1974 A New President
During its first decade, Trinity Junior College’s reputation as an institution of higher learning took root, and its standing in the community deepened. It was time for an infusion of new leadership at the top. In June 1974, Ronald Neil Snider, Ph.D.—Acting President of Winnipeg Bible College—was elected President of Trinity Western College by the conference of the Evangelical Free Church.
1975 Aviation Program
Out of a need for more programs and concern for overseas missions, TWC created the Institute of Aviation. Originally expecting only six students, the Institute received 30 applicants in its first year.
1976 Mattson Centre
construction of the mattson centre, 1975.
Named in honour of the school’s first registrar, the Enoch E. Mattson Centre—completed in the fall of 1976—served as the administrative hub of the college. The building initially housed Business Affairs, Admissions, Public Affairs, the President’s Office, and the Board Room. Today it is still home to Admissions but also includes the Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid, and IT.
1978 Fraser Hall
construction of fraser hall, 1978.
With over 500 students enrolled in 1978, TWC was bursting at the seams. A new women’s residence was built and named after Simon Fraser, a fur trader and explorer who navigated the Fraser River in 1808 on behalf of the North West Company.
1979 University Status
In July of 1979, on the last day of the 38-day legislative session, a bill was passed in the British Columbia Legislature granting university status to Trinity Western—and making it the only private school in BC authorized to grant four-year baccalaureate degrees. Professor Craig Seaton chaired the taskforce that developed the four-year curriculum.
1980 Robert N. Thompson Building
thompson’s son david, turning the first sod during the ground-breaking ceremony, december 1979.
The RNT Building was completed in summer 1980, creating space for classrooms and administrative offices. The building was named for Robert N. Thompson, a Canadian statesman and visionary who, along with other accomplishments, led the first national Social Credit party. Thompson served the school in many capacities over almost three decades—including Vice President, board member, and professor of political science.
1983 Blue and Gold
The Administrative Committee approved a request from Director of Physical Education Gary Naylor to change TWU’s colours from gold, white, and brown to its present day gold, white, and blue.
1984 AUCC Membership
Twenty-two years after TJC accepted its first 17 students, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada voted to accept Trinity Western as a full member. One of the most significant milestones in the University’s history, TWU was the first institution with a faith statement to be granted full membership, acknowledging the school’s commitment to academic freedom.
1985 TWC Becomes TWU
neil and marlie snider during the september convocation.
Surrey MLA Rita Johnston introduced a private member’s bill to the BC legislature that gave TWC full university status, thus changing its name to Trinity Western University—BC’s first private university.
1987 The Torch
TWU’s 25th anniversary marked the coming of a new logo: the torch. According to the campus newspaper, Trinity Western World, “The torch itself has many meanings, representing both the Light of the World and the light of learning. In both shape and style, the logo’s torch is simple, unaffected, and timeless…If you look closely, you’ll also see that the torch presents a stylized ‘T,’ and the flame above it flickers as a lively, flowing ‘W.’”
1988 Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS)
signing the affiliation agreement between twu and acts, ca 1987.
Representatives from six evangelical denominations came together to discuss forming an interdenominational centre for theological training. The consortium of seminaries, unique in North America, opened in October 1988 as the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS).
1989 Alloway Library
On January 20, 1989, the University celebrated the grand opening of the new library on what was originally the site of Faculty House. Eleven times larger than the original Vernon Strombeck Library, the new building was renamed the Norma Marion Alloway Library in 1994.
1991 Aviation Tragedy
On March 5, 1991, six lives were lost in a tragic aviation accident during a snowstorm near Bellingham, WA. Five aviation students and one instructor, flying home from a trip to California, died when their two Cessnas collided in whiteout conditions. Six cherry trees stand as memorials outside Douglas Centre.
1991 Northwest Building
The dedication of the newly completed Northwest Baptist Theological College (NBTC) Building took place on October 13, 1991. The four-storey facility provided housing for 200 students and an operations centre for the College. TWU purchased the building in December 2000.
students on a public telephone, ca 1970s.
