A lasting impact

Jul 06, 2017

Hundreds gather to celebrate the career of Ray Cole

Ray Cole celebrates at the SALA reunion

On June 29th, the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre hosted the largest ever gathering of former SALA students. Over 400 guests, from five different decades, gathered together to celebrate the career of Ray Cole, who began teaching at the school in 1977, and retired this year.  

A number of Ray’s former students, collaborators, and friends spoke about the impact he’s made on their careers in a video produced by Canadian Green Building Council and UBC.

Peter Busby, the director and design principal for Perkins + Will, said that Ray “showed me the way, showed me the path, and he gave me the passion and motivation to want to build a career around things that he and I both believe in.”

“It was actually his recommendation,” said Thomas Mueller, the president and CEO of the Canadian Green Building Council, “that led us to pick LEED, which now has been hugely successful. There are one billion square feet of projects in our program now.”

“If you were to write the history of green buildings in Canada, Ray would be the taproot,” said Freda Pagani, the founder and former director of the UBC Sustainability Office.

“I don’t think that I’ve ever met anyone who is as committed to making each and every student leave a class with a mission,” said Ronald Kellett, director and professor at SALA.

1,574 students have graduated from the school since Ray began teaching here over 40 years ago. His impact has been felt wide and far. The over 400 guests that returned from around the world to celebrate with Ray are a testament to the profound impact he’s had on generations of students.

You can view more photos from the reunion on our Facebook. Share your memories of Ray's time at SALA with the hashtag #SALARayTimes.

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