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Message from the Vice-President, Advancement & Alumni Engagement

Erin Morantz, Vice-President, Advancement & Alumni Engagement

Thank you for the difference you make across Simon Fraser University and the communities we serve.

Today, and since our beginnings in 1965, SFU is a place that responds to the needs of our rapidly changing world. Your remarkable generosity has been essential to the university’s evolution and to our local and global impact over the years.

We have arrived at a critical moment in history, with society facing increasingly complex and formidable challenges. To meet this moment, it’s time for SFU to evolve again. Following extensive university community engagement and consultation, the university has developed What’s Next: The SFU Strategy to guide where we go next—and how we plan to get there.

With President Joy Johnson’s bold leadership, our vision is to be a leading research university, advancing an inclusive and sustainable future. We will bring this vision to life by advancing four priorities that mean the most to our community: upholding truth and Reconciliation, engaging in global challenges, making a difference for B.C., and transforming the SFU experience.

We will channel our efforts through a number of initiatives. For example, planning is now underway for a new SFU Medical School based out of our Surrey campus, and supported by the province of British Columbia. With an initial focus on the Fraser Health region, the school will train desperately needed primary care physicians to serve British Columbians and improve care throughout the province, while considering social, environmental and prevention contexts. First Nations, Inuit and Métis knowledge systems and perspectives will be embedded throughout the school, and we are working towards welcoming our first students by September 2026.

SFU continues to deepen our commitment to Reconciliation and further our goals to transform the university and become a leader in Indigenizing curriculum. In this issue of Engage, we celebrate the vision and generosity of Christiane and George Smyth, whose remarkable gift will embed and uplift Coast Salish art and art education at the university. We introduce you to four Indigenous students and alumni, all recipients of awards funded by SFU’s generous donor community, who are passionate about applying their knowledge and perspectives to strengthen our communities. And we share an interview with alumnus Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis (BA ’05), who brings years of thoughtful leadership and community service to his role as SFU’s Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation.

Throughout this issue, we are honoured to showcase the many ways that your philanthropic support is changing lives and shaping a better tomorrow. These are exciting times for SFU, and we’re grateful to work with alumni and community partners like you along with our students, faculty and staff as we embark on the next stage of SFU’s journey.


Erin Morantz
Vice-President, Advancement & Alumni Engagement