With fanfare, music, high spirits and great pride, Vanier College held a Gala Dinner on November 20 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its founding and pay tribute to recent retirees, 20-year employees and some of the original teachers and staff employees of Vanier College. More than 300 current and former employees attended the event where Vanier alumnus Andy Nulman, President, Festivals and Television, Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Joining in the festivities was the Honorouble Stéphane Dion, Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent Cartierville, the riding where Vanier is located.
Vanier College has much to celebrate. Since it first opened its doors in 1970 more than 200,000 young people have graduated from the College. Over the years Vanier has added new programs to its syllabus, erected new facilities, and above all constantly sought to improve the quality of its teaching and of the learning opportunities it offers students through services and extracurricular activities.
Vanier is unique in many ways. It was the first Cegep to offer Women’s Studies at the collegiate level, the first to entrench a Human Rights Policy and the first to create a national collegiate marketing case competition which has become the premier case challenge in the country. Vanier is the only college to organize several week-long festivals every year such as the Vanier Kleinmann Holocaust and Genocide Symposium, the Social Science Festival, International Women’s Week Festival, and most recently, Science Week. In the realm of sports, Vanier has always been a powerhouse, claiming the Bol d’Or seven times, winning provincial and national basketball championships and giving many leading university, CFL and NFL football players and coaches their start.
The Gala Dinner is only one event from a line-up of activities taking place throughout this academic year. For example, the Music Department has held several Master workshops with many of its alumni, including Juno nominee, Patrick Watson, will be holding an Alumni Edition of Noon Concert Series with Ross Edwards, January, an Alumni Concert Band Concert in February, and a Music Alumni Forum in March. The Music Department has also commissioned a work by Robert Jones for a special concert in May.
The College is also awash in colour for this anniversary year thanks to new red flood lights on the front of the main buildings. A new signage project is also underway, making way-finding easier on campus and subtly enhancing the appearance of the college facilities. As well, the Carrefour and Rotunda, characteristic central Vanier foyers, are being refurbished. A souvenir booklet commemorating the achievements and the history of Vanier has also been produced and the year will end with more gala celebrations in the spring.
Many of these events are organized in conjunction with the Vanier College Alumni Association and the Vanier College Retirees Association.