Printer-friendly > UBC Okanagan > About > Milestones


From generous donations by forestry giant Irving K. Barber to the establishment of its own online television station, UBC's Okanagan campus has had many milestones since its inception in 2004.


April 28
Distinguished biomedical innovator Philip Barker appointed Vice-Principal Research.

UBC’s Southern Medical Program graduates its first class of students.

February 10
Internationally acclaimed scholar Wisdom Tettey is appointed Dean of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.


November 21
UBC celebrates opening of Okanagan Special Collections Room.

October 31
UBC Okanagan students approve #MORELIBRARY referendum to partner with UBC and create a major new learning space on campus.

October 14
UBC receives $3.8M for Survive and Thrive Applied Research facility.

September 9
UBC professor John Klironomos is named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Education celebrates 25 years of learning.


March 12
UBC announces new President -- Dr. Arvind Gupta.

January 22
Cynthia Mathieson, psychologist and Dean of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, is appointed Provost of the Okanagan campus.


December 4
Randall Findlay Laboratory official opened.

September 18
Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship officially opened.

September 17
$4.1-million Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre officially opened.

Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences names Dean Wisdom Tettey a Fellow.

March 15
Indigenous Studies professor Jeannette Armstrong appointed Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Philosophy.

March 1
The multi-purpose Arts and Sciences Centre building officially opened. The 7,800-square-metre (84,000 square feet), four-storey structure houses classrooms, research and teaching labs, offices, student commons, and two large lecture theatres.

January 31
The Engineering Management Education building officially opened. At 186,000 square feet, and completed with a budget of $68 million, the Engineering, Management and Education (EME) building is the largest single project undertaken as part of the campus master plan.

Back to top


November 22
The Interprofessional Clinic -- a teaching and research clinic for treating mental illness, focused on individual and family mental health and wellbeing -- officially opened at UBC's Okanagan campus.

November 8
Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health officially opened.

November 1
The University Theatre (ADM026) is re-launched as a live theatre and entertainment venue.

October 26
UBC officially opens laboratory for trace element analysis and research.

September 28
The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and its member communities renew memorandum of understanding with UBC's Okanagan campus.

September 7
UBC resource economics Prof. John Janmaat appointed the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF) BC Regional Innovation Chair in Water Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability.

UBC classes start with largest enrolment ever at Okanagan campus.

August 24
Global business scholar Roger Sugden appointed Dean of UBC's Faculty of Management.

June 23
Global education scholar Wisdom Tettey appointed Dean of UBC's Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

June 18
Human kinetics scholar Gordon Binsted appointed Dean of UBC's Faculty of Health and Social Development.

February 3
Deborah Buszard appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal.

The pioneering first class of 32 MD students in UBC's Southern Medical Program began studies at UBC's Okanagan campus.

Back to top


Political scientist Adam Jones selected as expert for the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide.

October 12
Health Sciences professor Phil Ainslie named Canada Research Chair in Cerebrovascular Function in Health and Disease.

September 22
UBC's Okanagan campus launches $100 million Start an Evolution fundraising campaign.

Record enrolment increases the student population to over 7,900 students, including 710 graduate students.

The UBC Heat begin competing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league -- the pinnacle of post-secondary sporting competition in Canada.

Brad Bennett, former Chair of UBC's Board of Governors, receives honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UBC.

Max Jones makes history at UBC as the first student to complete a PhD at UBC's Okanagan campus.

UBC's Okanagan campus is welcomed as the 52nd member of Canadian Interuniversity Sports.

Heat capture provincial gold in men's and women's volleyball.

Back to top


January 22
UBC's Okanagan Aboriginal Centre officially opens. The 256-sq.m. (2,756 sq. ft.) centre, made possible by $600,000 in funding from B.C.'s Ministry of Advanced Education, was designed as a special space that reflects the cultural characteristics of the Aboriginal students who use it.

February 5
UBC Students' Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) gives $3 million for student centre at UBC's Okanagan campus.

UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team wins second consecutive BC provincial and Canadian collegiate (CCAA) championship.

May 6
UBC Okanagan Heat officially accepted as a probationary member of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.

June 9
UBC's Okanagan campus doubles its land area with the $8.78-million purchase of 103.6 hectares (256 acres) of North Glenmore farmland from the City of Kelowna.

UBC's Okanagan campus celebrates its 5th birthday with a special Community Day event and Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Richard Florida.

September 7
UBC's Okanagan campus welcomes 7,000 students, marking the sixth straight year of enrolment growth.

September 16
Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law opens.

