Campus Life  

Okanagan College marks 60 years of alumni and employee success

Photo of three people smiling.

 Sixty years is worth celebrating – that’s what brought out over 100 alumni, staff and Okanagan College supporters last month, as OC marked its 60th anniversary and the impact of tens of thousands of graduates since post-secondary came to the region. 

The College’s story began in 1963, when the B.C. Vocational Institute was first established. Since that time more than 60,000 graduates have passed through OC’s campuses in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna, and sites in Revelstoke and Oliver. OC’s alumni have made huge impacts on communities from one end of the Okanagan Valley to the other, and beyond that - around the world.

Speaking at the event, 2021 alum Erum Ahmad spoke about the importance of education and the impact it made on her life, having earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at OC. A first-generation Canadian-Pakistani, Erum now runs her own jewelry store among her entrepreneurial ventures.

“I've always said that education is key to a brighter future and Okanagan College helped me curate my skills for this purpose,” she said. “I loved how the small class sizes allowed for in-depth learning and communication. My professors are still a part of my network and I continue to ask them for advice regularly.”

Hosted by the OC Alumni Association (OCAA), the event last month brought together alumni from a wide field of industries, from Indigenous youth workers to Red Seal carpenters and chefs to entrepreneurs across a broad spectrum of business.

“Through 60 years, OC’s alumni have been making a profound impact on our institution and the broader community,” said OC President Neil Fassina. “Our alumni are a vital thread in the fabric of Okanagan College’s history and they continue to shape our future. Their commitment to our values and their accomplishments serves as a testament to the quality of an OC education.”

To mark its 60th anniversary the College produced a booklet featuring a collection of alumni stories that will also be shared on OC social media channels and the alumni website. You can view the booklet here: Celebrating 60 years of transforming lives and communities.

The OCAA organizes events and establishes programs to support graduates and students at OC and its predecessor Okanagan University College. Find more information on the OCAA at okanagan.bc.ca/alumni or contact them at [email protected].

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