SAM 50th Anniversary Edition

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Over the years, many individuals have called the University of Lethbridge their own. To celebrate the U of L’s 50th anniversary in 2017, we are taking a look back through the pages of time in this special commemorative issue of SAM.

on the cover Sorel Etrog | Moses, 1967 540 cm x 158 cm x 96 cm | Bronze From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection, donated by the House of Seagram Limited, Montreal, 1968. The first piece in the University of Lethbridge’s renowned art collection, Sorel Etrog’s sculpture Moses adorns the staircase in the University Centre for the Arts. Originally cast in Italy in 1966, Moses was transported to Montreal and showcased near the American pavilion at Expo ’67 where it caught the attention of one of the U of L’s founders, Dr. Van Christou (LLD ’84). Standing 17 feet tall, weighing nearly two tons and cast in bronze, its mass and strength immediately impressed Christou, who succeeded in obtaining Moses as a gift from the owner, the House of Seagrams Ltd. An article from May 25, 1972, quotes Christou as saying Etrog’s work would bring, “an international intercultural contemporary flavour” to the then new campus. Moses was originally installed at the U of L in 1972, in time for the campus’ grand opening, and was mounted outside the entrance to University Hall on the west patio. For more than four years Moses braved the elements. In 1977, Moses was taken down for substantial repairs and prepared for its next, and final, journey. In 1981, as the University Centre for the Arts was nearing completion, Moses was lowered through an unfinished roof to its current resting place.

A founding faculty member and historian, Dr. James Tagg, has explored the U of L’s proud history and divided the decades into four historical eras: the early years (1967 to the late 1970s); the second generation and the rise of research and curricular diversity (1980s); the rise of the corporate university: expansion and re-structuring (1990s); and the comprehensive multi-versity (2000 to present). We are incredibly honoured to have individuals who were part of these eras pen these sections in this issue of SAM. We extend our most sincere thanks to Drs. James Tagg, Séamus O’Shea, Howard Tennant and Jane O’Dea for sharing their memories with us. Also in this issue, we reflect on our deep FNMI roots; take a look back at the history of Pronghorn Athletics, the U of L Alumni Association and our ever-expanding campus; and meet a few families with U of L ties that span generations. We also introduce our new U of L song, Let It Shine On, written by alumnus John Wort Hannam, who has beautifully captured the U of L spirit. John, you’ve given us goosebumps and brought tears to our eyes. I hope those who hear it when it debuts during our Founders’ Day Weekend in January will feel the same way. Fifty years ago, our university began as a vision held in the hearts of many southern Albertans. Since then, the U of L has grown into one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions, and is home to more than 8,600 students (our highest enrolment yet), 41,000 alumni and 1,200 employees, and five decades of retirees, friends and supporters. The last 50 years have truly shown, we are a community of inspiring lights; together we shine brighter. To everyone who has ever called the U of L their university, Happy Anniversary! Sincerely,

Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock Editor

2 THE EARLY YEARS Professor Emeritus Dr. James Tagg recalls his time as a founding faculty member in 1967 to the late 1970s.

23 REFLECTIONS Dr. Leroy Little Bear reflects on a notable time in the University’s history.



Vice-President (Academic) and Provost Emeritus Dr. Séamus O’Shea remembers the 1980s.

25 PRONGHORN EFFECT From humble beginnings, Pronghorn Athletics has made an indelible mark on southern Alberta sport.

EDITOR: Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Alesha Farfus-Shukaliak DESIGNERS: Stephenie Karsten Taryn Tamayose PHOTOGRAPHY: Levi Balan Jason Jones Leslie Ohene-Adjei Rob Olson Kurt Roy Arden Shibley University Archives CONTRIBUTORS: Kristine Carlsen Wall Lee Illes

Professor and Dean Emerita Dr. Jane O’Dea takes a look at the 2000s and 2010s.

President Emeritus Dr. Howard Tennant reflects on his presidency in the 1990s.

32 A SONG IN THE MAKING Songwriter and alumnus John Wort Hannam captures the U of L spirit through powerful lyrics.

Janet Janzen Trevor Kenney Andrea Kremenik Elizabeth Lepper Leroy Little Bear Anna Linville Jana McFarland Kali McKay Lyndsay Montina Mike Perry JoAnn Rennick Brown Dr. Jane O’Dea Dr. Séamus O’Shea Linda Sebastian Wayne Street Dr. James Tagg Dr. Howard Tennant Melissa Wiebe Meagan Williams CJ Tuff Caroline Zentner


35 GENERATIONAL TIES The U of L is a thread in the fabric of many families; meet two with longstanding connections.

PRINTING: Mitchell Press SPECIAL THANKS TO: Mike Perry (MEd ’06), university archivist, for his vast knowledge and the enthusiasm with which he shares it. SAM is published by University Advancement at the University of Lethbridge. The opinions expressed or implied in the publication do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors. Submissions in the form of letters, articles, story ideas or notices of events are welcome.

41 THE ULAA: A HISTORIC ACCOUNT From a group of 32 to a community of more than 41,000, our alumni history reaches around the globe.

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The University of Lethbridge, Canada’s centennial university, exists as it does today because a determined group of forward-thinking citizens believed southern Alberta warranted its own university. They stood in solidarity and pushed forward together. Their vision, tenacity and ability to unite to make the impossible possible have lived on at the heart of the University for five decades. Where once was vast and open prairie now lives one of Canada’s top-ranked research universities.

Over the years, tens of thousands of individuals have called the University of Lethbridge their own. Each of us — students, alumni, faculty, staff, leaders and supporters — have played an important role in making the U of L the extraordinary university it is today. Our University’s history is a shared history — a source of pride we will carry with us wherever the path ahead may lead.

Take a look back at 50 years of proud history penned by individuals who were part of each era.

Following the U of L’s first convocation in May 1968, faculty, students and community members marched down Third Avenue to Galt Gardens in support of the U of L’s autonomy in the decision to locate campus on the west side. Leading the march (second from left), Dr. Russell Leskiw (LLD ’93), the first acting president.




When the University of Lethbridge was launched in 1967, old academic formulas for success, adopted from other places or times, were less the mindset of the day than dreams and imaginings for a different kind of university. New ideas merged with real experience while unexpected opportunities and challenges modified almost every plan along the way. The persistence of special individuals, a fortunate civic environment, a brief political opportunity and lucky timing were the chief elements at the outset. Although Lethbridge was already home to a junior college, the city and the region appeared to offer a population base too small to support a public university in addition. Yet, in the 1960s, many civic leaders were interested in furthering an economically steady and culturally rich education industry to replace the old image of Lethbridge as a coal town. Persistence came specifically from a few very determined persons — such as Kate Andrews and Dr. Van Cristou (LLD ’84) to name but two — who were unrelenting advocates for a university. They were accompanied by a chorus of others, including the mayor, the city council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lethbridge Herald and several academics already teaching at the College (then Lethbridge Junior College). Political support came from the province’s Social Credit government (soon to be swept aside by Peter Lougheed’s Conservatives) which, despite lacking intimate personal knowledge about post-secondary education, possessed a collective faith in the benefits of higher education, and wished to reward faithful voters in southern Alberta. A modest regional prosperity coupled with the social enthusiasms of the 1960s furthered greatly the quest for a university. The first few years were inauspicious. The University needed an early visual presence but had none. The University shared facilities with the College, each institution swapping the use of classrooms, a library and other physical spaces and juggling schedules to make certain it all worked. This logistical miracle was softened in a minor way through the purchase of some portable trailers to house University academic offices and service buildings (a few of these remained in service until recently). Through

these early years, however, the physical presence of the U of L was underwhelming at best. From the beginning, many argued that the University could not live in the shadow of the College or be seen as an extension of the College. Autonomy for the University did not just depend on legal determinations, they believed, but was a matter of location and visibility. The community was split. Some, especially land developers, favoured the use of ample land available south of the city and near the College. To the shock of most, the University itself proposed moving to the west side of the Oldman River, where only a few farms and ranches but no urban community existed. Support came from the City and the Herald, but local MLAs and the provincial government were wary. Tensions ran high. Members of the University community — administration, faculty and students in particular — convinced themselves that everything was at stake in winning the battle for autonomy on the west side. At the height of the fervour, a dramatic march for “autonomy” was held in downtown Lethbridge. The victory in acquiring the right to build on the west side marked the first clear example of a U of L legacy for stubborn independence. The west side provided a blank canvas. The University and province hired Dr. Arthur Erickson (LLD ’81), one of Canada’s most renowned architects, as the campus planner for five years. Meanwhile, George Watson, a local architect who had considerable skill and insight, was tasked with providing a Physical Education building at the top of the coulees, a site so well executed that its original bones remain part of the vast physical education complex in existence today. Erickson’s ambitious plans were based on placing a long university building well down into and across the coulees, one that could be joined later to other buildings stretching north and

