UBC Okanagan opens its doors, welcomes the community home

Jon Montgomery, who won a gold medal in men’s skeleton at the Vancouver Olympics, is speaking at Nourish, this Saturday at UBC Okanagan.

Jon Montgomery, who won a gold medal in men’s skeleton at the Vancouver Olympics, is speaking at Nourish, this Saturday at UBC Okanagan.

Homecoming is a chance to rediscover and reconnect with the campus

UBC Okanagan is welcoming its alumni, and the community, home for the weekend.

The campus is hosting a two-day Homecoming event, starting with breakfast on Friday, October 19 and wrapping up after a full day of activities on Saturday, October 20.

It’s time, says Deborah Buszard, UBC Okanagan’s deputy vice-chancellor and principal, to celebrate the growth and diversity of the campus, which officially opened in September 2005 with 3,500 students.

Today, there are almost 10,000 students on campus, with students coming from across Canada and more than 108 countries.

“Having graduated more than 17,000 alumni and counting, the timing could not be better for UBC Okanagan to host its first ever Homecoming,” says Buszard. “This campus is special—it’s a community-minded and entrepreneurial place that empowers students—and we know many of our graduates think of it as home. We look forward to welcoming them back.”

With the Commons, a $35-million addition to the current library, almost ready for occupancy, and two new student residence buildings in the planning stages, the campus has changed a lot since it first welcomed students 13 years ago, says Buszard. In fact, back then there were 13 buildings on campus, now there are 35.

“We encourage our alumni, and the community, to come to campus to see what has changed,” she adds. “There is so much going on and it will be a great opportunity get reacquainted with old friends, tour some of our buildings, or even watch a soccer match between rivals the UBC Thunderbirds and our own UBC Okanagan Heat.”

The kick-off breakfast is free for students, $3 for others, and takes place on University Way starting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning. The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is hosting a visual arts alumni exhibition in the FINA Gallery starting at 4 p.m., while the School of Engineering is showcasing current research with lab tours, and the canine friends of BARK (Building Academic Retention Through K9’s) will be showcased from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Streetfest, an evening of food trucks, beer gardens, carnival games and line-dancing, takes place on University Way starting at 6 p.m. Okanagan recording artist Ben Klick will provide the music for the evening.

Saturday is jam-packed with walking tours, an engineering extravaganza complete with trebuchet competition, a chemistry display complete with explosions and liquid nitrogen ice cream, and a campus-wide scavenger race.

The featured event, Nourish, is an evening with Canadian Olympic champion Jon Montgomery at 6 p.m. Montgomery, host of The Amazing Race Canada, will share the story of his Olympic journey and discuss the lessons he learned about teamwork, leadership and dreaming big. The event concludes with a harvest-themed reception with samplings from the Okanagan’s finest chefs, wineries, craft breweries and cideries. Tickets for Nourish are $50 and available at ok.ubc.ca/homecoming/nourish

Buszard says all students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and community members are encouraged to come back home to UBC Okanagan for the weekend and enjoy Homecoming. Details and registration for events are available at: ok.ubc.ca/homecoming.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.

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