SFU opens up in Surrey

Yes, SFU now has a campus in Surrey. In Whalley, er…City Center as a matter of fact. And that’s a good thing.

I’ve watched the city try to bring this area to life for over 10 years now, and an institution like SFU might just be one of the catalysts they need to pull it off. Especially when you combine the new campus with close to 5000 more people coming to live in the area, once some of the new housing developments are completed.

The opening ceremonies on Friday were nice. After an inspirational introduction from SFU President Michael Stevenson, we had a letter from Stephen H, read out by one of the local MPs. The Premier was there, and so was our Mayor, Diane Watts. They all had positive things to say – natch.

The one frustration with Friday’s event was that the Bing Thom lecture -the reason I went in the first place- got restricted to those that registered ahead of time. Wish I’d seen that note. I did register and say I was coming to the open house and ceremony, but there was nothing that I remember about exclusive lectures. Sigh. Perhaps some other time.

On Saturday, they held an open house to show off some of the new digs and let people know what students and faculty are working on. As usual, it was quite inspiring. There was everything from high-tech computer imagery and interaction, to clothes that reacted to your environment. There just wasn’t enough time to get around and give the displays the attention they deserved.

There were a number of lectures during the day, but because of time constraints, I only fit one in. Gail Anderson was talking about Murder and Maggots. As a bug guy in the past, I just had to hear what she had to say. Surprisingly, there are very few forensic entomologists around. Well, I guess that really doesn’t surprise me. The last entomology meeting I went to consisted of multiple iterations of ‘how we identified the pheromone for (insert your favorite pest insect here)’. That’s important work, but it’s nice to see that there are other reasons to be interested in bugs.

Good job, folks. We’ll look forward to hearing more next year.

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