The west side provided a blank canvas. After much debate and controversy, it was chosen as the site of the University of Lethbridge. The City of Lethbridge initially donated more than 300 acres of land and has made two subsequent land donations. The U of L campus now spans more than 500 acres.

south across the coulees. At first, that positioning surprised and concerned many in the university and community. Rumours and urban legend had it that the University would slide into the river, and every so often a few of these “I-told-youso’ers” raised their prophetic voices, proclaiming an inevitability that never happened. By moving to the west side, the University gained autonomy but sentenced itself to several years of isolated existence. One small paved road led south from Highway #3 and 3A to a parking lot near the Physical Education building. From there, everyone who commuted — meaning most people who worked and studied there minus a small number of students in residence — walked down a long windswept sidewalk to University Hall. Although the walkway was later covered with a white plastic canvas to protect against the elements, the walk to Erickson’s magnificent building was cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and generally depressing. The walkway symbolized the lonely 3

“There was something exciting about my first year being the inaugural year of the University of Lethbridge. Perhaps, in part, it was because of that pioneering spirit of rural southern Alberta.” BETTY HILDRETH (BASC (BA) ’71, BED ’73)

separation of the University from the inhabited world. Students who resided in the low-ceilinged floors below the fifth floor sometimes found their existence remote and despairing. Others, generally away from home for the first time, established a kind of frontier camaraderie living in close quarters with other students, where even contact with the city and its shops meant a vigorous expedition. Faculty and staff were never in full agreement about University Hall (then the Academic and Residence building). Recent interviews of those who worked and studied there suggest that more than half did not like the long, stark, white hallways and found the building depressing. Others reveled in the building’s unique architecture and its powerful visual statement. Forgotten by many was the fact that the building was relatively inexpensive to build, fitting into the $17.5 million the government funded to build the campus. Autonomy was not just an issue of local concern. Founders of the U of L were aware that the University of Alberta might conspire to make the U of L a mere branch or subordinate unit of the U of A. And, over the years, some supporters of the University of Calgary even suggested that the U of L should, for economy’s sake, be packed up, its resources and students shifted north to Calgary. The dramatic physical foothold represented by University Hall, first occupied in 1971, was more than matched by its early administrative leaders. Dr. Sam Smith (LLD ’90) was brought to Lethbridge from Edmonton, and it soon became clear that Smith — gregarious, charming, quick witted and humorous — was the perfect personality for the new school and for the community. Smith represented the confidence the rest of the University community either had, or wished it had, and won over city leaders, members of the Board of Governors, and faculty, staff and students alike. Leadership, in Smith’s eyes and in the eyes of many of the University’s early members, meant furthering the democratic institution that many of the school’s most ardent supporters and faculty had long sought. While Smith gave a positive, almost brash, public face to the University, his vice-president, Dr. William Beckel (LLD ’95) complemented Smith’s strengths with different talents. In the 4

early 1960s, Beckel had been the builder, in the most complete sense of the term, of Scarborough College, a stand-alone liberal education college that was an independent part of the University of Toronto. Beckel knew budgets and buildings, and large-scale planning. Although he frightened some faculty in late 1971 (with what came to be known colloquially as his “Dear Colleague” letter) by suggesting that a bad Alberta economy might lead to some staff cuts, he was always dedicated yet cautious. It was this quality that allowed him to present the logic of the programs and plans of the University’s academic community, in a convincing and confident way, to a Board of Governors that might otherwise have wanted to dabble more directly in exclusively academic matters. Caught up in the total newness of the U of L, and construction of a university on the fly, were the people for whom these efforts were being made — the student body. Although they came to the U of L for various reasons, many simply considered the University of Calgary or the University of Alberta too remote. Calgary and Edmonton were large cities and, many reckoned, the monetary cost would be hard for them to absorb. Most were firstgeneration university students, which meant that they arrived uninformed about what a university was or could be, but also untainted by their parents’ or relatives’ prejudices about what a university should be. Some were timid, but even the most confident were charmingly deferential. Most did not expect the high visibility they would have in a small university setting.

PHOTOS LEFT: The first shovel of dirt was lifted on the west bank of the Oldman River at the sodturning in 1969. Hundreds gathered in support and celebration. PHOTO MIDDLE: Dr. Sam Smith (LLD ’90), the U of L’s first official president. PHOTO ABOVE: Construction of University Hall, which was then referred to as the academic and residence building.

At first, lack of anonymity intimidated some early students. The perceived upside to being pioneers in a new educational institution was soon impressed on most, however. Because class sizes were generally small, individual students were conspicuous to their professors. Attentiveness and intellectual engagement, even in lecture classes, was more intense when only a dozen other students occupied the room. If the proper idea of a university is a place where students are known one by one, and their needs addressed individually, the U of L was a true university from the outset. Other factors also caused professors and students to elevate their academic expectations of themselves and others. The promise of a new era in education, one more student-oriented, was part of the equation. The opportunity for individual students to recognize and pursue their specific interests and strengths was another. Without the distraction of graduate students,

At a homecoming celebration in 1977, Dr. Sam Smith (LLD ’90), flanked by “bodyguards” Drs. Owen Holmes (DASc ’05) and Neil Holmes (LLD ’75), re-enacted a 1968 City Hall scene when Smith, Holmes and Dr. Russell Leskiw (LLD ’93) stormed a city council meeting to present their arguments regarding the U of L site.

faculty generally lavished their attention on promising undergraduates. Many students became research assistants to their professors. In such an atmosphere, many students were emboldened to pursue special intellectual interests through independent studies courses, or the innovative Colloquium Studies program. Because the U of L was one of the first schools to accept senior students readily — persons who were returning as mature adults after engagement in the so-called “real world” — at least some element of diversity enhanced the classroom experience as well. Meanwhile, students were recruited to academic committees — including the important planning, studies and curriculum committees — in which they played a real role in shaping the early university. Students were also chosen to be part of departmental meetings, sitting side by side with, and making decisions with, faculty members who were also their professors and mentors. For their part, early faculty members were sometimes a little uncertain about the role they should or could play in founding the University. The earliest founders often had decided ideas, however, on what they wanted to see emerge in Lethbridge. The first dean of Arts & Science, Dr. Owen Holmes (DASc ’05), wanted a less authoritarian type of university than he had 5

witnessed in his own educational lifetime. A product of the University of California, Berkeley, Holmes had already witnessed the earliest glimmerings of the liberal student revolt in the United States in the 1960s. He wanted to establish a culture of liberal education, and he sought to hire faculty members who were willing and pledged to do the work with him. He did not always promote a specific agenda but he always encouraged innovations brought forward by others — such as the establishment of Native American Studies, independent studies and colloquium studies — and he was open to an ever-evolving notion of what a liberal education might be. PHOTO ABOVE: The University Hall couches were (and still are) a place of gathering and discussion, as Dr. Arthur Erickson (LLD ’81) had originally intended. POSTER: Ray Romses (BASc (BA) ’75), Carol (Ririe) Romses (BASc (BA) ’76), Vance Mulligan and Wayne Street (BASc (BA) ’72, BEd ’74)


