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Former Simon Fraser University President honoured

4 August 2021 at 21:36 | 609 views

SFU President Emeritus Andrew Petter (pictured) has received B.C.’s highest civilian honour, the Order of British Columbia, for his leadership and impact on public policy, education, and community engagement.

Petter, a former law professor and dean who served as SFU’s ninth president and vice-chancellor from 2010 to 2020, was one of 16 British Columbians whose appointments to the Order were announced on August 2nd by B.C. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin.

“Over a lifetime of service, Andrew Petter’s visionary leadership has had a transformative impact on BC in public policy, legal engagement and community betterment,” reads the summary of his achievements. “Andrew’s service has helped make B.C. a better, more sustainable and equal society.”

As SFU president, Petter oversaw the development and implementation of a strategic vision to establish SFU as Canada’s “engaged university.” Under his leadership, SFU expanded co-operative education and community-based learning, developed an innovation strategy to support sustainable growth and social infrastructure, and became a catalyst for community dialogue and development. In addition to being named Canada’s top comprehensive university by Maclean’s for nine of his 10 years, SFU in 2020 was ranked first in the world by Times Higher Education of its impact on sustainable cities and communities.

“Each one of this year’s Order of British Columbia recipients has made tremendous contributions to their communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “I want to extend my congratulations and honour them for their leadership and dedication as community leaders.”

Petter, a former provincial cabinet minister, championed transformative public policies, including the B.C. Treaty Commission, Forest Practices Code and recognition of same-sex rights.

In 2019, Petter was invested into the Order of Canada for promoting community-university engagement and contributions to shaping B.C.’s political and academic landscape.

Established 32 years ago, the Order of British Columbia, recognizes people who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour benefiting British Columbians. It represents the highest form of recognition the province can extend to its citizens.

Also appointed to the order on Monday were SFU supporters, Frances Belzberg and Arran and Ratana Stephens.

Frances Belzberg, with husband Samuel Belzberg, was honoured with SFU’s President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award in 2016, for their efforts in building the university. The Belzberg Library at SFU’s Vancouver campus is named in honour of Frances and Samuel Belzberg.

Arran and Ratana Stephens have funded student bursaries, food for students in need and helped created SFU’s Food Systems Lab.

Source: SFU

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