A thank you to Jennifer Thuncher for giving Quest University space in an editorial, [Published March 2] but by emphasizing ‘the end’, the ‘Ode to Quest University’ sounds too much like the university’s requiem.
Naturally, it is painful to see something familiar and part of the community suddenly disappear or halt operation, whether that be a landmark cherished by oldtimers or the operation of an innovative and relatively new learning institute like Quest University.
There is indeed a reason to debate ‘what went wrong and who is to blame,’ but contrary to what is suggested in the editorial, doing so does matter to students, alumni, faculty, and staff because it helps explain what created the now and ‘the end of their dreams’. It will also serve as the baseline for avoiding similar in future, and on that point, it also matters very much to the District and its taxpayers.
I think, however, that it is much too early to ‘write off’ our young university. The beautifully designed campus and student residences on the commanding hill above the town are still here no matter who owns them now, and regardless of what the future academic emphasis and direction taught there will be and what new name it might be given. Through them, Dr. Strangway’s vision and his legacy will carry on as the one who put down the foundation for a university in Squamish.
I would therefore ask for a bit more optimism and long-term thinking, please: What are 15 or 20 years of startup pains for an educational institution that could serve generations of students, like colleges and universities elsewhere, for decades and perhaps even centuries to come?
On that note, and paraphrasing Mark Twain’s quote, I believe “The demise of Squamish’s University has been greatly exaggerated.”