After eight years at UFV’s helm, Dr. Mark Evered is set to retire as president on June 30. However, the UFV community wasn’t going to let him or his wife, Maureen Evered, leave without saying goodbye. On June 20, students, staff, alumni, and anyone else wishing to see the Evereds off were invited to gather in — appropriately — UFV’s Evered Hall for a farewell barbecue.
The Evered’s impact on UFV and the surrounding community was immediately apparent by the large crowd that gathered to see them off, exceeding expectations and filling the hall. Once the crowd had gathered, the event began with a welcome by Elder in Residence Terry Prest, who led a group in singing the Stó:lõ UFV song. That wasn’t the only music of the afternoon, either: Chilliwack drumline group X Corps kept the crowd excited and energized with reimagined hits from artists as varied as Ed Sheeran and White Snake.
As a barbecue, food naturally played an important role too. With the lunch catered by Dana Hospitalities, attendees were treated to chicken, salmon, and stuffed mushroom caps, served alongside salad and potatoes.
Craig Toews, UFV’s executive director of campus planning and resource development, handled emcee duties throughout the afternoon, taking time to comment on Mark Evered’s leadership as the school transitioned from the University College of the Fraser Valley to a full-fledged university, his vital role in the building of UFV’s multiple campuses, and the construction of the Canada Education Park campus, the Agriculture Centre, and most recently, the Student Union Building. Randy Kelly, director of the School of Trades, also spoke on the great leadership Evered provided to the university as a whole, and the positive impact it had on the Trades campus. UFV’s CFO and soon-to-be interim president, Jackie Hogan, added some touching words of her own about Evered. Finally, the retiring president gave a speech, thanking the other speakers, the attendees, and the UFV community at large. Following the speeches, attendees shared cake, and a final chance to celebrate Mark and Maureen Evered’s years of contributions to UFV.
However, it was not the final event bidding farewell to Dr. Evered. On Friday, June 23, a fundraising dinner was held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre, offering a more formal conclusion to his legacy as president. The Evereds, along with their children and grandchildren, were celebrated with more speeches, a wide variety of food, and dancers providing entertainment. The night concluded with the announcement of a new scholarship honouring the Evereds’ legacy.
With files from Joel Robertson-Taylor & Quintin Stamler.