Some early faculty members had gone through a gradual baptism in the mysteries of erecting a university as members of the College faculty. A few, like Holmes, had already served in other universities, and shared their enthusiasm for more experimentation and innovation. Other early faculty were fresh recruits, however, who had never heard of Lethbridge or the bold experiment being attempted here until they applied for a position and were hired. While the

Faculty of Education had a hard core of veteran teachers and administrators, Arts & Science did not. There were few “gray eminences” to lead the way. When Dean Holmes spoke with every candidate for a faculty position in the Faculty of Arts & Science, he always made it clear that while teaching and research were duties that had to be pursued vigorously, community service was also expected. That service largely had to do with working to put one’s own department, faculty and university on a sound footing. If young faculty had not been so naive, we might have been intimidated. Founders always like to believe that their era was glorious and positive. It is true that there was a genuine spirit of collegiality. When you are in a rowboat instead of an ocean liner, you need to row together and encourage one another. Yet, few were prepared for the heavy demands of democracy in the form of committees and planning, or for the very long meetings needed to establish new courses and procedures for university governance. Two units of the new university faced special challenges to which both offered innovative solutions. The Faculty of Education, the only professional faculty of the early years, was thrust

“If the proper idea of a university is a place where students are known one by one, and their needs addressed individually, the U of L was a true university from the outset.” DR. JAMES TAGG

into immediate competition with wellestablished education Faculties elsewhere. Staffed with a few young professors and seasoned heavily with former principals and superintendents of public schools, the Education faculty revolutionized teacher training in Alberta, introducing more hands-on preparation through practicums and extensive student teaching. Within a decade, the word had reached the school districts: hire teachers trained at the U of L.

PHOTO ABOVE: CKXU has come a long way since its inception in 1972 as a public address system in University Hall. Once limited to a 25W AM transmitter, it is now a robust FM broadcasting station with more than 100 volunteer members, streaming online to anywhere in the world, 168 hours per week, 52 weeks a year.

The fledgling fine arts departments, not yet occupants of their own building until the 1980s, improvised as well. Known for their somewhat bohemian beginnings at the old “Barn” at then Lethbridge Junior College — which partitioned classrooms for pottery from ones for sculpture or painting or drawing with makeshift curtains — the art department was relegated to the basement of the new physical education building in the 1970s. As it turned out, art and physical education became close, cooperative friends, each promoting the activities of the other. Music and drama scrambled too, pulling what resources and venues they could from other sources, in particular the non-university community. For all three

fine arts departments, faculty and student engagement was intense and productive as they strived to improve the quality of the fine arts in the community while retaining their adventurous frontier spirit.The Fine Arts would eventually leave the Faculty of Arts & Science and continue to thrive. Yet there was the sense, throughout the first decade, that there were really three distinct units at the U of L: Arts & Science, Education and Fine Arts. The latter two pursued professional excellence in addition to the task of liberally educating all of our students. A founder, and colleague of mine, once cynically contended that university faculty were not likely to hire new people who were better than themselves. Despite the fact that many faculty and administrators in the first generation were among the best persons we would ever employ, those hired after the first decade proved my colleague’s cynicism wrong time and again. All things considered, it might be argued that the best thing the first generation of the U of L did was hire the very best people possible, and then enlist them in furthering the liberal educational ideals of the U of L.

Dr. James D. Tagg, Professor Emeritus Dr. James D. Tagg was a member of the Department of History from 1969 through 2003. Besides his enthusiasm for teaching and historical scholarship, he, Professor Ronald Yoshida (philosophy) and a few others, proposed and fought for initiatives to enhance liberal education at the U of L. After retirement, he undertook an interview project — The First Generation of the University of Lethbridge Oral History Project — which includes more than 70 interviews to date. He is also co-founder of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition at the U of L.





When the University of Lethbridge was first hiring in the late 1960s, it was a period of rapid expansion of universities all over North America. By the end of the ’70s, most jurisdictions were retrenching, and academic jobs were rare in most disciplines. 8

In 1977, I was the first person hired in the Department of Chemistry in a decade, and then only because Dr. Loren Hepler (DSc ’89) was seconded to be a full-time researcher for AOSTRA (Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority). Other departments had very similar experiences and the slow hiring continued throughout most of the 1980s, which is why there are very few people who can complain about the accuracy of this account, based as it is on my very fallible memory. By 1980, it was clear that the University had fallen on harder economic times. Academic salaries at the University had fallen behind

noticeably, to the point where an external panel, the Birkhoff-MacDonald panel, was appointed to make university-wide salary adjustments. This was very timely, since inflation was exploding and mortgage rates were rising from around 10 per cent to around 20 per cent. The collapse of oil prices (the second, or is it third, last time it happened) in the early 1980s, coupled with a major recession, meant that, although funding was rising to combat inflation, it was not enough to relieve serious budget pressures. Enrolment was down, relationships between “town and gown” were strained and public confidence was slipping. It was fairly commonly believed that the public thought of the U of L as “a good place to start” before transferring to a “real university.”

Notwithstanding the outside stresses, the University continued to be an upbeat place. Students, in the pre-internet age, seemed less worldly and world-weary than they are claimed to be at present. Most came from small towns and rural areas and were often children of families with no history of postsecondary education, so that they arrived somewhat intimidated but thrilled to be in this exotic place. The multinational faculty were very different from the students’ high school teachers. After the social turmoil of the ’60s and ’70s many had adopted social styles and manners that set them apart from the local communities, and they were happy to introduce their students to new and sometimes provocative ideas and ways of thinking.

PHOTO ABOVE: “The Worm” connected University Hall to the upper campus from 1972 to 1985. PHOTO LEFT: Campus in the early 1980s.


“The person it all exists for is the student. If you don’t create the best environment for students to learn, change and be who they are, then you haven’t done your job.” DR. BILL BECKEL (LLD ’95) VICE-PRESIDENT, 1969-1971 PRESIDENT, 1972-1979

Construction of the University Centre for the Arts.

Because the total enrolment was small and the range of programs reasonably large, relatively few students majored in most disciplines. Even at the introductory-level, class sizes were small, with section sizes less than 100, and many senior classes had only a handful of students. With extended direct access to their professors, it was a great environment for students who were interested in exploring ideas, and it was also a great opportunity for professors to test ideas on smart and critical newcomers. Many students took the opportunity to have independent study (personalized) courses on topics not normally offered, and some even had individualized programs, through colloquium studies.


In the late 1970s the University undertook a major review of its programs and orientation, resulting in a rededication to liberal education and to the indissolubility of Arts & Science. A critical component of this revitalization was a thorough review of curriculum. The programs had been very unstructured, as was more common in those days, and many professors favoured a more prescriptive approach, both those who wanted to ensure the quality and depth of the majors, and those who wanted to ensure that liberal education was a reality for all students. The creation of the GLER (General Liberal Education Requirement) demonstrated once again that academic curriculum is more contentious than biblical interpretation. General Faculties Council (GFC), the senior

academic decision body, was the scene of epic confrontations where decisions passed up from Faculty councils were refought, often by the same people, using GFC as a second arena. Two major retreats were held (in Waterton and Fernie) and a group of dedicated volunteers worked hard to find an acceptable model. In particular, one proposal, “The Tagg-Yoshida Report,” tried to crystallize a basis for a new approach to degree programs and liberal education. Too radical for most, a softened (eviscerated?) version was developed and legislated so that every major was rethought and re-implemented. The 40-course program was divided into three equal parts: one third for general, liberal education, one third

