Thompson Rivers University

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Coordinates: 50°40′6.32″N 120°21′56.22″W / 50.6684222°N 120.3656167°W / 50.6684222; -120.3656167

Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University coat of arms.jpg
Motto Quansem Ilep (To strive ahead)
  • Cariboo College (1970-1988)
    *University College of the Cariboo (1988-2005)
    *Renamed Thompson Rivers University on April 1, 2005
Type Public
Chancellor Wally Oppal
President Dr. Alan Shaver[1]
Provost Dr. Ulrich Scheck
Academic staff

On campus: 13,072[3]

Distance education: 8,964[3]
Location Canada Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban
Sport Teams Thompson Rivers WolfPack
Colours      Royal Blue
     Sage Green
Nickname TRU WolfPack

Thompson Rivers University is a university located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The enabling legislation is the Thompson Rivers University Act.[4] While the main campus is located in Kamloops, there is a second campus in Williams Lake and the university's Open Learning Division distance learning service maintains an examination and resource facility in downtown Vancouver. Wally Oppal is the Chancellor of TRU.


Founded in 1970, TRU was initially a community college known as Cariboo College, with government funding and support.

Five community colleges were granted authority to offer baccalaureate degrees following a 1988 government initiative designed to increase access to degree programs in British Columbia. These five institutions—Fraser Valley, Kwantlen, Malaspina, Cariboo, and Okanagan—were renamed university colleges. Initially, they offered degrees under the aegis of one or more of the three provincial universities. In 1995, they were awarded the authority to offer academic degrees and college diplomas in their own right.[5]

Also in 1995, the province of British Columbia enacted legislation changing the institution's name to University College of the Cariboo.[6] In 1998 the institution began offering its first undergraduate degrees. The Bachelor of Natural Resource Sciences (NRSC) was the first degree offered by the University College of the Cariboo.

Thompson Rivers University was established by the Thompson Rivers University Act,[7] and the college was renamed effective April 1, 2005. From that point forward, the institution became a full degree-granting university. As part of the agreement with the province, all courses and programs administered by the former British Columbia Open University (BCOU) became part of the new university under the Open Learning Division. On July 1, 2007, all TRU, Open Learning (TRU-OL) operations relocated from Burnaby to the BC Centre for Open Learning building, which is located on the Kamloops campus.[8]

The logo of Thompson Rivers University is a combined shield and logotype. The shield is composed of a sunrise representative of the Kamloops region, which averages over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually, and of the rising sun of enlightenment traditionally associated with higher education. The mountains in the shield represent the terrain of the region, which is located between the Coastal and Monashee ranges. The lines flowing from the mountains symbolize the meeting of the North and South Thompson Rivers at Kamloops. These lines also form a reference to the joining of UCC and BC Open Learning to become Thompson Rivers University. The colours, sage green and royal blue, reflect both the natural surroundings of the area and the boldness aspired to by the institution.[9]

In 2010, while celebrating the school's 40th anniversary, the school had its 40,000th graduate—Josephine Gambaretto[citation needed].

Aboriginal services[edit]

TRU provides services to Aboriginal people in more remote communities. Thompson Rivers University's Aboriginal Tourism Certificate provides training in Aboriginal tourism to meet specific needs within Aboriginal communities.[10]

TRU-OL is assisting community-based First Nations Learning Centres across the province. At these learning centres, First Nations students study Adult Basic Education upgrading courses and programs, business and other college-level courses, and some university-level courses.

The campus is located in Secwepemc territory, and over 700 self-identified Aboriginal students attend the university. The Aboriginal Coordinator and the Aboriginal Transitions Planner provide a range of support services to all Aboriginal, First Nation, Inuit, and Metis students. TRU has stated among its strategic goals to become the University of Choice for B.C.'s Aboriginal students.

Space for enhanced Aboriginal programs and services will be included in the new $32-million House of Learning. A new Gathering House in the form of a traditional pit house will provide space for displays and ceremonies.

Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning[edit]

Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) (formerly Open Learning Agency) is TRU's distance education provider. The organization helped found the Canadian Virtual University, which operates in collaboration with other educational institutions and professional, industry, and business associations.


TRU offers varsity sports (eleven teams in eight sports). Thompson Rivers WolfPack varsity sports teams include:


— curling, basketball, volleyball, swimming, cross-country running and soccer. All teams compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West Conference.[11][11]


— curling, basketball, volleyball, swimming, cross-country running and soccer. All teams compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West Conference.[11][11]

TRU Club Teams[edit]

Teams that do not compete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West operate as a club program. Currently there are only two clubs at Thompson Rivers University. The Cheerleading team, who are both a Spirit Squat and a competetive team. They began operating in Fall of 2009. And the baseball team who operate with no funding from the Athletics department. They compete in the Canadian College Baseball Conference.


