Royal Roads University
After the closure of Royal Roads Military College in 1995, the Province of British Columbia established Royal Roads University specifically to deliver quality applied and professional programs to advance professionals in the workplace. The university blends online and on-campus learning with current, real-world relevance for doctorate, graduate, and undergraduate degrees, certificates, diplomas, executive, custom, and continuing education. Hatley Park was declared a national historic site in 1995, and extensive efforts have been made to maintain the unique historic and cultural value of the campus. The Grant building underwent comprehensive renovations in 2003, and the greenhouses were carefully restored in 2004. Rose Cottage, the Commandant’s house, and the Boathouse were also renovated around the same time. Restoration and renovation projects continue around the site.
Completed in 2011, the award winning Learning and Innovation Centre was funded by $15 million in provincial funding and $5.1 million from federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program funding. It was the first purpose-built facility to be constructed on Hatley Park National Historic site since the opening of Royal Roads University in 1995.
Sneq’wa? e’lun , or Blue Heron House, is a “home away from home” for Indigenous and Métis students, faculty, and staff. It houses the office of Indigenous Education and Student Services. The university extensively remodeled the former RRMC boat shed with funding support by the Ministry of Advanced Education and held a formal opening in September 2013. Royal Roads University acknowledges that the campus rests on ancestral lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lekwungen (Songhees) families.
Local Tsawout artist Tom Lafortune harvested and carved, with the assistance of Howard LaFortune Jr., a 25-foot totem pole on site. The pole is named “S’ael”, a Sencoten word for harmony, and was unveiled in an October 2015 ceremony. RRU Chancellor Wayne Strandlund commissioned the carving of the university's first totem pole as his gift to the university and the community in commemoration of Royal Roads’ 75 years of changing lives celebrations - 55 years as a military college and 20 years as a public applied research university.