dedicated to the disciplinary (professional) major and one third allocated at the discretion of the student. The last third usually ended up split so that graduating majors had roughly half their courses in the major and half in unrelated or less immediately related areas. A specified program of liberal education (“the GLER”) was mandated for all programs beginning in 1982. As the product of a very focused, technical undergraduate program (chemistry, physics and mathematics), I found that the discussions around formalizing the curriculum created an amazingly broadening educational experience for me, one of the best of my life. The idea that students might spend some time preparing for the non-working part of their lives was almost as liberating as the idea that they could shape the curriculum to their interests. Many of the students who provided the cannon-fodder for this experiment were not pleased in the moment, but a surprisingly high proportion value it in retrospect as one of the most rewarding parts of their education. Around 1979 or 1980, the government agreed to fund the construction of the Centre for the Arts. Faculty members in the fine arts, whose contributions were undervalued by the faculty in less refined disciplines, campaigned for a separate School of Arts, and so the indissoluble was dissolved. As an aftershock, the rest of the Faculty of Arts & Science was split into three sub-faculties, Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences for a year, but the experiment was quickly abandoned. Management Arts courses began to be offered through a unit in Arts & Science in 1975, and a School of Management was established in 1982, with the irrepressible Dr. George Lermer as dean. Discussions began about a Nursing program, leading to the launch of the BN in the new School of Nursing in 1980. There followed a Faculty of Professional Studies, consisting of Schools of Management and Nursing in 1984, and the School of Fine Arts in 1985. Eventually, in 1989, the Faculty of Professional Studies was scrapped, and the separate Schools of Management, Nursing and Fine Arts were promoted to Faculties at various later times. It was a dizzying period of structural churn, driven largely by the pressure to legitimize university education in fields focused on professional practice or employment.

Early days in the Faculty of Education.

“The defining characteristic of the Faculty of Education has been its emphasis on the quality of teaching and the professional practice of its graduates.” DR. SÉAMUS O’SHEA

The Faculty of Education, the other founding Faculty in 1967, took an unprecedented step of restructuring its undergraduate offerings so that the default program was the combined degree BA/BEd or BSc/BEd. The arguments for this move, at their simplest, were that future teachers should both know something well enough to teach competently (three-year BA/BSc) and know how to teach well (twoyear BEd). The provincial government was not impressed at first, because of the extra costs; school boards (in spite of having to pay more to more highly qualified starting teachers) were very supportive and willing to provide the needed training placements. Within a few years, the excellent performance of the graduates won the day, and the combined degree program continues to be the gold standard in teacher preparation in Alberta. In the mid-1980s, the Faculty of Education argued for and was given the authority to award the first graduate degrees of the University of Lethbridge through the Master of Education program. The Faculty argued cogently and successfully that teachers needed a graduate degree that provided professional growth as teachers, rather than preparation for careers in administration. In spite of being more rigorous and demanding than

other MEd programs available from other Western Canadian and US graduate Education programs, the MEd program has prospered over the years. The defining characteristic of the Faculty of Education has been its emphasis on the quality of teaching and the professional practice of its graduates. The basis for its success, besides hiring faculty very selectively, is the emphasis on school placements and supervised practice teaching, and that is enabled through the Faculty’s close working relationship with the school districts, Alberta Education and the ATA. In the 1980s, as now, the non-academic staff of the University were an integral part of the life of the institution. Relationships between staff and faculty and students were friendly, informal and often personal. The challenges of budget and space could not have been met without the creativity and dedication of those who implemented and supplied the services that students and faculty alike needed to keep teaching and research programs going on a day-to-day basis. Although the focus of the University has always been on the academic programs and those participating in them, the staff have provided essential fibre that binds the University together and 11


provides continuity over time. Beyond their duties, non-academic volunteers were active in scholarship campaigns, student exchanges, athletic programs and more. The U of L has been well served by people who are deeply committed to the University’s objectives. As is common in universities, space is a perennial issue. A highlight of the 1980s is another great urban myth, the creation myth of the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre. The University was arguing that it needed a proper library. One section of University Hall had been built especially reinforced to support the weight of the library collection, but this quickly proved inadequate for longer-term needs. The province demurred and countered with the offer of a regional aquatic facility, which the Board accepted. Faculty members were incensed, arguing that the University didn’t need another continuing hole in the budget, especially one that did not support a single program offered here. Fortunately for the University and community at large, the Board pressed ahead and the Max Bell centre has been a tremendous asset, having served well over a million users to date. The Board’s interest in starting a University hockey team drew heavy criticism from academics who claimed it was a hobby for the Board at the expense of academic programs. All of that was forgotten when the Pronghorns men’s hockey team won the national title in 1994. Throughout this turbulent period, while programs and Faculties underwent massive change and budgets and administrations withered, researchers at the University struggled to establish themselves at home and abroad. Some of the founding faculty members felt that they had come to establish in Lethbridge a true liberal arts college such as, say, Reed College, where the emphasis was to be primarily on teaching. Consequently, for example, University Hall was not really designed as a building for housing contemporary scientific research. Other founding members, and most of the subsequent hires, were of the opinion that research is an integral and indispensable part of being a university and so they set up 12

In 1986, the U of L made a splash with the opening of the $5.3 million Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre. Hundreds attended the opening, complete with colourful water shower and performances by 1984 gold medalists Alex Baumann and Sylvie Bernier. research programs in disciplines across the University. The tension between the different worldviews and issues related to the use of scarce resources for research purposes were part of the day-to-day institutional climate for many years. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences worked in relative isolation, at least in part because that was the style of the times, but they maintained an informal community of scholars united by a shared enthusiasm for scholarship across every discipline represented at the University. When President Dr. John Woods (DA ’03) joined the U of L he became a member of the Department of Philosophy, and continued his distinguished career with a series of very well received publications. The professional Faculties, having faculty members who were senior practitioners or PhD researchers, occasionally both, generally focused on research on professional practice, for example related to teaching or nursing practice in the area. As time went by, the importance of research grew here as it did elsewhere in Canada. In the sciences, where research teams are the norm, creativity was the order of the day in terms of getting the space and research workers needed. Teaching labs, never under heavy pressure from large classes, were sometimes cannibalized to create small research areas; in other cases, empty offices were repurposed and kludged to fit the research needs (the tar

from a less successful tar-sands experiment by a previous occupant provided the main wall decoration in my office for years). The chemistry and biological science departments were lucky in that they had some technically adequate space that could, in the summer, provide decent working space. Dr. Loren Hepler (DSc ’89), a senior chemist who left the US as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war, was a gifted teacher and mentor to students and faculty alike, a fact that is memorialized in the naming of Hepler Hall. He established a large group working on both fundamental science and on applications aimed at reducing water pollution in the oil-sands developments and encouraged and assisted others to establish research programs involving undergraduate research assistants. Federal and provincial programs to support hiring summer students were supplemented by University scholarships, so the summer was a time of great activity on levels 7 and 8 of U-Hall, where physics, chemistry and biological sciences had their labs. The psychologists, especially the neuroscientists, faced much greater challenges in terms of housing and managing animals, and experimental spaces. They began by converting a few small rooms with no services into workable spaces, and a few years later, around 1982, the University renovated a suite of rooms and put in essential air handling and plumbing to meet the

standards for housing animals. Their work was groundbreaking and they attracted a group of very able and energized students who performed experimental studies as the basis for independent studies courses and got their names on peer reviewed scientific papers. Because of the esprit de corps and in spite of the inadequate facilities, the researchers attracted excellent students and post-docs and ever larger grants, especially after the publication of Drs. Bryan Kolb (DSc ’15) and Ian Whishaw’s (DSc ’08) groundbreaking text, Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, now in its 7th edition. Eventually, the University put together a plan to combine federal and provincial support to create the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, which was opened in 2001. The fortunes of research in Canada were at a low ebb in the 1980s. The federal government believed we were too small to make a significant research contribution and that we should just buy the state of the art from outside. The provincial government was more sanguine, but the early 1980s brought a major economic downturn. Overall, funding was low and competition for funds was keen. Nevertheless, U of L researchers did well and were able to provide essential research equipment that, by doubling as teaching equipment in term time, enabled us to deliver competitive programs. As the decade went on, the infrastructure problem worsened and space needs grew more and more pressing. The rise of computers and the increasing cost of meeting the University’s needs for teaching and administration added to the drain on capital funds.

