Founding of Malaspina College
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Audio recording of Dr. Roy MacMillan's October 1994 presentation to the Nanaimo Historical Society about the founding of Malaspina College in Nanaimo, B.C. With Malaspina soon to celebrate its 25th anniversary, MacMillan, the former Chairman of the Malaspina College Council, gives a presentation which outlines the planning and development stages that resulted in Malaspina College opening in 1969. With his own involvement dating back to 1960, MacMillan explains how Nanaimo school board trustees at that time began to look at the lack of opportunities for local high school graduates, with only 20% of grads pursuing post-secondary education. MacMillan and others began making trips to the United States to visit community colleges, and a committee was formed to advocate for a community college to be founded in the central Vancouver Island region. MacMillan details the committee’s work in educating the community about the college concept, and the steps taken to establish support from school districts in the region. He outlines involvement by both the federal and provincial governments; how the former Department of National Defence land on Fifth Street was eventually selected and acquired; the hiring of Malaspina’s first president, Dr. Carl Opgaard; and the successful opening of the first Nanaimo campus in the former hospital on Kennedy Street in September 1969.