- Hillside Stadium, Tournament Capital Centre, NorBorck Stadium, TRU Gym

Defunct Teams[edit]

Thompson Rivers University used to compete in Canadian College Athletic Association [12] in the Pacific West [13] division before it transitioned all sports to CIS. Because of the cost of bringing all sports into the CIS some were disbanded. Those included men's golf, men's and women's badminton, and men's hockey. Though men's hockey operated as a club team, similar to baseball, the cost of the sport and its reliance on outside funding prohibited it from continuing.

Buildings and features[edit]

Brown Family House of Learning

The main buildings include the newly built Brown Family House of Learning, featuring the Barber Centre pithouse, Clocktower, Old Main, Arts and Education, International Building, Campus Activity Centre, BC Centre for Open Learning (BCCOL), Culinary Arts, Trades and Technology, Ken Lepin Science Building, and the Library.[14]

The $32-million Brown Family House of Learning was opened on May 26, 2011, which is the new home of a library, a coffee shop, study areas, and meeting rooms. The project has been approved by TRU to be built to LEED Gold Certified eco-friendly standards. The building features a vertical plant wall.

In the Summer of 2013, Old Main received a $20 million dollar renovation where they added a third and fourth floor which now house the first new law school in 30 years and the MBA program. It also included a roof replacement, exterior redecorating, installation of a new Starbucks Coffee in the newly branded BMO Student Street.[15]

On the grounds of the university are two residences, the 11-story Thompson Rivers University Residence & Conference Centre, and the McGill On-Campus Housing. They are operated as P3's on the university.

Accolades is a restaurant that has meals prepared by students from the Culinary Arts program and is staffed by students from the Tourism program.

Future Buildings[edit]

Thompson Rivers University has two buildings planned in the near future. Both are additions to existing buildings. The first will be an addition to the Trades and Technology building called the Industrial Training and Technology Centre. The second will be an addition to the Ken Lepin Science Building called the Health Science Building. These buildings are in the planning phase and will not be realized until 2017/2018. [16]

Campus radio station and newspaper[edit]

CFBX is Kamloops's Campus and Community radio station and can be heard at 92.5 FM or online via streaming audio. Overseen by the Kamloops Campus Community Radio Society, CFBX receives most of its annual funding through TRU student fees. Other funding sources include on-air advertising, KCCRS membership dues, donations, and fundraising projects.[17] CFBX offers programming in languages other than English. African, German, Italian, Pan-Asian, South American, and South East Asian are all offered.

The student newspaper, The Omega, is a member of Canadian University Press.

Thompson Rivers University Students' Union[edit]

The Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union – TRUSU is the membership organization of the over 10,000 students studying at TRU in Kamloops BC. they provide students with advocacy, services, and entertainment to ensure that students are valued and supported while pursing their educational aspirations. [18] The Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union is a democratic, membership-based organisation. This is the greatest factor in determining the structure of the organisation and how decisions are made. The membership as a whole is the highest decision-making body, and all members have the ability to exercise their decision-making rights with an equal vote at the Union’s Annual General Meeting. Every year, the members also exercise their right to vote in the election of a Council and Executive Committee of that Council. These representative members undertake the administration of the Union for their one-year term.

The Union also maintains five standing committees to oversee the work of the Union these are the Campaigns Committee, Entertainment Committee, Equity Committee, Policy Committee, and Services Committee. Members of the Board of Directors as well as members at large make up the membership of these committees, which take on the everyday tasks of the Union.

Finally, the Union maintains the Student Caucus. This body tracks institutional issues and provides support for student representatives across the campus. The Student Caucus is made up of all elected and appointed student representatives on institutional bodies, and is co-chaired by the President of the Students’ Union and a second chair elected internally by the membership of the Caucus. [19]

Board of Directors[edit]

The board of directors of the TRU Students’ Union is made up of thirteen representatives selected in an election each year. These representatives each serve a one-year term from May 1st to April 30th. There are four executive members, five advocacy representatives, and four directors-at-large.

These representatives are responsible for overseeing the Students’ Union and its operations. They make decisions on behalf of the entire membership and manage the organisation in between annual general meetings.[20]


TRUSU offers free events to students, staff, and the Kamloops community throughout the year. Some of those events include: Back-to-School BBQ, Tunes Against Tuition, Movie Nights, TRUSU Clubs Day, Common Voices Lecture Series, and Last Class Bash. These events are widely attended and offer a variety of choice.

See also[edit]


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