The internal political climate through the 1980s was very unsettled. The faculty were well imbued with rebellious spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, and they were suspicious that any maladroit move the administration or Board made was nefarious. A generally combative attitude prevailed in dealings between the faculty and administration, and a succession of expensive legal wranglings kept the fires stoked. Over time, as a result of a combination of budget, grievance-related disputes and a planning process that seemed out of touch with the difficult budgetary situation, things came to head. The faculty became increasingly vocal in their criticism and President Woods resigned. Following an extensive search, the Board appointed Dr. Howard Tennant (LLD ’05) as president, just in time for him to lead a major overhaul of the administration in preparation for facing the next round of budgetary crises. President Tennant recruited Dr. William Sibley (LLD ’00), a very experienced and recently retired senior academic administrator, to act as interim vice-president (academic) and assist him in creating a strong plan (Access to Excellence) to restore the credibility of the University and persuade the province to adjust the base budget to create a stable base. “Access to Excellence” had a major positive effect on morale that was strongly reinforced by a round of hiring that brought bright, enthusiastic new members to all academic units. It was a turning point in the fortunes of the University. Despite continuing difficulties, morale improved at the end of the 1980s with the growing sense that the U of L had regained some control over its fortunes.

This account of the late 1970s and 1980s seems to suggest the University was a very tense and contentious place. True, but it was a lively place where creative and enthusiastic people pursued their education and careers. Relationships between students and faculty were friendly and informal, and controversial ideas were discussed with great energy and verve. The old restrictions were giving way to a more free-flowing approach to life and the world, occasionally a bit too free perhaps. Intramural sports were constantly oversubscribed and included many faculty members. Student life was animated, with lots of clubs and sports activities — those who witnessed it will never forget the contribution of the Trolls Rugby club. The Students’ Union went through the turmoil common to its species. The SU ran a pub every Friday afternoon in one of the temporary buildings — temporary since 1967 — that was used as the University daycare for the rest of the week, and this at a time when smoking was acceptable everywhere! The Fine Arts were prominent, with lots of student participation, especially after the Centre for the Arts opened with its greatly expanded studios and theatre facilities. The University Theatre was the venue for major visiting productions and concerts, while intervarsity sports enjoyed strong support, especially basketball and hockey.

Those who worked and studied here in the 1980s would agree that it was many things, but not dull.

Dr. Séamus O’Shea (LLD ’13), Vice-President Academic and Provost (Emeritus) A computational chemist, Dr. Séamus O’Shea came to the U of L in 1977, progressing through the academic ranks to professor and eventual Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Advancing into senior administration, he served as vice-president (academic) and provost from 1991 to 2007, one of the longest-serving terms in Canada. O’Shea championed access and excellence in undergraduate education, growth of research and creativity across the disciplines and played a significant role in Alberta’s post-secondary education and research sectors. 13



In the late 1980s, postsecondary institutions across Alberta were feeling the effects of the recession and budget cuts. The University of Lethbridge was no exception. It was widely known in the university sector that the U of L was broke, student enrolment was going down and there were discussions about closing the University.

students and two faculty members. This gave a route and a vent for problems. In terms of student recruitment, we had to recognize we weren’t just a Lethbridge and district university — our market was Alberta. We started targeting one-third of our enrolment out of Calgary and 10 per cent out

a new model of graduate programs for other areas, introduced the MA and MSc programs, and established a PhD program. The Canadian Centre for Behavioral Neuroscience (CCBN) was at the U of L in many ways for many years, even before I arrived. The Kolb-Whishaw team was doing

When I became president of the U of L on June 1, 1987, the institution was experiencing challenging times. My area of interest is corporate and institutional turnarounds, and there were a number of things that had to be done. One was to make sure that we didn’t lose the academic expertise that we had in the faculty. We revamped senior administration and built a new team. We developed a core of strength with VPs serving as chief officers. We recruited Dr. William Sibley (LLD ’00) from Stanford University back to Canada to become our new vice-president (academic). Dr. Ian Newbould followed Sibley, and a few years later, Dr. Séamus O’Shea (LLD ’13) took over the VP Academic office. Our financial administration team, with people like Nancy Walker (BMgt ’82) and Karen Clearwater (BASc (BA) ’80), was first rate. They were key to our financial recovery. They devised a new budget system where deans received the tuition generated by their Faculties and, for the first time in a Canadian university, kept the funds they did not spend. By providing academic units with carry-forward, they could plan and save for initiatives they wanted to invest in. Government funds were then allocated to other sectors of the University. We had a very good Board. They worked hard and represented a cross section of business people. We changed the structure of the Board of Governors with the addition of three

of Edmonton, recognizing that only one in four of our target enrolment would come from Lethbridge and area. A new notion of coopetition was implemented. The U of A and the U of C were not to be poached from. At the U of L, we did things differently. We recruited parents directly in Calgary and rural Alberta. The Chancellor, Dr. Keith Robin (LLD ’92), and I travelled to meet with prospective parents and their students; parents wanted a smaller city — and once their kids started at the U of L, they stayed. We also changed the image of the institution from an undergraduate teaching university to a full-fledged research university with a defined mission. I began meeting with the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada’s research agencies, which helped generate a flow of research dollars and we started to find success. One of the things that I’m happiest with is that people now refer to the three research universities in Alberta — the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge. With a very good Master of Education program already in existence, we implemented

PHOTO TOP: Student enrolment soared at the U of L in the 1990s. PHOTOS DIRECTLY ABOVE (L-R): U of L neuroscience professors, Drs. Ian Whishaw (DSc ‘08) and Bryan Kolb (DSc ‘15), are among the founders of behavioural neuroscience.

work that was at the Canadian standard and had a shot at being at the North American level. We had to focus our research so they could shine. Part of that was saying we couldn’t do everything — they would be our first priority to develop, just as other priorities



University representatives and members of the Faculty of Management celebrated the opening of the University of Lethbridge Building in downtown Edmonton. have come down the line. Our goal wasn’t to be the best in Alberta or even Canada. We wanted to be known in North America. The Calgary and Edmonton campuses began with the notion of the post-diploma program — which the U of L pioneered in Western Canada — and saying that students who complete year one and two at colleges are very qualified to transfer to the University in their third year and complete the Bachelor of Management program. Once the transfer agreements were made with the initial 23 institutions, we started to see a significant amount of our enrolment transfer in from other institutions.

In 1993, students could take to the phones to register for classes through the launch of ULink.


The Faculty of Management asked why should students come to Lethbridge if they are working full time in Calgary or Edmonton. The logical thing to do was to offer the management program in these cities. In 1996, we opened campuses in both Calgary and Edmonton. The value these campuses bring is to the student. They provide another type of quality undergraduate education to people who would otherwise not have access to it. From 1990 to 1999, enrolment nearly doubled, growing from 3,953 students to 6,009. Campus changed considerably over that time. In the fall of 1990, we opened four new residence buildings — Aperture Park — which were built on time and on budget. That same year, we also opened Turcotte Hall and the Students’ Union. In 1995, modular classrooms were installed north of the Physical Education building to help alleviate classrooms shortages, and in 1999, we opened Hepler Hall and a classroom addition to the PE building, and we broke ground for the Library Information Network Centre (LINC). Our library led the way in applying digital technology with a traditional library, and it was designed for the future. Going to a small university doesn’t mean you do without. In fact, it means that as a student you get more access to more equipment than you would as an undergraduate going to a large institution.

In 1996, the U of L expanded its reach and opened campuses in Calgary and Edmonton.

A key thing for a university in its teaching, research, scholarship and performance is that it be an innovator. And I believe the U of L is an innovator. We are continuously innovating: our research, scholarship and performance are in balance. I enjoyed the whole process of being president. We were supported by the community and the government. In the 13 years that I was president, we had three substantial budget cuts, and on each occasion we grew, expanded and were better at the end of the period. We established financial stability, retained good faculty and built enrolment. When Bill Cade became president in 2000, we had a smooth transition. He changed things as the marketplace and academic world demanded, but it’s about as good a transition as anyone could have imagined. The University continued to prosper.

