This is a bimonthly newsletter featuring community updates from Capilano University President and Vice-Chancellor Paul Dangerfield.

President's Letter banner with portrait of Paul Dangerfield, president and vice chancellor of Capilano University

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Read previous issues here.

May 2024

I know I’m not the only one looking forward to spring convocation at Capilano University next month. It’s always a joyful event—for the graduates who’ve worked so hard, and for the families and friends who have supported them on their academic journey. This year, our alumni ranks will grow again by almost 1,000, for a total of 100,000 CapU grads now living and working all around the world.

In early March, I attended the Canada in Asia Conferences and was fortunate to be able to meet in person with some of our international alumni, who comprise roughly 30 per cent of our total alumni population. Because CapU is a relatively new university, we’ve been working hard to grow and strengthen our alumni association, which launched in 2010. Last year was our inaugural visit to Asia to meet our graduates, increase mutual support, and explore new academic and work-integrated learning programming for students in Canada and abroad. This year, thanks in large part to the talents of alumni relations manager Brittany Haavaldsrud, we hosted three workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City—valued networking events for our alumni, to be sure, and an inspiring opportunity for me to see how they’re connecting with their communities and organizations to make a real difference in the world.

CapU alumni: they are networked, and they are thriving

I met a full spectrum of alumni—from business, tourism, outdoor recreation and the jazz program, among others—and during one-on-one conversations they all told me how much they admire and appreciate the CapU faculty; how confident and well-prepared they felt to begin their careers abroad; and how much their CapU experience helped build their networks in their home countries. And we didn’t even know that network was alive!

But let me tell you: they are networked, and they are thriving. People like Ken Mendal, a founding partner of the Grab app (like Uber but for Asia), now living in Singapore. Or Jesse Lam, a communications grad who now lives in Hong Kong and is ESPN’s basketball reporter in China. And Jessica Zuch, who graduated from the jazz program and is now a musician, composer and educator who owns a musical therapy company in Hong Kong.  

Launching CapU's Global Ambassador Program

These are just some of the good folks who embody CapU’s community values and who have agreed to help us launch our Global Ambassador Program, a new initiative to broaden our engagement across the Asia Pacific region and empower our alumni to foster connections with prospective students, alumni and local partners. It exemplifies our commitment to embracing global perspectives and cultivating a vibrant, interconnected alumni community. Our ambassador leads will play a pivotal role in raising the visibility of CapU and helping us to better understand international business and educational landscapes so we can tailor our offerings to meet the unique needs of diverse students and partners.

Connecting with our alumni

In a world full of conflict and chaos, it did my heart good to meet so many of our international alumni who are living their values to make the world a better place. I am astounded by how much they are willing to give back to CapU—whether they left 30 years ago, or five. Since 2018, when we celebrated our 50th anniversary, we have seen a notable spike in the number of alumni donors—people like Martin Chan in Hong Kong, who was the first to lean in with a generous donation to our campaign to counter food insecurity on campus.

I am always eager to connect with our alumni. If you’re interested in serving as a global ambassador, you can learn more to become involved or reach out to me directly on LinkedIn; I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s to the next generation of CapU alumni,




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