Several events will celebrate College’s big anniversary
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
EDITED February 5, 2020: Since its original publication, this article has been edited for clarity and accuracy.
What do you get a British Columbian post-secondary institution celebrating fifty years of operations?
A coat of arms.
Douglas College gathered students and guests in the atrium of the New Westminster campus—for a session that included several speakers and a performance by aerial acrobats—to unveil a coat of arms which commemorated the start of its fiftieth operational year.
The coat of arms—which is a first in the College’s five decade history—features two lions upholding a crowned-heart shield, with a raven positioned atop two Douglas fir boughs, all over a globe. The design pays homage to Douglas’ namesake, location, mascot and heritage. Additionally, the motto Excellence, Knowledge and Passion, written in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Halkomelem), a traditional Coast Salish language, is scribed under the coat of arms as “E’yo’l, Te’lmel, Te’mex.”
“A coat of arms represents a shared sense of history and tradition,” said Kathy Denton, Douglas College President, on the Douglas College News webpage.
Another first for the Douglas College coat of arms is the fact that it was designed by an Indigenous artist, local Coast Salish artist, Carrielynn Victor. Victor worked with the Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA), the national organization responsible for the creation of coats of arms, flags, and badges in Canada, but created the final artwork.
“I have had the Opportunity to design [the Douglas College] Coat of Arms, this also marks the first time in Canadian History that the Heraldic Office completely outsourced this work,” said Victor in a statement appearing on her Facebook page.
The coat of arms unveiling was one of several events that will occur throughout 2020 to celebrate the College. Events feting employees, programs, and Douglas authors will occur in the coming months, and a speaker series focusing on Indigenization and Supporting Indigenous Students will start on March 30—yet only for Douglas employees.
All events can be found of the Celebrating 50 years of Douglass College webpage, which gives event details, a timeline of the College’s development, and alumni stories—profiles of Douglas graduates and their remarkable stories.
Celebrations culminate in September 18 and 19 as Douglas host homecoming on their New Westminster campus and Coquitlam campus, respectively.
For more information about Douglas’ last half a century, the Other Press feature story on Douglas College at 50 details the timeline of events that led Douglas to the College that you know and love today.