We are an Alberta institution all Albertans can be proud of.


PHOTO ABOVE: In 1999, construction of the University Library (then referred to as the Library Information Network Centre, or LINC) got underway. The photo above captures what campus was like in 2000. LINC was officially opened in 2001, with then Premier Ralph Klein in attendance and marking the occasion by performing the ribbon cutting.

Dr. Howard E. Tennant (LLD ’05), President Emeritus Dr. Howard E. Tennant was president and vice-chancellor of the University of Lethbridge from 1987 to 2000. His leadership, energy and unwavering commitment to excellence revitalized and transformed the U of L. A distinguished academic and administrator, member of the Order of Canada and 2008 ASTech award winner, he is renowned for his expertise at the strategic and operational levels. 17

The Comprehensive Multi-Versity: THE 2000s AND 2010s


In July 2000, I became Dean of Education at the University of Lethbridge. By that time the worst of Alberta’s deficit reduction years were over, the fiscal house was in order, oil prices were beginning to rise and things were looking up. Public opinion polls at the time showed that a majority of Albertans thought health and education should be the government’s priorities. Nevertheless, the mid-90s mantras of greater accountability, access, affordability and responsiveness continued to hold sway in the early years of the new millennium. Employing a business-plan model and bluntly competitive approach, funding to post-secondary institutions was provided through a combination of base operations grants and targeted envelope funding. The former were designed to fund program delivery, administration and general capital maintenance needs of institutions, and the latter to prompt institutions to meet what the government considered current and emerging needs as well as serve as a reward for meeting government objectives. Noting that even with these combined funds, baseoperating grants for post-secondary education were reduced by 21 per cent, many institutions responded by cutting student enrolments. Not so, at the University of Lethbridge. In June 2000, Dr. William H. Cade (LLD ’12) became president of the University of Lethbridge. A Texan by birth, Bill


“The University of Lethbridge is a fabulous example of what can happen when a small group of people is determined to pull off a big undertaking, and how a university and city can grow and prosper together.” DR. BILL CADE, U OF L PRESIDENT 2000-2010

Dr. Bill Cade (LLD ’12) and his wife Elsa were the presidential couple for a decade.

(as he was known to everyone) embraced and practiced a genial, accessible, open style of communication that quickly made him a household name throughout the community and province. One was never in any doubt in speaking with Bill that he was the president of the University. But he understood very well that a well-functioning organization recognized and paid due attention to the work and contribution of everyone, be they students, academic faculty or staff, a philosophy demonstrated by his inauguration in 2003 of the President’s Award for Service Excellence. Blessed with an absolutely prodigious capacity to remember names, Bill would greet people correctly by name throughout the University. He was also amazingly accessible and a phone call or effort to contact him invariably received a prompt, interested response. A professor of biological sciences, Bill encapsulated the notion of scholar president. In faculty parlance he “walked the talk” by maintaining a working lab with graduate students throughout his two terms and a visit to his office was never complete without an examination of the many live specimens of crickets on display there in glass cases. Bill was always happy to talk about them and in the most interesting and entertaining manner to draw astute parallels between cricket behaviour (his passionate research interest) and human behaviour — including leadership. Bill Cade would always describe himself as fortunate in having as vice-president (academic)

and provost, Dr. Séamus O’Shea. Séamus had lived through the worst days of the deficit reduction cuts of the mid-90s, an experience that had given him a thick-skinned, pragmatic sense of realism and a relentless determination to succeed no matter what the obstacles. His Irish background had instilled in him a passionate commitment to the “life of the mind” and to the importance of everyone having access to it. Indeed, he embodied the foundational beliefs of the University — its emphasis on liberal education, the importance of quality teaching and research, and the belief that a student was never just a number, but an individual whose talents and skills should be honed and developed by working closely with outstanding scholars. Séamus had a wicked sense of black humour that he used effectively and with great aplomb whenever called for, including one storied occasion where on going through customs and being asked if he had anything to declare, he laconically replied “nothing except my wit!” Together, president and provost made a dynamic team as they set themselves to the task of working the political and economic environment to the University’s advantage. Among the five funding envelopes (Access, Performance, Infrastructure Renewal, Research Excellence and Innovation and Science Research Investment), the Access Fund was the largest and made funds available for the expansion of programs identified with economic expansion and employment. Unsurprisingly, they favoured the areas of science, technology, medical training and business, leaving the arts, humanities and social sciences — areas deemed less likely to lead to employment in the new economy — comparatively underfunded. By this time, the University had already put in place a decentralized budget model that

gave deans and their Faculties the autonomy and incentive to pursue new, innovative programming. It had also radically improved its fiscal management capacity by hiring experienced, highly qualified financial personnel and situating them not just in central administration but as financial officers in every Faculty. Supported by such expertise, and at every level by an exceptional cadre of committed non-academic staff in key administrative units such as the Registrar’s Office, the Faculties became veritable hives of entrepreneurial activity. The challenge was to package new programs in a way that was attractive, that served everyone’s interests and that enabled the University to channel monies obtained into other existing areas. So, under the IT (Information Technology) umbrella, for example, a proposal was submitted combining computer science, new media (Fine Arts) and geography (GIS), the funds thereby obtained serving to support and bolster a range of other academic and nonacademic areas tangentially related. It was an exhilarating, ingenious (albeit sometimes very stressful) way to bend the political/financial environment to the University’s own purposes, and it paved the way for a level of faculty collaboration and innovation that was truly remarkable and that persisted even after the Access funding process was phased out around 2009. Among the unique first of their kind programs developed were the Fine Arts Digital Audio Arts program and Health Sciences programs in Public Health and Therapeutic Recreation. The University also developed a range of new Aboriginal programs and support initiatives including the Faculty of Education Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program (offered in collaboration with Red Crow Community College); the Faculty of Management First 19

Nations’ Governance Program (offered through a partnership with the Department of Native American Studies); the Arts & Science First Nations Transitions Program; and Health Sciences Support Program for Aboriginal Nursing Students (SPANS). By 2012, fall semester student enrolments had increased to 8,253 students (from 6,410 students in 2000), and a host of new programs had been created across Faculties that deepened the University’s original commitment to liberal education, adapting it adroitly to 21st century contexts. Unsurprisingly, growing numbers created space pressures, leading the University to expand beyond its original, iconic Arthur Erickson building and to erect a number of new buildings. After a 10-year fundraising campaign, the long-awaited Library Information Network Centre (LINC) was 20

officially opened in 2001. That same year saw the opening of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience. The four-storied addition to Turcotte Hall (the new home of the Faculty of Education) and the Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building were opened in 2008, followed quickly by Markin Hall (home to the Management and Health Sciences Faculties) in 2010. A new residence village, the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness and the Community Sports Stadium were also erected during this period. Did the new buildings keep the faith with Erickson’s original architectural vision? Unfortunately, expediency and piece-meal funding made that impossible. The buildings erected represented a hodgepodge of styles and eras some distinctly less impressive than others. More detrimentally, it split into different buildings disciplines that hitherto had worked

and lived interactively, impacting thereby the sense of liberal togetherness inspired and facilitated by Erickson’s original conception. Although perhaps inevitable, that was a serious loss. Research also began to assume a more visible role in the University in the new millennium. Although Lethbridge had long had a pool of outstanding researchers in a variety of innovative areas, it had a relatively modest research profile, particularly in comparison with the larger comprehensive universities to the north. The year 2000 saw the creation of the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) and the internal Board of Governors Research Chairs (BoGRC). It also saw the implementation of a strategic, thematic approach by Vice-President (Research) Dr. Dennis Fitzpatrick that proved enormously effective in attracting funding

“Small universities are at an incredible disadvantage in getting research funding. They have heavier teaching loads and less infrastructure, yet they have a commitment to participate in research regionally, nationally and globally, and they find ways to do it. And that’s the spirit at the U of L.” DR. DENNIS FITZPATRICK ASSOCIATE VP (RESEARCH), 1999-2004 VICE-PRESIDENT (RESEARCH), 2004-2009

and resources that could be shared. That led to the development of centres of excellence in a range of broad-based areas including neurosciences, water resources in semi-arid ecosystems, biotechnology and others. To further this increased emphasis on research, and to help attract and retain excellent faculty, the Faculty of Arts & Science reduced its teaching load from five courses to four. In response to a prevalent perception that the sciences were receiving a disproportionate amount of the research awards and resources made available, the University Scholars Program was established in 2007 with the explicit intention of promoting research excellence across all Faculties. Research and research training go hand in hand. In the early days of the University, the latter was accomplished by faculty members identifying and creating research opportunities for the most promising senior undergraduates, an important mentor practice that still continues today. The 2000s however, saw a School of Graduate Studies officially established and the development of PhD programs initially in neuroscience and the sciences, and later in health sciences, social sciences and education. The range of master’s programs offered also radically expanded to include every Faculty putting pressure on existing university services that were created with undergraduate students primarily in mind.

