CHILLIWACK – University of the Fraser Valley donors and alumni were honoured at an autumn-themed Giving Thanks reception on October 8 at UFV’s Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park.
The 350 attendees walked the ‘green carpet’ through a series of displays by UFV departments and programs, and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres provided by event sponsors Save-On Foods and Cooper’s Foods.
Of special note this year were the Top 40 Alumni, chosen to celebrate excellence at UFV as part of 40th anniversary festivities. The UFV Alumni Association also honoured two Distinguished Alumni winners. Patti MacAhonic (BA Ad Ed ’02) was named Distinguished Alumni winner for 2014, and Tanya Jonker (BA ’09) received the Young Distinguished Alumni award.
“This, our 40th anniversary, has been a year to celebrate past achievements, to thank those who built our foundation for a bright future, and to celebrate the achievements of our many alumni who are the best proof that we’ve made a difference in lives and communities, here in the Valley and throughout the world,” says UFV President Mark Evered. “Your gifts to UFV helps others, generation after generation. Thank you. We could not have built this university without you. And together we will continue to grow, for the sake of those who will benefit for decades to come.”
“Donors fill a critical funding gap at UFV by supporting scholarships, and leaving legacy for their own family,” says Barry Delaney, chair of the UFV Board of Governors.
Keynote speaker Red Robinson, who received an honorary degree from UFV in 2012, led the audience on a musical journey through the decades to celebrate UFV’s 40th anniversary. Robinson, who has been in the music business for 60 years, shared anecdotes from his days as a deejay, one of the few to have met both Elvis and the Beatles, not to mention John F. Kennedy.
“I have received many awards and honours, but one of the biggest was getting honorary doctorate from UFV,” noted Robinson, who urged the audience to never stop dreaming and never stop learning, and to give back to their community.
New alumna Jenia Pyzhyanova says support means more than just money to students.
“Your gifts are one of the greatest investments,” she says. “Canada is land of opportunity. UFV’s sense of community inspires me, other UFV students inspired me to set goals higher. Thank you so much for your support.”