Ask anyone at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) about Jim Andersen and the word you will likely hear most is passion. Jim had a love of life, a love of teaching, and a love of literature that transcended the classroom and infused his students and colleagues alike.
Although Jim did not complete his PhD all those years ago, he did appreciate those people who pursued their doctorates, understanding that everyone should feel free to follow their own path and do what felt right for them. In essence, it was through his own self-discovery that Jim came to find his calling as an educator — helping students become “more observant, more self-aware, more reflective, and more responsible”.
Jim started teaching at what was then Fraser Valley College in 1988. He quickly became involved in committees on campus, bringing new ideas to the table and always campaigning for students. Jim was one to give students who needed “a leg up” assistance, either by introducing them to an instructor or by advocating for them in some way, but he also was fiercely proud of students who took their studies seriously. He was often known to share stellar papers showing incredibly thoughtful scholarship, criticism, and insight with other members of the English department. In this way, Jim recognized that students themselves have something to offer in their own education and sometimes all they need is a champion to help guide them. It is this trait — as a leader — that UFV will miss most.
Jim was a leader at UFV — in and out of the classroom. An award in his memory should reflect that fact. The Jim Andersen Memorial Leadership Award will help students achieve their goal of a UFV education while acknowledging their efforts to champion ideas and causes in class as in life, as Jim would have.
The goal is to reach $12,500 in order to endow this fund and provide an award in perpetuity. Please note that any donation to UFV is eligible for a tax receipt for the full gift amount.