Birthday bash
Aurora College celebrates 26 years of education

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Feb 28/00) - Last week marked the 26th anniversary of Aurora College and to celebrate, campuses all over the North played host to the public, students and educators.

Aurora College Week is when the campuses and learning centres can celebrate what the college works for, said president Maurice Evans during a speech at the flagship Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith.

"We hold Aurora College Week celebrations each year to get together with the people of the communities we serve," Evans said. "We are an organization dedicated to serving people and this week, we get to spend time with you in a very fun and informal way."

Evans said the theme for this year at Aurora College is, A College For The New Millennium.

"What that means is that we are focused on the future -- and on your futures," Evans told the crowd gathered for the anniversary bash.

Fort Smith Mayor Peter Martselos was also on hand to wish the students and faculty well. The mayor pledged his support to make Fort Smith a comfortable home away from home for visiting students and donated $300 on behalf of council for the students to put towards activities for the week.

"I know some of you have to leave your communities to come to Fort Smith and I want you to know that the college staff and the citizens of Fort Smith try very hard to make your stay here very enjoyable," Martselos said.

The Inuvik campus held a free pancake breakfast, and the Trans-Canada Trail relay took off from the college Monday morning, said campus director, Gord Johnston.

Tuesday, the college held a free lunch and open house. Other events through the week included a jewelry display, a jam session and a karaoke night.

The Inuvik campus is home to approximately 200 students, Johnston said. They enjoyed tea and bannock every morning made by local elders.

"It was great," Lodge said. "It's always a big hit with the students. They lead such busy lives that they often don't have time to cook for themselves."

The Yellowknife campus also held a barbecue lunch, an appearance by Alberta pow wow dancer Travis Dugas and a drum dance on Thursday night. It wrapped up Friday with a glow bowling tournament.