Langara was built on the dedication, passion, and commitment of our employees and community members including pioneers and founders who are no longer with us.
Honour the Langarans gone but not forgotten.
Ernie Allen was an “original Langaran” and major faculty leader at Langara though the 1970s and 1980s. A Chemistry instructor, Ernie served as Chair of the Chemistry Department and the Mathematics and Sciences Division. He was also President of the Langara Faculty Association (LFA).
Siem Henry Charles was a beloved Musqueam elder, storyteller, and historian. One of five remaining fluent speakers of the Musqueam language, he was instrumental in Langara receiving a Musqueam name, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, meaning house of teachings. He worked for the City of Vancouver for 36 years and in retirement, he was an elder for the DUDES Club in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a support group for men; Aboriginal Greeter, welcoming people to the traditional Musqueam territories, and a First Nations historian.
Shirley Church was an English instructor at Langara. She was one of the very few women who took on leadership roles at Langara in the 1970s and early 1980s. During her time at Langara, Shirley served as the Chair of the English Department, Chair of the English and Modern Languages Division, and President of the Langara Faculty Association.
Gerald Formosa was, along with Don Hutchinson and Barry Holmes, one of the original founders of Langara’s Fine Arts program. The artists were affectionately known as the “Three Amigos”. A beloved Design Instructor, with a passion for colour and form, he inspired an entire generation of students and created over 350 unique ceramic “spirit houses”, each with its own special significance or story.
Eric Grass was a beloved Geography instructor at Langara. Eric founded two programs during his time at the College. He was the founder of the Applied Urban and Rural Planning program and, along with Dave Pearson and Michael Earl, Langara’s first Aboriginal Studies program.
Barry Holmes was, along with Don Hutchinson and Gerald Formosa, one of the original founders of Langara’s Fine Arts program. The artists were affectionately known as the “Three Amigos”. A classically trained and well-known sculptor, Barry inspired an entire generation of students in the fundamentals of art and design. The Barry Holmes Memorial Bursary was established in his honour.
Don Hutchinson was, along with Barry Holmes and Gerald Formosa, one of the original founders of Langara’s Fine Arts program. The artists were affectionately known as the “Three Amigos”. A dedicated and well-respected ceramicist, Don taught at Langara College for over 30 years. He was a former President of the Potters Guild of BC and received the Surrey Civic Treasure Award in 2014.
Glen Lockyear was Langara’s first Co-operative Education Officer. He, along with Fred Wuhrer and Peter Lisset, established the Co-operative Education program at Langara, the first of its kind in British Columbia.
Dave Pearson was, along with Michael Earl and Eric Grass, one of the founders of Langara’s first Aboriginal Studies program. A Langara alum, Dave was a member of the Long Plain First Nation and a passionate advocate for Aboriginal people, especially in the area of access to education for adult Aboriginal learners. In 1996, he became the coordinator of First Nations’ Education at Langara. He established the Dave Pearson Native Student Centre in the Langara Students Union and after his passing in 2006, the community came together to establish the Dave Pearson Memorial Bursary.
Brian Pink was the coordinator of Langara College Continuing Studies Real Estate program. Brian was a passionate advocate for bettering the real estate industry through quality education.
Alvin Schafer was one of the founding instructors of Langara’s Professional Photography program. He taught at the College from 1971 to 1999. He was well regarded in the industry and active member of the Professional Photographers of BC. He had a reputation for being a “tough-as-nails” instructor with a heart of gold. He often went above and beyond to open industry doors to students and program grads alike.