The room was abuzz as guests arrived at Yorkville University’s new Vancouver campus at 1090 Georgia Street, in the heart of the city’s professional district, on the afternoon of March 10th, for the launch of Yorkville’s Alumni Community.
The purpose of establishing an alumni office is to facilitate maintaining long-term relationships between Yorkville University, faculty, and Yorkville’s accomplished alumni, and to showcase compelling stories about our graduates. For the guests taking their places in the main lecture hall of the Yorkville University‘s Vancouver campus that afternoon, the initiative came as a welcome one.
“This is such a wonderful development,” said Cynthia Farnsworth, a clinical counsellor with a Vancouver practice focused on neurofeedback, art therapy, and coaching. “So many of us have been waiting for Yorkville to start an alumni group.”
Introductions were made against the backdrop of the expansive view of downtown Vancouver, including the reunion between one of our keynote speakers, Talia Camozzi, who graduated from the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program in 2013, and Carli Kirby, a colleague from the MACP program whom she hadn’t before, met face-to-face.
Yolande Clark, Yorkville’s Alumni Relations Officer, and the evening’s MC opened the official program, discussing the new alumni website which will soon be online. She also mentioned the alumni directory, our new, already-thriving private Facebook group for virtual networking, and Yorkville University’s overall commitment to providing prescient alumni programming that will be of value to our graduates throughout their career journeys.
Yolande then invited Dr. Rick Davey to the stage, who gave a recap of the campus opening event earlier that day, which featured an appearance and speech by the Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, BC Minister of Advanced Education. Following Dr. Davey’s talk, Dr. Roberta Neault, Dean of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences took to the podium to recount some of the history of Yorkville University, the significance of now having a brick-and-mortar campus on the west coast, and the excellence that Yorkville’s faculty, students, and alumni bring to the educational landscape of BC, Canada, and beyond.
After the screening of a short film that took viewers on a journey across Canada, featuring the lives that Yorkville University has transformed, Gregg Taylor, Yorkville’s 2015 valedictorian and the current President of the Vancouver Family Employee Assistance Program, was the first of our two alumni keynote speakers. He talked about the role Yorkville University played in the trajectory of his career and his dedication to serving his community in his position as a clinical counsellor.
“Going back to school for me was a little bit like hang-gliding: a great leap, going forward my fellow students kept me up during the challenging times. It was the professors and the students, and my continued contact with the university and their encouragement,” said Gregg.
There are three factors for success in life. Connection, community and contribution,” he went on to say.
The final speaker of the evening was Talia Camozzi; author, clinical counsellor, and inspiring leader. Talia’s talk focused on courage and overcoming the fear that we all sometimes feel when embarking on a new journey, especially one that challenges our assumptions and which demands of us our best.
“One of the things that I believe, that Yorkville does to the nth degree is that We not only take the opportunities presented to us, but we can create our own, we can create space for us. Hearing about creating a national university, how amazing is that?” she said.
Camozzi also mentioned that the experience of working through Yorkville University’s rigorous Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program lay the foundation for the skills she drew on to write her book, “Healing Winter Sad”, and which she is employing once again while writing her new book.
When the official program was complete, guests enjoyed delicious canapes and an opportunity to chat, network and catch up with friends and colleagues.
The evening was a success, and many alumni expressed gratitude for the space that has been created for Yorkville’s alumni community and the long-term support that Yorkville is extending to all its graduates.
Stay tuned for the upcoming launch of our alumni website and details on our Ambassador program and online workshops. If you’re a Yorkville alumnus, join our alumni Facebook page here, for news, resources and support.