanded Hellenic academic programming. That includes an undergraduate program for Greek, Balkan and Middle East studies, a joint history/humanities major in Greek language, literature and culture, and graduate programs for Greek history, language and culture.

Landmark gift of Bill Reid’s art
The Bill Reid Foundation gifted to SFU its entire collection of Northwest Coast art, worth more than $10, including 112 masterworks by Bill Reid. In return, SFU will contract the Bill Reid Foundation to continue to manage Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. A further $1-million donation from arts philanthropist Michael Audain will sustain the gallery and enhance programming in Northwest Coast art studies.

SFU’s economic impact: $3.65 billion a year
SFU has an economic impact in the Lower Mainland worth more than $3.65 billion a year, a new report says. On top of the $3.65 billion, the 2011 report noted, there are other impacts of SFU that are not easily measured. “These include social impacts, the effects from community engagement, and the development of a sustainable economy and community. . . .Undoubtedly, SFU plays a significant role in the wider national and global economies as well.” The full report is available at:

Student-staffer promotes ‘ethical’ textiles
Heather Nyberg is helping to promote la mano (the hand), a social enterprise that works directly with women's cooperatives, Indigenous organizations and small-scale cottage businesses in Chiapas and Oaxaca. It acts as a bridge between producer communities and "conscious consumers" in Canada who are seeking a broader range of ethically traded products.

Vancity, SFU sponsor inner-city arts programs
SFU Woodward’s new Vancity Community Engagement Office is leading SFU’s mission to engage with the inner-city community through the arts. The office is funded with a $500,000 grant from Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) and will offer tuition-free programs in fine arts and cultural democracy to inner-city residents.

Saving Beaver Lake
Stanley Park’s famous Beaver Lake has shrunk from a 6.7-hectare body of water to shallow wetland with very little open water. And environmental experts say that within the next 10 to 20 years, the lake will disappear entirely. That’s why environmental science student Calvin Stuckert and Delphine Faugeroux, an international exchange student from AgroParisTech in France, have spent the past four months studying sediment samples from the lake.

‘Friends of Simon’ wins community award
SFU’s Friends of Simon tutoring project for Lower Mainland immigrant and refugee students received a Celebration of Community award March 9 at the Scotiabank & United Way Community Spirit Awards.

Students go ‘homeless’ to raise money for street kids
A determined group of SFU students took to the streets outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday, March 12 to raise money and awareness for the city’s homeless youth.

Beginning at 9 am, about two dozen students camped out for 24 hours with nothing more than a pillow, a blanket, and the clothes on their backs—and no food other than what was donated to them during their stay.