The Italian gardens at Royal Roads University help create an idyllic surrounding for learners

Personal recollections tell story of Royal Roads

Alumni, faculty, staff past and present invited to be part of Colwood university's Changing Lives project

Universities and colleges are places of learning, first and foremost. But besides receiving or providing an education, what kind of long-term effect does a person’s time at a post-secondary institution have on them?

Royal Roads University has undertaken a project to get to the heart of that subject, as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Changing Lives Story Project encourages alumni, former cadets, faculty and staff from Royal Roads’ 75-year history – 20 as a public university and the previous 55 as a military college – to write a reflection about their time at the school and how it shaped who they are today.

A dozen or so stories are already online at changinglives.royalroads.ca. There are funny moments described, such as ex-cadet Doug Kobayashi and his childhood buddies sneaking in and fishing in the ponds; and thrilling tales like Royal Canadian Air Force Capt. Sarah Goul’s story of riding in a Snowbird jet as part of the Sunset Ceremony that kicked off the 75th anniversary celebrations at Royal Roads in April.

Most of the stories, including one written by alumnus and associate faculty member Alice MacGillivray, speak to the educational impact the experience provided and how it relates to what they’re doing today.

But there’s also a thread that runs through the submissions, says Katharine Harrold, vice-president of community and advancement at Royal Roads.

“One of the things that is common in the stories is this sense of how special the place is to them,” she says. “It’s beyond just a memory, it’s held dear to them and we really see that bridging the decades.”

There is a definite “pride of place” among alumni regarding the RRU grounds, she adds. Tucked in the middle of the forest, with the ocean at its foot and gardens and ponds sprinkled throughout, it is an idyllic West Shore icon. “There’s a sense of (the campus) taking people’s breath away and being that backdrop for pivotal moments in their lives.”

Kobayashi, the president of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce and a retired aeronautical space engineer and former Royal Roads cadet, said he’s excited and honoured to be a part of the Changing Lives project.

He’s served in various capacities with the university in the past few years, from sitting on the advisory council for the business school and being a panelist for the business case competition, to being a member of the alumni awards committee.

“All these things together have made me think, I want to be part of this,” he says. “Not just for my time as a cadet, but for the phenomenal people I’ve had a chance to work with and who are graduating from there. I’ve been able to see some real quality young people coming through.”

The Changing Lives Story Project will likely have received numerous submissions by the time the Global Alumni Weekend rolls around in September at Royal Roads. The written or recorded stories will be accepted until Oct. 15, however, when a prize will be awarded to a randomly drawn participant.

They can be shared directly online at changinglives.royalroads.ca, via email at stories@royalroads.ca or by calling the university at 250-391-2600 ext. 8540.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria saw more snowfall this month compared to other major cities

Victoria normally sees about 6 cm of snow in February

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read