The Hundred-Year Trek

A History of Student Life at UBC

By (author): Sheldon Goldfarb
Foreword by: Kim Campbell
ISBN 9781772032239
Softcover | Publication Date: December 1, 2017
Book Dimensions: 9 in x 10 in
304 Pages

About the Book

A vibrant look back through a century of student life, achievement, and activism at UBC.

“Sheldon Goldfarb’s skillful and lively storytelling makes this a valuable contribution to social history and a memoir to be enjoyed by all who lived it.”—from the foreword by Kim Campbell

From Pierre Berton to Kim Campbell, Debbie Brill, and Justin Trudeau, the University of British Columbia has accepted some impressive students into its fold over the past century. Yet, the story of UBC’s student body—the largest and arguably most vocal in western Canada—comprises much more than the eventual achievements of the institution’s most famous members. Today, the university boasts an alumni of over 300,000—men and women who spent their student days in the shadows of two world wars, those who marched for every cause, and those who can barely remember any of it.

Featuring over two hundred photographs and illustrations collected from UBC’s student archives, The Hundred-Year Trek is a visually fascinating presentation and light-hearted narrative of student life at the University of British Columbia from its founding in 1915 until its hundredth year. Author Sheldon Goldfarb, the archivist of the UBC’s Alma Mater Society, tells the story of the students’ treks and struggles as they helped build their university and won a share in determining its direction. More than just a year-by-year recap of university life, this book is a lively look at the wider social and cultural trends of the past century.

About the Author(s)

Sheldon Goldfarb has been the archivist of UBC’s Alma Mater Society for over twenty years. He holds multiple degrees, including a master’s in Archival Studies and an MA and PhD in English. He is the author of the young adult novel Remember, Remember, which was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award, as well as academic books on William Makepeace Thackeray and dozens of literary essays, book reviews, and biographical articles.


"[The 100 Year Trek] takes its readers through the last 100 years of UBC in a year-by-year, play-by-play narrative that also acts as a guided historical insight into the life of a UBC student." —Danielle Olusanya, The Ubyssey
"It’s been nearly one hundred years since the University of British Columbia was founded and lot has happened on campus during the past century." —Interview, CBC News
"The book offers countless glimpses of student life over the generations, showing that some things never change and others have changed very much for the better." —Crawford Kilian, The Tyee
"This is a perfect book to dip into, with snapshot commentaries on a multitude of events in any given year, presented with a concise wit that makes even AMS politics appear interesting. Such an approach is open to criticism, of course, in that the serious and the trivial sit side by side and may seem to be given equal importance. But Sheldon Goldfarb succeeds in setting student activism into a wider perspective of the political and social movements that have impacted UBC policies, among them two world wars, the depression, the rise of feminism, and changing attitudes towards First Nations and visible minorities."—Herbert Rosegarten, Ormsby Review