Selkirk College marked 50 years of post-secondary education in the West Kootenay and Boundary region at its Homecoming Weekend in Castlegar.
Events throughout this past weekend included a Board of Governors & President’s Reception on Friday night, a Community Pancake Breakfast and re-enactment of The Great Trek on Saturday morning, and the Through the Decades Gala on Saturday night.
One of the highlights of the Selkirk College Homecoming Weekend on the Castlegar Campus was the re-enactment of The Great Trek which first took place in January, 1967 when students moved from the temporary bunkhouse campus on the Celgar millsite to the brand new Castlegar Campus. For this past weekend’s trek, current students joined with members of that first class to carry in the flagpole and plant it in front of the campus.
“Tonight we celebrate the contributions of everyone here and the contributions of so many others through the decades who have been important to our success,” said Selkirk College President Angus Graeme at Saturday night’s gala which was held at the Castlegar Campus. “Amazing people, inspiring teaching and learning, good governance, leadership, connection to our community partners, and a focus on students. All this has been so instrumental. It’s humbling… and it’s amazing.”
More than 500 people came out to the Saturday morning festivities for a breakfast served by the Castlegar Lions Club and numerous activities for the whole family. Just before noon, current students joined members from Selkirk College’s first class of 1966 in a ceremony that included planting a flagpole in front of the campus in a similar fashion to what was done five decades ago.
The weekend brought together alumni, retirees, current staff and students, community partners and supporters from across the region. One of the special guests was Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia who attended both the Friday night reception and the Saturday evening gala.
"The ability for students to start their higher education closer to home and at a more reasonable cost is important, but so too is the ability to offer courses that are relevant to the population of this area," said Her Honour.
Selkirk College opened its doors to learning in September, 1966 with four programs and 458 students based in Castlegar. Fifty years later, Selkirk College has more than 2,500 full time students and 9,000 community learners enrolled in more than 60 programs located on five campuses and three learning centres throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary.