The 16,000

Led by the department of External Relations

By signing membership cards and paying the $5 membership fee to the Interior University Society, the citizens and communities of the region led a movement that became UNBC and symbolized hope for the future of the North and generations to come. This act demonstrated the broad public support for the idea of a northern university and UNBC exists today as a manifestation of their resolve. This large-scale project was aimed at thanking and connecting with the 16,000 original members of the Interior University Society (IUS). 

The List

For the first time in UNBC's history, the full list of the 16,000 has been made available online in a searchable format. 


Over 40 photographs of individuals who contributed the $5 membership fee to the Interior University Society and members of their family who then went on to attend or graduate from UNBC were captured. These photos capture the pride in how a small act can produce great reward. Many of these photos are featured below. 


An outreach campaign to collect the compelling memories about the university's history was also undertaken as part of this project. UNBC students helped reach out to many of the 16,000 to collect their stories and thank them for their role in an important part of UNBC's creation. Many of these stories are featured below.

Window Display

An installation showcasing each of the 16,000 members of the Interior University Society is on display on the upper level of the Agora Courtyard windows, overlooking the Canfor Winter Garden. This element of the project serves as a public tribute to "their grassroots activism, strong community spirit, and unwavering resolve" which encouraged the Government of BC to create UNBC on June 22, 1990.