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TechBC: The Geek is Still Chic

Panel discussion on the legacy of TechBC and how it laid the foundation for SFU in Surrey, held at SFU Surrey on May 19, 2022.

The Technical University of British Columbia (TechBC), a start-up university located in what was then Surrey Place Mall, began offering classes in 1999. At the time, some described it as the ‘MIT of the North,’ due to its use of technology in teaching and learning. The BC Liberal government closed TechBC in 2002 and its programs and staff were transferred to SFU.

On the occasion of SFU Surrey’s 20th anniversary, former members of the TechBC community reflect on TechBC’s achievements and legacy, and discuss the impact it had on SFU and on their own careers.

Panelists: Tammy Mooney, Thecla Schiphorst, Tim Rahilly, Jason Toal.

Moderator: Holly Hendrigan, SFU Library / TechBC Memory Project.

Opening Remarks: Steve Dooley, Executive Director - SFU Surrey.

SFU by air

Raw footage showing helicopter landing in open field on SFU Burnaby campus. Remainder of the footage shot from the helicopter flying over and circling the Burnaby campus. Ends with shots of downtown Vancouver from over the open water.

SFU: raw, views of campus

Raw footage of SFU Burnaby campus with some unscripted commentary shot on 20 October 1987 by Frank Campbell of SFU's Instructional Media Centre. Opens with scenes of people walking on campus. A plane is heard flying overhead. The camera turns towards a view over the city of Vancouver and then pans back out. A student is seen walking across the field next to the theatre. In the next shot, voices and footsteps can be heard. Students are shown studying outside in the sunshine. In the next scene, a gentleman speaks briefly to the camera. The footage ends zoomed in on a student reading a book.

This is Simon Fraser University

Item is a film featuring the sights and sounds of all aspects of attending SFU in early 1970s, from the bus ride to registration to lectures, lunch, and leisure. Current research, issues of the day and the various departments are presented through original lecture audio. Impressions of SFU by students and staff are revealed in interview-style discussion, coupled with thoughtfully shot footage. Interspersed are artistically shot scenes of a sunny campus with a gentle guitar strum. Unlike more contemporary moving image profiles created by SFU, it is not narrated with a script nor overtly promotional.

Expo '70

Item is a home movie created by Arthur Erickson depicting his travels in Osaka, Japan at Expo '70. Included in the footage are shots of the Expo '70 Pavilion, constructed and designed by Erickson, as well as the celebrations and performances occurring at the world's fair.

Afghanistan

Item is a home movie created by Arthur Erickson depicting his travels in Afghanistan.

Benares

Item is a home movie created by Arthur Erickson depicting his travels in India.

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