UNBC to Name Building After Visionary
Prince George, B.C. – The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is getting set to honour one of the visionaries credited with helping establish the institution in Prince George.
UNBC will do so by renaming its Administration building after the late Charles McCaffray.
McCaffray was president of the College of New Caledonia in the mid-1980s and a member of the “No Name Group” who met to discuss broadening post-secondary education in the North.
“He was one of these characters who seems to gravitate towards the North. He was drawn north to be president of CNC and in that role he took on this responsibility to broaden educational opportunities for all northern British Columbians,” says Dr. Jonathan Swainger, history professor at UNBC.
“And this launched a series of very unofficial, off the cuff conversations with people about how could he/we improve educational access for all northern British Columbians.”
Just how important was he?
“Well he’s a critical person because one, he is in that original group the only educator. He’s the only one that had experience in the post-secondary world and so one of his great responsibilities was to translate the grassroots energy and interest to the Ministry of Education.”
Dr. Dan Ryan, interim vice-president, Academic at UNBC, says Tom Steadman, one of UNBC’s early founders, approached the institution for some recognition for McCaffray after he passed away last year.
Following a consultation process he says the Senate and Board of Governors approved the idea – something he considers the ultimate tribute.
“I didn’t know Charles personally but he was a very unassuming man who didn’t seek the limelight and I think a lot of people don’t realize the huge role he played in getting UNBC set up. So it’s a great recognition of what he’s done.”
He says the dedication ceremony will take place during a special ceremony September 28 at 2 p.m. at UNBC.