ACAM Centennial Alumni Project

Retelling UBC’s History from an Asian Canadian Lens


The ACAM Centennial Alumni Project looks back on the UBC’s past 100 years to uncover the unknown histories of its Asian Canadian communities. When we talk about UBC having a large Asian student demographic, what kinds of conversations do we have? Over the last 100 years, the university has changed drastically since its first graduating class in 1916. To celebrate UBC’s Centennial, the ACAM Centennial Alumni Project is centred around discovering and sharing stories about the UBC experience from the perspective of earlier Asian Canadian graduates. 

Who was the first student of Asian descent to graduate from UBC? Did gender influence who was privileged to attend UBC? What kinds of clubs and sports did students participate in? How did the university respond to its students when WWII broke out in 1942? By collecting the often untold oral histories from the Asian Canadian community and sharing five short video vignettes, the centennial project reveals that some of the issues faced 100 years ago are still relevant to the experiences of Asian Canadian students on campus today. The university’s story began more than 100 years ago and it is still continuing to be written- this time, uncovered and retold from an Asian Canadian lens.

Dominique Bautista (ACAM grad 2015) is fortunate and humbled to be the primary researcher and producer for this research project and film series, shot and edited by Alejandro Yoshizawa, Tyler Mark, and Denise Fong, and supported by ACAM Director, Dr. Chris Lee, Dr. Henry Yu, and other ACAM faculty. Most importantly, this research would not be possible without the trust, commitment, and support or community members.


Building Community: UBC’s first Asian Canadian and Japanese Graduate

An Act of Grace: UBC’s first Sikh Immigrant Family

Beginning Relationships: Filipino Presence at UBC and Beyond

An Ocean Apart: From Indonesia to Canada

A Doctor Beyond Borders: Fleeing War-torn Vietnam