Vanier College marks 50th, but in-person celebrations on hold

An aerial view of the St. Laurent campus a few years before it opened to students as Vanier College. At the time of this early 1960s photo, it was Collège Basile-Moreau.

Vanier College in St. Laurent marked its 50th anniversary last week, in a low-key way for now because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement by the CEGEP points out that when Vanier opened its doors on Sept. 8, 1970, it had about 1,400 students.

“Fifty years later, the student population numbers over 7,000 full-time Diploma students with an additional 2,000 students attending through the Continuing Education Department,” the statement adds.

Vanier Director General John McMahon sent out a message of good wishes on the occasion of the anniversary.

“While many of our birthday celebrations, galas and gatherings have been put on hold due to COVID-19, let’s remember that today Vanier College is 50 years old,” he stated. “Even if from a distance, let’s mark this important milestone and ‘Celebrate what is right about Vanier’ as we begin our second half century teaching, facilitating learning and guiding young people to achieve success in various careers or university studies.

“Above all, let’s remember and celebrate the Vanier community, because Vanier is more than a collection of buildings. It is the thousands of students, teachers, professionals, staff and managers who have contributed to the college’s mission and its success for the past 50 years.”

McMahon urged the general community to “salute the imagination, hard work and determination that all of Vanier is calling on this year as we continue to teach and work through this unprecedented pandemic.

“We made history when Vanier opened its doors as part of a new CEGEP system in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We are continuing to make history this year by calling on all our resources to provide the best education possible under the most challenging circumstances. Together we will succeed. Happy Birthday.”

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