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Stan and Judy Hagen: history makers

Stan and Judy at Judy's SFU convocation ceremony in 1983
Stan and Judy at Judy's SFU convocation ceremony in 1983

When Judy Robins pulled up to the church her best friend attended, Stan Hagen saw her climb out of her little red sports car and was smitten. Married in 1967, they moved to the Comox Valley for one year but were soon immersed in valley life and would stay there to raise their five children.


Stan worked for a construction company but later started an independent ready-mix company. He served as school trustee for six years. In 1986, he was elected as a Social Credit MLA under then Premier Bill Vander Zalm who appointed him Minister of Advanced Education. Stan would also serve in the cabinets of Rita Johnston and Gordon Campbell. During his 13 years in the Legislature, Stan would be Minister of 10 separate portfolios including job training, science and technology, and regional and economic development.


Judy - a charter SFU student - kept busy working on her Bachelor's degree through distance education, graduating with a B.A. in history in 1983. She gave generously of her time and talent supporting her community through 25 years of service to the Girl Guides of Canada. She also put her history education to excellent use, writing a popular column, "Hunt for History" in the Comox Valley Echo (now The Record) for 25 years and hosting a local Shaw Cable TV program of the same name for 14 years. In 1993, Judy received an award from the Canadian Museums Association for her book Comox Valley Memories and most recently contributed to Watershed Moments, an acclaimed pictorial record of Courtenay and District.


Stan and Judy shared an appreciation for the power of education. As a senior B.C. cabinet minister, Stan made an indelible mark on the provincial post-secondary landscape. He enhanced student access to B.C.'s universities and crafted the government's five-year, matching funds program, Passport to Education. One of his proudest accomplishments was receiving an honorary degree from SFU in 1998.


Sadly, Stan passed away suddenly in 2009. When considering charitable organizations to support through estate planning, Judy chose to include her university, SFU. Judy's gift will uphold her love of history, and her and Stan's mutual reverence for post-secondary education, by supporting students in SFU's department of history for years to come.


Judy continues to live in Courtenay where she is known for driving a British Racing Green Miata and chronicling island life for posterity.