It is a common Pearson myth that life and work on campus becomes quieter after students depart for their summer break in late May. If you ask any of our administrative staff how their summer was, they are likely to reply, “Phew, is it back-to-school already!? This summer just flew by.”
As soon as the academic year ends at Pearson with Capstone week, summer events and programs hit the ground running. Literally.
In Operations and Administration, Ty Pile, VP of Administration and Operations, led the College through another major renovation and upgrade, this year of East House, substantially completed and ready for occupancy within just two-and-a-half months.
Two more small renovations and two roof replacements where completed, including a building on Race Rocks.
Six happy couples chose to tie the knot on campus this year and they couldn’t have chosen a better summer for it. Only one wedding party started out with grey skies and rain, but as soon as the bride was ready to walk down the aisle, guests were putting away their umbrellas as the sun came peaking out from behind the clouds.
Eight external groups joined us, some for the first time, like the Junior Canadian Rangers program while some, like MISSA, the Metchosin International Summer School for the Arts, came back to campus for the 35th year in a row.
“It is exciting to welcome old and new groups to campus,” explains Deanna Cuthbert, Chief Coordinating Officer, Operations and Facilities Management in her usual calm and warm manner. “It is wonderful to share our beautiful spaces with them, as they share their energies and activities and see them return time and again to campus.”
As Ty notes, welcoming external groups to campus is also important to supporting scholarship for students thanks to the rental and services revenue these events raise.
Aside from external groups, the College ran two of their own programs during the summer: the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership (PSYL), and the SPELL program for new and returning students who wish to improve upon their English-language skills.
For PSYL, youthes ages 15-18 joined us for a three-week program that cultivates UWC values and supports these young changemakers to develop the tools to take on personal and global challenges.
SPELL, the Summer Program for English Language Learning, is a 10-day program of language learning support for first-year students. Incoming first-years are supported by selected second-year students, who all were part of the program in their first year themselves.
“SPELL as a second-year was a great experience for me,” recalls José from Argentina. “We have had good conversations with our first-year students, and I have been able to step into my second-year, leadership role. It was great for me to participate in SPELL, this year as well as in my first year. Immersion is the key to learning and understanding a language.”
Inside the lower level of the Administrative offices, the Finance team busily closed the fiscal year on June 30 and worked with the Advancement team to get fiscal year-end, last minute gifts raised, recorded and thanked.
Summer would not be a summer on campus, without welcoming back alumni for their respective reunions. This year, we celebrated a 20 and a 30-year reunion, welcoming back 326 alumni, including their families. It is always wonderful to have alumni and their loved ones on campus and to share the incredible experience of renewing friendships and making new ones.
The end of the summer brings students back to campus and we are all excited to start a new academic year, welcoming second-year students back home and first-year students into our community.
Bye-bye summer. Let the adventure of a new school year begin!