Camosun College today celebrated its golden anniversary with a special recognition ceremony and the unveiling of The Cycle of Knowledge House Post.
The outdoor ceremony, on the steps of the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun’s Interurban campus, marked exactly 50 years since the college was officially opened on Sept. 16, 1971.
Speakers at the event included the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Camosun College President Sherri Bell, and Tsawout artist and alum Douglas (Bear) Horne.
"Happy anniversary to the Camosun College community,” said the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. “Students, faculty, staff and alumni have promoted inclusion, democracy and reconciliation within their campus community and beyond. On behalf of all British Columbians, thank you for your contributions to the culture, vibrancy and prosperity of our province. I wish you every success for the next 50 years.”
Camosun serves people and communities from all walks of life with a wide range of programs and credentials.
“Over the past five decades, Camosun College has enabled people to learn skills and expertise to improve their lives and strengthen their communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “As a former teacher and lifelong learner, seeing the empowerment of people through education is a value close to my heart. I want to thank and congratulate students, alumni, faculty, and staff at Camosun for 50 years of contributions to British Columbia and the world.”
Looking ahead, the college will continue to give students the skills to create, build and maintain a thriving, healthy and inclusive future in B.C.
“We are proud of our student-centred, caring approach to delivering five decades of relevant, applied, life-changing education for the benefit of our students and communities,” said Camosun President Sherri Bell. “The Cycle of Knowledge House Post will serve as a welcome to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors, while reflecting the ongoing commitment to creating lasting relationships with Indigenous communities and peoples in the years that come.”
The college’s 50th anniversary celebration included the unveiling of an 18-foot, 2,500 pound, modern house post titled The Cycle of Knowledge, carved by Tsawout artist and alum Douglas (Bear) Horne.
“The house post reflects the connection between Camosun and Indigenous communities,” explains Bear. “The design incorporates three cedar elements: the sun, the blue heron and the salmon, floating on aluminum waves. As a former student, I feel these elements represent the transformation of knowledge and energy between the students, faculty and staff at Camosun.”
Camosun opened its doors as a post-secondary institution offering university transfer, vocational and upgrading courses to 980 registered students in the fall of 1971. At that time, tuition fees were $100 per semester, the typical Camosun student was 22 years old and most chose to enroll to upgrade their education to prepare for further education.
Today, the college’s Lansdowne and Interurban campuses, along with five community partner learning sites, offer over 160 innovative, life-changing academic and applied learning programs in arts, sciences, business, trades, technologies, health and human services, Indigenous education, sport and exercise education and adult upgrading. Camosun now welcomes 16,000 students annually, 24 is the median student age and over 1,200 students are Indigenous, while currently 1,600 students are international.
Throughout 2021 the college has been celebrating its golden anniversary with a 50th anniversary logo designed by Coast Salish artist and alum Dylan Thomas, a special student bursary, historical website, a student creativity contest and an exciting Camosun Food Affair event which runs Sept. 13 to 26, to mark the occasion.