In 1992, telephones were installed in students’ dorm rooms. Prior to this, students had to make do with pay phones near “The Box” in Douglas, or in noisy residence hallways.
1993 Graduate Programs
At the request of Ken Davis, Ph.D., and the Board of Governors, a task force was formed in 1988 to establish a plan for developing selected graduate programs at TWU. Under the chairmanship of Davis, who would serve as the first Dean of Graduate Affairs, the Council brought forth a proposal for a master’s level program in counselling psychology, which launched in September 1993.
1994 Neufeld Science Centre
The dedication of the Anna and J.G. Neufeld Science Centre was celebrated on April 8, 1994. The 21,560-square foot centre was designed by architect Arthur Allen.
1995 Dead Sea Scrolls Institute
institute directors martin abegg and peter flint, with biblical studies professor craig evans, display the prolegomena volume of the replica copy of the codex vaticanus housed in the twu archives, ca 2000.
Craig Evans, Ph.D., spearheaded the vision of establishing TWU as a centre for Dead Sea Scrolls research. Dedicated scholars Martin Abegg, Ph.D., and Peter Flint, Ph.D., led the way, cementing TWU as a renowned centre of Scrolls research. The Institute sponsors regular symposia with scholars from around the world lecturing on the latest advances in the field.
1996 Robson Hall
A new junior residence, providing housing for 92 third-year students, opened in August 1995. During a chapel service on January 15, 1996, the new building was officially named Robson Hall in honour of John and Ebenezer Robson, brothers who came to BC from Ontario in 1859. Between them, the brothers devoted 70 years of governmental and religious leadership to the Province of BC.
1996 The Web
trinity’s computing services staff, 1996.
In 1996, TWU launched its first website. President Snider’s welcome message read: “Whether you happened upon our World Wide Web site by some ‘Internet surfing’ accident or whether you are a student seeking education and career options, we welcome you to browse through our Web server and find out more about this unique university.”
1997 Reimer Student Centre
the newly completed centre, showing the main entrance, 1997.
The official grand opening of the new Student Centre took place on January 20, 1997. That October, it was named in honour of Delbert Reimer, a founding member of the school’s Board of Governors.
September 2000 marked the grand opening of the West Coast Collegium. The Collegium Program—which took its name from the Latin for “gathering place”—was intended to give commuting students a home away from home between classes. Today there are three collegia.
2000 Bell Tower
The TWU campanile and library gardens were constructed in honour of Norma Alloway’s contribution to the University. The campanile’s fifteen bells, which ring every hour, were imported from the Royal Eijsbouts Company of the Netherlands.
2002 Laurentian Leadership Centre
In September 2002, the first group of 22 TWU students took up residence at the Laurentian Leadership Centre (LLC) in Ottawa. The first program of its kind in Canada, the LLC offers courses in leadership, public policy, ethics, and contemporary culture, along with internships in government, business, NGOs, and media.
2004 Harvest Centre
In July 2004, the Canada Institute of Linguistics and TWU celebrated the completion of a $3.3 million building on campus. The 32,000-square-foot facility houses the CanIL program, Wycliffe Canada offices, and TWU classrooms.
2004 Canada Research Chairs
eve stringham, ph.d., ca. 1999.
In 2000, the Government of Canada created a program to establish research professorships—Canada Research Chairs—in eligible degree-granting institutions. In 2004, Peter Flint, Ph.D., was the first TWU recipient as Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies. Since then, TWU has received two more CRCs; Eve Stringham is Canada Research Chair in Developmental Genetics and Disease and Jens Zimmermann is Canada Research Chair of Interpretation, Religion, and Culture.
2005 Music Building
The ground-breaking ceremony for a new building that would house practice rooms and music faculty offices was held on April 20, 2005. In fall 2006, the Music Building opened its doors to students and faculty.
for a complete timeline of events, visit twu.ca/50.
this article was compiled with great assistance from twu archives and includes entries from student newspapers and twu press releases.
in the next issue, look for events from the term of twu’s current president, jonathan s. raymond, ph.d.
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