Andrew Arida

Raised so far


Andrew was one of these remarkable people who truly loved what he did and the people he worked with. For those of us at UBC working directly alongside him, this translated into lively discussions about how to consistently do things better. The focus could be creating service standards for student and counselor advising, or the use of performance data to determine how best to admit a class of students that will be engaged and successful at UBC. The result is a highly dedicated, student-centered staff, that love what they do. And a holistic admissions process that allows us to understand applicants in different ways and to set new standards within Canadian higher education.

Andrew’s definition of a “colleague” extended well beyond the walls of UBC. He was always keen to listen to feedback, answer questions, collaborate in service of students, or share his research findings. This unfaltering eagerness to openly discuss his work encompassed the global membership of the International Baccalaureate Organization, the counselling community at both public and private high schools across the country, as well as his counterparts at other post-secondary institutions. During his time as President of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC), he was influential in moving the country towards a national solution for the exchange of trusted, verified data that would ultimately support student mobility.

For all Andrew’s analytic skills and big picture thinking, he never lost sight of the student as an individual and the focus of all our endeavors. He was always willing to review how specific circumstances potentially impacted a student’s admission to UBC. At applicant events, Andrew could be seen sporting a Destination UBC t-shirt and jeans, running around with the biggest smile on his face. He loved UBC and was genuinely excited about the experience these students were going to have over the next four years. Students often comment that an interaction with Andrew was the reason they ended up at UBC. And after a long day in the office, even as Deputy Registrar, Andrew cherished getting in front of a group of high school students and sharing his love of UBC.

Andrew dedicated his career to student recruitment and admissions, working in a number of roles during his 20+ years at UBC. Andrew started his journey at UBC in 1996 as the Business Development Manager, Student Recruitment. He held a number of other positions over the years, including Associate Liaison Officer, Student Recruitment; Coordinator, Student Recruitment and Advising; Associate Director, Student Recruitment; Associate Director, Undergraduate Admissions; and Associate Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions & Student Recruitment before taking on his final role as Deputy Registrar in 2018. Andrew Arida received UBC’s highest award the President’s Service Award for Excellence (2018).

For those of us who have had the privilege of working closely with Andrew at UBC, the impact of his endless energy, new ideas and passion for what he does and who he works with has forever changed us. He often pushed us further than we were comfortable, and after providing him with a long list of reasons why not, Andrew would simply reply “find a way.” And we always did. He mixed this drive with a genuine care, interest and enjoyment of the people he worked with. Many of us emerged with a new sense of confidence, with a perspective of our colleagues as family, and with an understanding of how changes to the broader system could impact the individual student experience. This award is our very small way of honoring all that Andrew has given and continues to give us.

Andrew’s energy, humour and passion extended well beyond UBC. Andrew’s family and friends have shared more memories on Andrew’s personal obituary.

The impact of your support

To honour Andrew’s life and accomplishments, his family, friends and colleagues will be establishing the Andrew Arida Memorial Fund. Your gift will pay tribute to Andrew’s life by supporting students in their pursuit of a UBC education. Final decisions on the award description and student eligibility will be made in consultation with the family.

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