Thompson Rivers University

President touts bright future to Chamber

October 13, 2016

TRU President Alan Shaver at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon.

TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver was the keynote speaker at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon today, held at TRU. About 60 people attended the event.

Following an overview of numbers, Dr. Shaver updated the crowd on new academic programs, expanding research capacities, university village developments, new projects and buildings and TRU’s capital campaign.

“TRU is the fourth largest university in BC, with over twenty-five thousand students between our on-campus and Open Learning programs,” said Shaver.

“Our diverse student body, including over 2,000 international students from 87 countries (on-campus) and 1,600+ Aboriginal students (on-campus), represents a tremendous enrichment for our community,” he said, adding that as one of the largest employers in the region (1,600 people), TRU creates a regional spinoff in the region of over $350 million and over 2,100 jobs.

New programs in the works include bachelor’s degrees in software, computing and electrical engineering. Shaver noted these programs reflect an important investment locally and provincially, including the fact that several IT companies have already stepped up to partner with TRU to employ co-op students.

Several master’s degrees in nursing, tourism, arts and science are also in the works, as are research centers in the areas of sustainability and the environment; technology and optimization; community and culture; education health and diversity and Aboriginal understanding.

On the physical side, the university village concept, designed to create a more vibrant campus with the addition of market housing, student residences, retail shops, restaurants and offices, will start to take shape as an urban community known as The Reach—touted as a “billion dollar project,”—gets underway soon (the project is currently accepting proposals).

Meanwhile, work will begin soon on the recently announced $32-million dollar Industrial Training and Technology Center, which will open in 2018.

“This is an ambitious timeline because all of the stakeholders are keen to get this money into the economy,” Shaver said. He continues to lobby and fundraise for a new nursing and population health building with hopes that project could be complete by 2020.

Continuing to support students financially is also a priority. Impact 50 is the university’s largest-ever capital campaign that will see TRU aim to raise $50 million dollars by its fiftieth anniversary in 2020, in large part for scholarships, bursaries and awards in leadership and athletics.

Shaver invited attendees to get engaged with the university and its initiatives, by participating in the award-winning mentorship program or on university boards; bidding on external contracts on BC Bid; giving or creating a legacy; and hiring TRU students and graduates.

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