Among the highlights for the year at University of the Fraser Valley was a visit from Margaret Trudeau in January.

Among the highlights for the year at University of the Fraser Valley was a visit from Margaret Trudeau in January.

Plenty to celebrate at UFV in 2017

University of the Fraser Valley highlights successful year

There was a lot to celebrate at UFV in 2017, as students, faculty, and staff continued to contribute to the social, cultural, and economic development of the Fraser Valley.

Here are a few of the highlights:

* More than 2,700 credentials were awarded at four convocation ceremonies in June.

* UFV said thank you and farewell to president Mark Evered, who retired at the end of June after eight years at the UFV helm. The Student Union Society named Evered Hall in the Student Union Building in honour of him and his wife Maureen.

* Jackie Hogan, chief financial officer and vice-president administration, was appointed interim president and vice-chancellor while UFV’s presidential search continued. A new president for UFV will be announced in 2018.

* Local publisher Andy Sidhu was named UFV’s third chancellor, replacing Dr. Gwen Point. Sidhu will be formally installed at a ceremony in 2018.

* Nav Bains was elected chair of the Alumni Association, taking over from Nik Venema.

* Student athletes excelled on the national stage. Wrestler Brad Hildenbrandt was the first UFV Cascade athlete to win a U SPORTS national gold medal. Both the men’s and women’s golf teams were national collegiate champions at the CCAA level, and Daniel Campbell took gold in the individual men’s category, while Maddie Kapchinsky won the women’s silver medal.

* Cascades men’s basketball player Manny Dulay wrapped up his stellar five-year career by leading the nation in three-pointers (78) last season and finishing third all-time in Canada West for three-pointers made (242).

* Among many other athletic highlights, a pair of Cascades standouts moved up to the pro ranks. Tristan Corneil (women’s soccer) suited up for a team in Sweden, while Kayli Sartori (women’s basketball) earned a contract in Lebanon.

* UFV’s commitment to Indigenization resulted in bringing the Witness Blanket to the Abbotsford campus for a two-month exhibit this fall. The large-scale art installation, inspired by a woven Aboriginal blanket and designed to tell the story of the painful legacy of Canada’s residential school system, was created by master carver and Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman (Ha-yalth-kingeme).

* UFV unveiled its new coat of arms in June. It features symbols of Stó:lo culture, local wildlife, and elements of the Fraser Valley landscape.

* Honorary doctorates were awarded to Andy Sidhu, Tamara Taggart, Kirsten Brazier, and Dr. Nadine Caron during the convocation ceremonies.

* Top students honoured at the convocation ceremonies were Doug LePard (criminology), Darryl Wilson (science), Deanna Harrison (library and information tech) and Jacqlyn Marvin (agriculture).

* Dean’s medalists were: Miranda Louwerse (science), Brittany Eckstein (health sciences), Alyssa Krueger (humanities), Abeni Steegstra (social sciences), and Wes van Vugt (professional studies).

* Dr. Ian Affleck, a mathematics and statistics professor, was named the Teaching Excellence winner for 2017, while Dr. Miriam Nichols, an English professor, received the Research Excellence award. Continuing Education director Liana Thompson received UFV’s Inspirational Leadership award, and Cherish Forster was named winner of the Staff Excellence award. The Global Lounge won the Teamwork award.

* Emily Henry and Alexis Warmerdam were named Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Young Alumni respectively.

* Celebrating its 10th anniversary was the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, which rebranded as the South Asian Studies Institute at a special ceremony in May. SASI director Satwinder Bains also took on a half-time role as principal of UFV India in September.

* The Student Union Society brought Margaret Trudeau and her message about the importance of taking mental health issues seriously to campus in January. Her son, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, visited Abbotsford in May, meeting with representatives of UFV’s South Asian Studies Institute at the Guru Nanak Sikh Heritage Temple and visiting a SASI exhibit on the long struggle for the Indo-Canadian vote in Canada.