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UFV 50

50 Remarkable Alumni

Stu Chahal, 2006

Stu Chahal’s time at UFV allowed him to gain expertise and experience in both business and computing—something that has served him well. Launching his career with Cisco Systems, an IT industry giant focused mostly on networking infrastructure such as routers and switches, in 2019 he transferred his talents to Splunk...

Stu Chahal forges leadership career in IT »

Ken Hildebrandt, 1996

For theatre graduate Ken Hildebrandt, one art evokes another. “Staging a production is not just having actors moving around the stage,” he says. “The stage is essentially a canvas, and you are ‘painting’ with actors, set, lighting, costumes, et cetera, and applying the sense of line, mass, form, shape.” This is a lesson learned from Ian Fenwick – UFV’s Theatre program head while Ken was a student.

Ken Hildebrandt engages Abbotsford audiences with thought-provoking theatre »

Shelley Besse, 1999

Surround yourself with good people, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Those are the two biggest lessons Shelley Besse has learned during a 38-year career with First West Credit Union — better known in the Fraser Valley through its local brand, Envision Financial ...

From teller to the executive suite »

Dave Lanphear, 1999

Dave Lanphear has had a successful career in financial services. With nearly 25 years at Envision Financial, he climbed the ladder from working the front desk, to financial advisor, all the way to president...

Dave Lanphear builds on his success by following his passions »

Andy Thompson, 1990

It was in a UFV counsellor’s office at the age of 17 that Andy Thompson decided he would be an actor. Since that pivotal appointment with Dave Birkett, this alum has been following his art, and his heart.

Andy Thompson enjoys an enduring career in the arts »

Darren Penner, 2004

Studying at University of the Fraser Valley helped Darren Penner prepare for a career as lawyer. It also helped shape the kind of lawyer he would be: one who puts compassion ahead of compensation. Like many students, Darren planned to complete only two years at what was then University College of the Fraser Valley before…

Darren Penner finds passion in helping others »

Myrtle-Anne Rempel, 1986

Myrtle-Anne Rempel has long been a community leader in Abbotsford. She’s not the type who runs for office or heads a company–although she helped run her husband’s business ventures– rather, she’s the kind who shows up and is present, as an advocate for arts and culture, and charitable causes.

Alumna ‘created’ a career of doing what she loves »

Amarjit Kingra, 1994

Amar Kingra joined the Abbotsford Police Department (formerly Matsqui Police) in 1981 as its first visible minority and spent 34 years in the eastern Fraser Valley before calling it a career in 2015. He was the APD’s longest serving member and had attained the rank of Staff Sargeant when he retired. “I was the only…

Retired police officer led a career of firsts »

Kelly Chahal, 2011

Three-term city Councillor Kelly Chahal has a storied career in Abbotsford. In addition to her decades as a probation officer, she chairs the city’s public safety committee, participates in the Purple Lights Campaign -- part of the violence against women in relationships committee (VAWIR) -- and she is part of the Empower Goddess group which…

Kelly Chahal continues to grow herself, and help others grow »

Brad Jalbert, 1989

What is your favourite type of rose? It’s the one question Brad Jalbert dislikes more than any other. “It’s like being asked to choose which is your favourite child,” he says with a groan. “They’re all my favourites.” And they really are like children. There are tens of thousands of varieties of roses in the…

Rose expert Brad Jalbert likes making things beautiful »

Matt Loewen, 2003

What a difference a decade can make. 10 short years ago, Matt Loewen was in Botswana, Africa with an organization called Kings Active Foundation, a group that leverages sports to enrich the lives of young people, while at the same time helping them to find and fulfill their potential. Today, Loewen, who was named one…

Matt Loewen brings his lifelong passion for service back home »

Jackie Rea, 1995

Of the 50,000 alumni who have graduated from a UFV program since 1974, 17,000 of those have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree. But if it weren’t for a determined group of students and community members who advocated for degree-granting status in 1991, UFV might still be a two-year college.  Jackie Rea was one of the students…

Jackie Rea helped forge a path for thousands of degree students »

Stacey Irwin, 1997

Stacey Irwin was a leader on day one. And she hasn’t stopped since. Irwin (BBA ’97) co-founded the UCFV Alumni Association and sat as its first chair -- a position she held until 2008 -- but her contributions didn’t end there, thanks to an incredible commitment to community, driven by three principles of success: be…

Decades of authentic community connections for Stacey »

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