Fanshawe's London South Campus celebrates opening

Dr. Nord Mensah, the associate dean of Fanshawe College's London South campus, said the students love the new location so far.

Fanshawe College’s new London South Campus finished off an already positive first year with a community barbeque.

A London Scouts troop served hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, chips, and juice to guests on Sept. 6. Many students, staff, and other guests took a break between classes to grab lunch and mingle.

The campus, located on 1060 Wellington Rd., is where students in the retirement residence management, business and information systems architecture, agri-business management, and business management programs will call home. Over 250 students will attend in September, with plans to expand to 850 students after finished renovations.

Dr. Nord Mensah, the associate dean of the London South Campus, said students have told him that they’re enjoying the campus so far.

“They think the campus is beautiful,” he said. “They love the location and the proximity to the mall and other employment opportunities in the area.”

Mensah added hosting the community barbeque greets both the students and the rest of the White Oaks neighbourhood.

“I think it’s important, one, to welcome the students to the campus. A lot of them are new to Canada so we want to welcome them here,” he said. “But also because we want to be good neighbours with the businesses and the community that surround us.”

Farul Kalra and Siddharth Kshirsagar, two business management students from India, are enjoying their time at Fanshawe so far. Since they started classes the day before the barbeque, the students didn’t have too much to say about the course itself, but they’re enjoying the College’s events and faculty.

“What we’ve observed is the teachers and overall, the other staff very welcoming and very kind,” Kshirsagar said.

Both students aim to land managerial positions in their career after graduating from Fanshawe. Kalra said the business management program will get him to where he wants to be, as he achieves a lifelong dream.

“It was my dream to be in Canada and to study here,” he said. “So I’m living my dream now.”

Two London city councillors, Ward 12 councillor Elizabeth Peloza and Ward 14 councillor Steve Hillier, attended the barbeque. During their speeches, they welcomed the students to the new campus.

“As a graduate of Fanshawe College myself, I really appreciate [the College]. I know the really good work they do and I’m just very proud to have you here in the neighbourhood,” Hillier said. “As a city councillor, I love seeing this kind of development.”

Peloza said that the area surrounding the London South campus is “a great neighbourhood”. She spoke highly of nearby places like the London Public Library’s Jalna Branch, and White Oaks Park, known for its South London Canada Day festivities.

“We’re looking forward to serving you and seeing you grow in your academics sense,” Peloza said to the crowd.

ReForest London was also at the barbeque, with a tree depot for guests to pick up native trees to plant across London. Connor Ferguson, ReForest London’s park and residential programs manager, said the College is a “great community partner”, which is necessary for the organization to meet its Million Tree Challenge community improvement mandate.

“If they’re going to keep expanding, then we’ll keep providing what we can to them for all the benefits of trees give to people and to everything else that lives with us,” Ferguson said.