Remembering Dr. Katy Bindon

Katy Bindon served as President of OUC from 1997 to 2004.

To the OC Community:

Flags have been lowered at Okanagan College campuses in memory of former Okanagan University College President Dr. Katy Bindon who passed away on Sept. 9.

Bindon served as President of OUC from 1997 to 2004.

During her tenure, she oversaw significant growth across the institution, including obtaining recognition from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), as well as other federal research agencies. Under her stewardship external research funding grew from virtually nothing to $6.8 million in 2004-2005. She also played a role in the continued growth and diversification of the College’s program array.

“Katy was a respected educational leader and friend, who brought a significant depth of experience and a wealth of new ideas to her role as Okanagan University College’s President,” says current Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, who served as part of the committee that was involved in hiring her in 1997. “Her dedication to building more access to higher education in this region for more people was unwavering. The contributions she made to the development of post secondary education in this region are important.  They form a critical part of the development of the post secondary landscape that we see today. She knew – and helped others realize – that a community-connected post-secondary institution is one of the vital pillars of economic, social and cultural development. She was an intelligent visionary leader who will be greatly missed.”

Bindon was born in Toronto and she earned her bachelor's degree (Hons) in History at Sir George Williams University in 1972, followed by a master's degree in 1974 and a Ph.D. in 1979 from Queen's University.

She began her career in post-secondary teaching history at Concordia in 1978. She was appointed Principal of the School of Community and Public Affairs/Ecoles des Affaires Communautaires et Publiques in 1981.

In 1986, Bindon was appointed Vice-President (Academic) of Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax. In 1991, Bindon accepted the position of Principal of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, the West Coast campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Following her time at the College, Bindon went on to serve as president of the Royal University for Women in Bahrain. In recent years she has been associated with an international scholarship program emanating from Oman.

She is survived by her son Jeremy, his wife Katie, four grandchildren, her sister Ann and brothers Richard and Peter and their families. Details about any service will be shared as they become available.

Dr. Katy Bindon Scholarship

A Scholarship Fund in Katy’s name was established in 2005 in honor of her tenure as President of OUC and continues to provide support to single parents who are residents of the region as they transition from OC to UBC Okanagan to complete a degree. If you want to contribute to the fund, you can either call or contact Richard at the OC Foundation (ext. 4772, email or donate online and specify the donation is for Bursaries and Scholarships and indicate “Dr. Katy Bindon Scholarship” in the message field, as well as indicate the donation in memory of Katy Bindon in the Dedication Information field.

Condolences to the family

I met Katy in the mid 1990's when she arrived when I was teaching part time. She was very supportive of the vision for our new Business School as an applied learning model and was a catalyst in my decision to teach full time. Thanks Katy for the never ending smile and being the voice of encouragement.
- Dr. Blair Baldwin

Katy was a real force of nature. I remember the real passion that she brought to the job of President and her very personal touch. I was very sorry when she moved on. All my best to her family.
Bob Lalonde

As first a direct report to Katy and later a friend, I was able to observe first-hand the dedication and passion she had for her role and for the development of OUC as a catalyst for the region's growth . That inspired many people, and I can still see evidence of how her drive and devotion has manifested itself in others' behaviour and approaches to issues and opportunities. Her strength and intellect were remarkable and she was a force for change, not just in BC, but internationally as well. She will be missed, but the changes she helped effect live on.
- Allan Coyle

Katy became President of OUC as I started working in the President’s Office. I saw firsthand her dedication and devotion to OUC and her determination to improve education opportunities for everyone. Early in our tenure working together, Katy returned from a business trip with an old-fashioned wooden stamp for the two of us. The message on the stamp says “File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)”. The stamp still sits on my desk and reminds me daily of Katy, her sense of humor and her support of those that worked for her. I will miss her.
- Joanna Campbell

I met Katy in Bahrain Teachers College (BTC) in 2009 where she was the founding director of that college. She was a shaker and a mover and a force to reckon with. I learned so much from her and she was my mentor for several years thereafter until I became acting dean of BTC. She had a larger than life personality and supported everyone she believed in. She will always be remembered for her kindness, intellect and strength. My sincere condolences to all for this great loss.
-Hanada Thomure

2012 to 2020 August 27 I will work with her in her barrjissah resident villa. I am so missed her . She was a really good honestly kind heart. Miss her lots . God will take her in heaven.

Members of the OC community wishing to leave remembrances of their time working with Bindon, or condolences for her family, can do so below.