Combining the strengths of different Faculties, some innovative interdisciplinary graduate programs were developed including the Master of Education program in Inclusive Education and Neuroscience, and a collaborative PhD Program in Population Studies in Health delivered jointly by the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Arts & Science. All of these initiatives ably demonstrated the University’s ability to succeed as a comprehensive, research-intensive university, capable of pursuing and actively engaging students in innovative research opportunities up to the highest academic levels. The success of these initiatives was confirmed in 2012 when the University of Lethbridge was named Research University of the Year (undergraduate category) by RE$EARCH Infosource Inc. And what of teaching? Did the University’s increased emphasis on research erode its original commitment to teaching excellence? That is a question one often hears raised and debated. On the one hand, there have been significant developments. A Board of Governors Teaching Chair was inaugurated in 2007, and a Teaching Centre, spearheaded by Associate Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andrew Hakin, was created with the assistance of Faculty of Education professors, Drs. Pamela Adams and David Townsend. A timely and important initiative, the Teaching Centre was explicitly created to support and encourage excellent teaching practices and to promote scholarship and research in teaching and learning. But these developments notwithstanding, and the stipulation that tenure and promotion at the University of Lethbridge still entails demonstrated excellence in research and teaching, a niggling sense prevails that as the University’s prowess in research grew, teaching became seen as less important, less cited in promotional materials, less valued as an academic activity. More detrimentally, it has led to a divisive sense of inequity as faculty members in Faculties with a five-course teaching load and accordingly less time to devote to research, feel themselves assigned a lesser role in the University of Lethbridge brand. In 2010, Dr. Michael Mahon became president of the University of Lethbridge. If Bill Cade started his presidency at a time when things were looking up, the opposite can be said of President Mahon and Provost and VicePresident (Academic) Dr. Andrew Hakin. Their terms began after the great recession

of 2008 had ushered in a period of political/ economical uncertainty that saw oil prices plunge, a changing succession of premiers — four during the period 2012-2016 — and a relentlessly unpredictable environment where constant cuts were the order of the day. It didn’t help that these challenges occurred in a period of heightened competition for undergraduate students, as the impact of the Government’s Roles and Mandates Policy Framework (2007) enabling colleges to apply for degree granting status began to make itself felt, undermining the University’s hitherto effective and highly successful transfer arrangements with other institutions. Political/financial challenges notwithstanding, President Mahon quickly coined the phrase “Destination University” to indicate that Lethbridge no longer functioned as a primarily undergraduate “feeder” institution, providing baccalaureate education to students transferring from colleges and in turn sending them on to pursue their graduate education in larger comprehensive universities. Instead, it asserted boldly that students and faculty members could engage in full, meaningful academic careers at the U of L, in a context that emphasized the highest standards of academic programming and research, and that was grounded, moreover, in our unique history and perspective. Commitment to that history and unique perspective is writ large in two of the most important developments initiated. In 2002, Elder Bruce Wolf Child gave the University the Blackfoot name “Nato’ohkotok” (Medicine Rock) to indicate the wisdom, knowledge, solidity and connection to the land and people of Blackfoot territory. The integrity of that connection was made visible in 2014 with the official opening of Iikaisskini Gathering Place. Envisioned as a vibrant and empowering cultural centre on campus where Blackfoot and other Aboriginal languages can be spoken, and where Elders, community members, students and staff can meet and explore knowledge together, Iikaisskini has already begun to play an important educational role in fostering appreciation and respect for Blackfoot and other FNMI heritage throughout the University and beyond. Given the atmosphere of fiscal austerity and restraint that characterized the last several years, nobody on campus would have been 21

“The success of these initiatives was confirmed in 2012 when the University of Lethbridge was named Research University of the Year.” DR. JANE O’DEA

surprised to see the massively conceived “Destination Project” postponed or at the very least scaled back. Nevertheless, mindful of the strategic importance of having capital projects “shovel ready” when funding became available, president, provost and the campus and broader community continued to push, fundraise and plan and in doing so achieved the inconceivable — significant government funding for a development has already commenced construction and that will see the creation of a new science and academic building. It is indeed the most significant development on campus since University Hall was completed in 1972. The collective aspirations for the project are no less significant — a new science and academic building that will serve as a catalyst for innovation; classrooms, research spaces and labs explicitly designed to accommodate and encourage groundbreaking teaching as well as research; sustainable design; and 22

a place for community engagement and outreach. Eventually through the creation of a central revitalized home for the humanities and social sciences in University Hall, cross-disciplinary programs and research opportunities for students will once again be more easily facilitated and encouraged, so reigniting in a 21st century context that commitment to liberal education that was and is the hallmark of the U of L. Are these heady aspirations attainable? Undoubtedly, challenges lie ahead. But they did too 50 years ago when a small group of scholars and learners forged a diverse and inclusive tradition of excellence that inspires us still today. I have no doubt that others will take up the challenge and that the U of L will find a way to continue and enhance that tradition in the years ahead.

Dr. Jane O’Dea, Professor and Dean Emerita Dr. Jane O’Dea joined the University of Lethbridge in 1990 as a Professor of Education (Philosophy) and served as Dean of the Faculty from 2000 - 2010. She received the University of Lethbridge Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995 and has published a book with Greenwood Press and numerous articles in refereed journals such as the Journal of Philosophy of Education, and Educational Theory. As a consequence of her work with the Blackfoot community, she was given the Blackfoot name, Ninaimsskaakii (Medicine Bundle Woman), by Elder Frank Weasel Head in 2002 and awarded the honorary title, Kaaahssinnoon (Blackfoot Eminent Scholar) by Mi’Kai’Sto (Red Crow Community College) in 2011.

In 1975, the U of L established the Department of Native American Studies, the first of its kind in the province. U of L alumnus, professor emeritus, honorary degree recipient and special assistant to the president, Dr. Leroy Little Bear (BASc (BA) ’72, LLD ’04), played a significant role in its establishment. Little Bear reflects on that notable time in the University’s history. The Native American Studies department at the University of Lethbridge started as a dream. It was a dream in the hearts of faculty members, namely Menno Boldt. We partnered together, started doing the research work and eventually had three other people come and assist us.

We held two conferences — one with the youth and another with adults and elders. Out of those two conferences, and all the consultations we had with other schools as well as the Indian Association of Alberta, came the agreement: we didn’t want just another program. We wanted something really substantial — that is what universities are really about.

Universities are about courses, degrees and research. Universities are about the search for knowledge. If you look at it from that point of view, then Native American Studies — Native ways of knowing, Native ways of gaining knowledge, Native ways of methodology — are a different way of looking at the same reality. The inclusion of NAS is an attempt to enrich the overall experience of students and faculty and the University as a whole. 23

“For me, personally, the University of Lethbridge has been my life. The University of Lethbridge is me. I am very blessed to spend my entire academic life here.” DR. LEROY LITTLE BEAR


A report was written jointly by Menno, research assistants and I, and presented to the University. The University reviewed the report and really liked the idea. In fact, not one word was changed on the proposal. The University took the proposal to the Department of Advanced Education. After some communication, they decided to fund a Native American Studies department at the University.

