A Brief History of Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University is one of Canada’s premier places for higher learning. The main campus is situated on top of Burnaby Mountain with majestic views of Vancouver’s downtown and the Pacific Ocean. The university also boasts two satellite campuses, one located in downtown Vancouver and the other in Surrey. Here is a closer look at the university’s humble beginnings and how it developed into one of the finest schools in the country.

History of SFU

SFU is named after Simon Fraser, a fur trader and explorer who was the first European to descend the Fraser River, which is named after him. During this expedition in 1808, Simon Fraser navigated his way through most parts of B.C. and finally found his way to the area that we now know as Vancouver. The university now proudly not only bears his name but also the Fraser coat of arms.

In 1963, a report by J.B. MacDonald explored the possibility of opening a new university in the lower mainland. Two months later, the establishment of SFU was given the green light by the province of B.C. and Gordon Shrum was appointed chancellor. After exploring various sites for the new university, Burnaby Mountain was finally the agreed upon as the location. Construction began in the spring of 1964 and was completed eighteen months later. SFU welcomed the first students through its doors on September 9, 1965. Since those early beginnings, SFU has grown exponentially. It now offers a full range of both graduate and undergraduate programs in the realms of arts, sciences and business and enrolls more than 24,000 students annually and graduates more than 6,000.

SFU also offers excellent real estate opportunities that are nestled at the foot of the majestic Burnaby Mountain. These beautiful neighbourhoods offer not only spectacular views of Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River and the port of Vancouver, they are also home to professors, families and other many other professionals. The neighbourhoods surrounding SFU are definitely some of Vancouver’s more sought after areas.

History of Satellite Campuses

SFU Vancouver has been opened since 1989 and has been built by mainly private sector donations. This satellite campus offers a diverse range of programs aimed at individuals who are looking for mid-career growth. These programs provide a unique bridge for continuity between work and study and enroll more than 2,000 students annually. Simon Fraser Surrey is one of B.C.’s fastest growing campuses and offers a diverse field of both national and international programs. SFU Surrey opened its doors in September 2002 and has been growing every year. The campus now enrolls more than 1,800 students annually, and this number is quickly growing.

Simon Fraser University provides not only the residents of British Columbia but also national and international students a unique and wonderful opportunity for higher learning. From its humble origins to its internationally recognized quality of education, Simon Fraser University is definitely one of Canada’s premier universities.

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