University of the Fraser Valley

UFV kicks off 50th Anniversary across all four campuses  

UFV kicks off 50th Anniversary across all four campuses  

Recently announced UFV Chancellor Jo-ann Archibald (centre) sits with UFV President Joanne MacLean and other community leaders at the UFV 50th Anniversary launch celebration in Chilliwack.
Confetti covers the crowd at the end of Abbotsford’s program.

The University of the Fraser Valley began celebrating 50 years of engaging learners, transforming lives and building community with simultaneous programming across the Fraser Valley on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Students, employees, alumni and community partners gathered in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Hope (see photos here) exactly 50 years after Fraser Valley College was proclaimed into existence by provincial education minister Eileen Dailly in 1974.  

Canada Research Chair Keith Carlson, University Librarian Camille Callison, Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Shirley Hardman and other leaders celebrate in Hope.

Programming from all four locations was livestreamed, with Indigenous leaders and mayors engaging guests from their respective territories and communities. The collaborative program featured Indigenous drumming, dancing and singing, a South Asian dhol drummer, and live musical performance by Strong Bow & Wry, with a final performance by Maddi Krulicki. 

“Fifty years and 50,000 alumni later, we are grateful to the community leaders and educators who had the vision for a post-secondary institution in the Fraser Valley,” said UFV President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Joanne MacLean.  

Strong Bow & Wry perform on the Mission stage.

“The realization of the dream that became UFV is the collective accomplishment of many.  As we look to the next 50 years, I believe we will find our path forward in the same way we found it a half-century ago: by working together for the good of students and our community.”  

Supporting UFV’s Integrated Strategic Plan and leaving a tangible legacy to build the future, UFV’s 50th Anniversary celebrations will include special events and programming for one full year, culminating with UFV’s first Alumni Weekend on April 5, 2025. 

Dean of Applied and Technical Studies Teresa Kisilevich greets VP, Community Engagement Susan Mide Kiss in Chilliwack.

As UFV’s Vice-President of Community Engagement, Susan Mide Kiss said UFV’s strength is its relationships, both locally and throughout the 42 countries UFV alumni now call home.  

Our history is rich and compelling, and full of examples of collaboration, partnership and engagement with communities throughout the Valley,” she said. 

“Rooted and grounded in our community, we continue our teaching and learning with a deep respect for culture, language, and land. We are grateful for the meaningful relationships that contribute to our shared story and collective impact.”

UFV’s most recent commitments to future learners and leaders includes extensive renovations to UFV’s Mission campus, with exciting developments as the new home for UFV’s new School of Education.

Construction is also underway on UFV’s Abbotsford campus, with a new six-storey, 398-bed Student Housing project and an 1,800 sq-ft Dining Hall expansion underway. Both projects are scheduled for completion in summer, 2025. UFV’s Chilliwack campus is also looking to the future, with strategic growth being developed through the university’s Canada Education Park Master Plan.

Thursday’s celebration ended with pyrotechnics, but not before UFV Student Union Society President Ashley McDougall shared her heartfelt appreciation for everyone who continues making UFV a special place to learn and lead. 

Audience members and drummers await the celebration’s start in Abbotsford.

“Community is the thread,” she said, “the unbroken line that connects the people of our past to those of us who are UFV’s current students, and to the students, faculty, staff, volunteers, alumni, partners, and friends who will nurture and grow this very special place over the next 50 years.”