Surrey: A City of Stories author receives honorary degree from KPU

Tue, Oct 8, 2019

An author whose histories of British Columbia communities are a model for the field will receive an honorary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University at fall convocation.

Dr. K. Jane Watt is the author of numerous regional histories including Surrey: A City of Stories, which was a finalist for the B.C. Book Prize’s Roderick Haig Brown Regional Prize.

“Dr. Watt has, in a brief period of time, achieved much that is outstanding in her field of local historical research,” says Diane Purvey, dean in the Faculty of Arts at KPU. She also nominated Watt for the honorary degree.

“Her inclusive histories and consultation processes for the Surrey book is a model for modern history books.”

Watt has been a consultant since 1998, working with various clients as an editor, writer and researcher. In addition to the Surrey history book, her work includes:

  • Cultural Heritage Overview, Campbell Valley Regional Park with Metro Vancouver Parks
  • We Are Kwantlen museum exhibit with Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group and Kwantlen Nation

“My projects are usually about tapping into the wealth of knowledge we have close to us, especially in people and the stories they tell about their lives and the work they do,” says Watt.

“In terms of historical documents, people have incredible photographs, documents, fabrics, tools, and collections stashed away. When they pull them out and get talking about them, magic happens.”

“We are pleased to present Dr. Watt with an honorary degree for her dedication to the regional histories and her ability to capture the history of British Columbia including the people, diversity, places, economies, struggles and more,” says Dr. Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor of KPU.

Watt will be presented with the honorary degree on October 8 during convocation.