November 8
Nonis Sports Field officially opened at UBC's Okanagan campus. The facility includes a 153m by 75m artificial turf sports field, 300-seat bleachers, team rooms and washrooms, and full-field lighting.

UBC Nursing Professor Barbara Pesut named Canada Research Chair.

Back to top


March 13
UBC names Heinz Bauschke, one of Canada's top researchers in the field of optimization, as its first Okanagan campus Researcher of the year.

April 8
The Geoexchange System, which uses groundwater from under the campus to heat and cool buildings, receives $2.9 million from the federal and provincial governments to help make the campus emissions-free by 2010.

University Centre building opens. The $33-million, 79,000-sq.-ft., building is a hub for student activity,
and includes learning centres, student services offices for several departments, student collegia spaces, a sushi bar, student club space, and a variety of social and gathering spaces.

September 8
UBC's Okanagan campus welcomes 1,502 new first-year students and sees total enrolment grow by 14 per cent -- or nearly 700 students -- to 6,015 students.

September 24
Pushor Mitchell LLP creates a $10,000 annual prize, committed for 20 years, to be awarded each year to a top graduating student in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC's Okanagan campus.

October 21
Campus Trails System officially opens.

Back to top


February 28
UBC's Okanagan campus launches a new online television station -- UBCO.TV -- to showcase the university’s people, achievements and events.

March 28
UBC's Okanagan campus unveils its new varsity athletics team name -- the UBC Okanagan Heat -- at the Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast.

April 14
UBC announces that one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Dr. Bryan Kolb, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the June 6 Convocation ceremonies.

May 16
UBC's Okanagan campus launches a new research centre focused on combating major preventable chronic diseases -- and finding ways to promote healthy lifestyles to prevent diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Joan Bottorff will direct the new Research Centre for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention.

September 23
British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announces nearly $100 million in provincial government funding that will allow construction of three major new projects -- UBC's Okanagan Health Sciences Centre, Arts and Sciences 2 Building, and the Engineering/Management Building.

November 24
UBC opens $31.5-million Fipke Centre for Innovative Research on the Okanagan campus, made possible through a $5-million gift from Charles Fipke (plus $2 million for equipment) and $26.5-million from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.

Back to top


April 24
UBC announces that the honorary degree Doctor of Laws will be awarded to The Hon. Thomas Siddon, P.C., for his distinguished career achievements, as well as service to UBC and to Canada.

June 7
Germanic studies -- the study of German language and culture -- will soon be offered at UBC's Okanagan campus thanks to a $1-million gift from Klaus and Lydia Reichwald of Kelowna.

June 8
A total of 504 graduates receive their degrees from University of British Columbia Chancellor Allan McEachern.

July 4
Seven new research programs at UBC's Okanagan campus receive more than $880,000 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

September 4
UBC's Okanagan campus welcomes 1,266 new first-year students -- an increase of 7.7 per cent -- and sees total enrolment grow by 17 per cent or nearly 700 students to 4,864.

Back to top


March 20
Prof. Carl E. Wieman, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physics, joins UBC

March 22
UBC announces new President -- Dr. Stephen Toope

April 20
UBC's Okanagan campus announces new Deputy Vice Chancellor -- Dr. Doug Owram

June 6
470 student become the first graduating class from UBC's Okanagan campus in an historic first Congregation ceremony

September 27
Charles Fipke -- a UBC alumnus, and the discoverer of diamonds in Canada’s Far North -- donates $6 million to UBC's Okanagan campus for a new centre for innovative research.

Back to top


July 4
In a key transfer ceremony, Okanagan University College formally makes the transition to two new institutions: UBC's Okanagan campus and Okanagan College

September 8
Official Opening Ceremony of UBC's Okanagan campus

November 3
Donor commits $2 Million to create The Meekison Student Centre in honour of Dr. J. Peter Meekison, public administrator for the OUC transition process.

December 5
Academic Plan approved by UBC's Okanagan Senate

Back to top


March 17
Provincial government announces the establishment of UBC's Okanagan campus and a college in the Okanagan region

July 16
UBC Board of Governors approves $18.4 million construction plan to accommodate 900 new student residence spaces

September 30
UBC Board of Governors holds meeting in Kelowna -- the first time in two decades it meets outside the Lower Mainland

October 22
Forestry giant Irving K. Barber announces a $12.25 million endowment to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

Back to top

Last reviewed shim12/17/2015 5:29:14 PM


Bud Mortenson
University Relations
The University of British Columbia
Okanagan campus

Tel: 250-807-9255