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120-year history of Sprott Shaw College celebrated at Surrey campus

Thursday’s open house was among many held at sites across B.C.
Sprotty the mascot at Sprott Shaw College’s Surrey campus Thursday (Aug. 17) flanked by, from left, college president Victor Tesan, director Joan Vojnic, Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke and director Tina Rahul Rajeev. (Contributed photo)

The 120th anniversary of Sprott Shaw College was celebrated during an open house at the school’s Surrey campus Thursday (Aug. 17).

The institution’s century-plus history was displayed in “History Walk” photos and documents on walls of the City Centre-area campus, on 100 Avenue.

“Our college has survived economic recessions, two World Wars, and the Great Depression, all of which have made its foundation stronger today,” noted Tina Rahul Rajeev, co-director of the Surrey campus with Joan Vojnic.

Thursday’s event in Surrey, one of many held at the college’s B.C. campuses, was organized to celebrate “a century of achievements and the tens of thousands of graduates across the province.”


Originally named Vancouver Business Institute, the college was launched in 1903 by business partners Robert James Sprott and William Henry Shaw. Ten years later, the school’s name changed to Sprott Shaw College when a Victoria campus was opened.

Today, the college’s website lists 17 campuses in B.C., including Surrey, along with an international office in Vancouver. Close to 3,500 students are taught in 130-plus courses at Sprott Shaw College, in administration, business, family/community support, nursing/health care and trades/design.

Former Sprott Shaw students include artist Emily Carr, Bill Hughes (past-president of Vancouver Canucks) and Pierre Berton (journalist, broadcaster and author of 46 books).

College president Victor Tesan said the college’s 120th anniversary is celebrated with thousands of staff, students, alumni, industry, and community partners in the province.

“Our history is one of always evolving, always adapting, and always growing to meet the changing needs of British Columbia’s workforce,” Tesan stated.

“Our 120-year history documents the incredible impact Sprott Shaw College and our graduates have had on the economic and social fabric of British Columbia.”

- with a file from Jenna Hauck, Black Press Media

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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