Gwendolyn Point has been named the new chancellor of the University of the Fraser Valley.
Point will take over from Dr. Brian Minter, who was UFV’s first chancellor and served two terms from 2008 to 2014.
She will be installed at a ceremony in the coming months.
Point’s connection to the Fraser Valley stretches back to the early 1980s when she and her husband Steven Point (former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and now a B.C. provincial court judge) took university-level courses there.
Having also served on the University College of the Fraser Valley board of governors, and as an assistant professor at UFV, Point’s career and educational journey has paralleled the development of UFV from college to university.
The chancellor is the ceremonial head of UFV and serves as a member of the board of governors and the senate. Point will also preside over convocation, conferring UFV degrees, diplomas, and certificates
The chancellor is appointed by the UFV board of governors upon the recommendation of the Alumni Association and consultation with the UFV senate.
“The UFV board of governors is delighted to welcome Dr. Gwen Point as UFV’s next chancellor,” said UFV board chair Barry Delaney. “Dr. Point has been part of UFV since our early days as Fraser Valley College. She knows us well and epitomizes our commitment to quality education, student success and regional development.”
Currently, Point is an assistant professor in the school of social work at UFV. She teaches First Nations studies courses, including Stó:lō nation development, and Stó:lō communications and world view. She will be resigning her position as a faculty member at UFV in order to take on the voluntary chancellor role.
“It is a real honour to be asked and a privilege to take on this role,” said Point, a member of the Skowkale First Nation. “I started my post-secondary education here and I was very grateful for the access it provided at the time. It was wonderful to not have to leave home to get an education. It was a very special experience when I returned here to teach full time in 2005. Now becoming chancellor and playing a leadership role at UFV sends a message that dreams do come true and good things do happen.”
She said she will miss teaching and the opportunity it provided to pass on knowledge about Stó:lō culture and history to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students.
“My grandmother told me that what you know has no value,” she said. “It’s like sand in your hand unless you pass it on to others.”
Outgoing chancellor Brian Minter was also saluted for his service.
“It was an honour to work with Chancellor Minter,” said UFV president Mark Evered. “His passion and dedication to UFV has created an outstanding legacy of excellence and community connection.”