Philip Sherwood of Abbotsford is the author of the new book Educating for Success: The Story of Columbia College. (Submitted photos)

Philip Sherwood of Abbotsford is the author of the new book Educating for Success: The Story of Columbia College. (Submitted photos)

Abbotsford author pens story of B.C.’s oldest independent college

Philip Sherwood interviewed almost 30 employees for The Story of Columbia College

Abbotsford author Philip Sherwood recently completed a history of British Columbia’s oldest and largest independent college.

Educating for Success: The Story of Columbia College was published in December and is available from Columbia College in Vancouver.

“The college has a fascinating history,” Sherwood said. “During the Depression it was known as Shurpass Matriculation and was a pioneer of adult education, helping young adults complete their high school matriculation. In the 1960s, it began focusing on international students, long before any other schools did. Today it is a leader in the field.”

Sherwood was also intrigued by Columbia’s model of democratic governance. It has operated for more than 50 years as a not-for-profit society.

“Staff and faculty members have an equal say in how it is run. This includes electing the principal and voting on all financial matters – a true workers’ collective,” he said.

Sherwood interviewed nearly 30 current and former employees for the project. Abbotsford book designer Bill Glasgow designed the book’s interior.

Sherwood’s company lifewriters.ca has also collaborated on several local family and corporate histories, most recently First with the Finest: Vanderpol’s, a Family Enterprise.

Copies of Educating for Succes can be ordered online at columbiacollege.ca or by contacting Columbia College at 604-683-8360 or admin@columbiacollege.ca.

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