Since then, the other Faculties have incorporated FNMI-focused programming. FNMI culture is woven into the fabric of the University, enriching teaching, learning and research. We are proud of our long history here.

The Department of Native American Studies came into existence in 1975 with a full major. We brought on some great faculty members like Christine Miller, Alfred Young Man and Tom King. Those were exciting days. Word about the program got out very quickly and we attracted students not only locally, but from all over.

Over the years, I have had the privilege to sing the honour song for many students at Convocation. These students have gone on to become teachers, principals and community leaders. When I run into these former students, they always come to me and tell me how much the University influenced them, showed them the big picture and opened their world views.

The message we tell our students is: You come here to learn. You go out into the world to serve.

DR. LEROY LITTLE BEAR (BASC (BA) ’72, LLD ’04) As an undergraduate student, Dr. Leroy Little Bear spent a summer conducting research that would eventually be key in the establishment of the Department of Native American Studies. After going on to complete a law degree, Little Bear returned to the U of L and served as Chair of the Department of Native American Studies at the U of L for 21 years. He is a globally renowned scholar, educator, author and advisor. His dedication to education, leadership, community-building and advocacy has led to a United Nations declaration, changed the Constitution of Canada and influenced the lives of thousands of students. He has been recognized with many awards and achievements, including most recently The Alberta Order of Excellence.


You’ve felt the bleachers shake and the deafening roar of the crowd reverberate in your chest; you’ve swelled with pride as a trophy is raised on hallowed ice; you’ve been swept up in a sea of emotion as a tear trickles down the face of an Olympian; you’ve watched your fiveyear-old daughter get a high-five from her coach at soccer camp — you’ve experienced Pronghorn Athletics.

Over the course of 50 years, Pronghorn Athletics has produced national champions and recordsetters, Olympians and mentors, all while being at the forefront of regional sport and wellness through the creation of state-ofthe-art facilities and generations of community sport leaders. It began simply. As the University was taking shape and establishing its academic tenor, a group of faculty and staff in the physical education department advocated for a program that would integrate physical

education with intramurals and athletics. The group, many of whom had been educated or influenced by American colleges and universities, found the welcoming ear of President Dr. Sam Smith (LLD ’90). “It wasn’t a really difficult sell at the time,” says Dr. Gary Bowie (LLD ’13), who served as a coach and athletic director and was one of the founding faculty involved in establishing the program. “Sam Smith already had a feel for what campus athletics was all about because he came from a U.S. background, so he 25

PHOTO ABOVE: There is no denying who ruled the women’s rugby world from 2007 to 2009. PHOTO LEFT: A true Cinderella story, the Pronghorns men’s hockey team celebrated an improbable run to the 1994 national championship at centre ice of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.

supported it strongly when he came on the scene. We took it on and just moved forward. We felt athletics made a good contribution to education for the students and really was a part of the liberal arts philosophy, to be involved in academics along with other activities at the University to broaden your educational experience.” Establishing a competitive athletics program required a utilitarian approach, as Bowie describes, that allowed the U of L to meet the conference threshold of five men’s sports and four women’s sports while also maintaining a sustainable bottom line. Men’s and women’s basketball, with teams already established at what was then Lethbridge Junior College, were the easiest selections and allowed the University to be competitive out of the gate. Volleyball, wrestling, badminton, judo and curling rounded out the initial offerings, largely because they were all tournament sports that only required the University to participate in the league tournament at the end of the season to satisfy membership obligations. Originally branded as the Bobcats, the University then adopted Chinooks as its moniker. Under that name, Dr. Wilma Winter


coached the women’s basketball squad to the school’s first national title, in 1971. Eventually, after a school crest was developed that featured a pronghorn antelope, the founding members advocated for Pronghorns as the official program name. There would be some upheaval early on as the newly formed Canada West Universities Athletic Association struggled to find its footing. Not enough schools could be found for some sports so badminton and curling were eventually dropped, to be followed by wrestling. Judo also eventually left Canada West but not before the U of L made its mark by winning the conference championship in each of the final two seasons of competition, 1978-79 and 1979-80. Canada West, recognizing that the U of L was still in its growing stages, let the school participate as full members throughout the 1970s even though it could not initially sustain the required number of sports. By 1981, the University had to abide by all league rules. It was at this time that the Pronghorns added a cross country/track team and by 1982 had introduced men’s and women’s soccer programs, to be followed by men’s hockey in 1983.

The growth of athletics mirrored that of the University. In 1986, the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre opened, serving as a watershed moment for the city’s west side. Now, more than ever, the community was invited to become a part of the University community, and as Pronghorns men’s and women’s swimming was introduced in 1988, youth competitive swimming took on a new profile in southern Alberta. Champions emerged over the years at the provincial and national levels, as well as Paralympian Zack McAllister. When women’s hockey came on board in 1997, to be followed by women’s rugby in 2000, it completed the current complement of funded programs. What followed was massive expansion to the University’s athletic facilities. In 2007, the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness replaced the original physical education building, and in 2009 the University Community Stadium opened. Both facilities further extended Pronghorn Athletics’ reach into the community and now serve as hubs for high school and minor sport activity throughout the southern Alberta region. Over the years, each and every Pronghorns program has realized great successes at the conference and/or national level. In addition

From the day Pronghorn Athletics was born it has always been about so much more than the games they play, rather it’s the opportunities created, the impact on community and the Pronghorn experience. to the Chinooks first-ever national title in 1971, Pronghorns men’s hockey claimed the CIAU national crown in 1994, hoisting the University Cup at centre ice of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The women’s rugby program dominated with a run of three successive national championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and eventually produced Olympians Ashley (Patzer) Steacy (BSc ’15) and Kayla Moleschi. The Pronghorns’ small but powerful track and field team also generated a steady stream of individual national champions, while both Jim Steacy (BASc ’09) and Heather Steacy have represented the U of L as Olympians. The men’s basketball team won its first-ever Canada West title in the spring of 1986 and then hosted the biggest basketball event in the city’s history, the Canadian Inter University Athletic Union West Regional tournament. Moved to the Sportsplex to accommodate overwhelming fan interest, the Horns eventually lost to the six-time national champion Victoria Vikings. With nearly 4,000 fans in the building, it still served as a national coming out party for the small school. In 2000, the Horns advanced to the CIAU Final Eight tournament in Halifax. Beyond the efforts on the track, in the pool, on the mats, the ice and the hardcourts, Pronghorn Athletes have always excelled in the classroom. In the past year, 63 Pronghorn athletes were honoured as Academic AllCanadians, having achieved an 80 per cent academic average while also pursuing excellence in sport. That total is greater than 25 per cent of the school’s varsity athletes — the true essence of the student-athlete. Since the inception of the Academic All-Canadian program in 1990, a total of 849 Pronghorn varsity athletes have been named Academic All-Canadians.

Basketball has been a staple of Pronghorn Athletics from the beginning of the program.

Bowie says the impact of Pronghorn Athletics resonates far beyond the competitive sphere, pointing to the number of community sport associations that feature former Pronghorns as coaches and administrators. The program and its legacy have also created a climate of sport in southern Alberta that has attracted multiple large-scale events because of the capital of expertise that now exists in the region. Today, Pronghorn Athletics continues to build on its storied past. This fall, the Horns hosted the Canada West Rugby Championships and in 2017, the University Community Stadium will welcome the CIS Women’s Rugby Nationals. By reaffirming a commitment to excellence, Pronghorn Athletics has refocused on the student athlete, substantially increased community engagement and reached out to its alumni to welcome them back in the fold. As the U of L’s 50th anniversary beckons, the Pronghorn Wall of Fame is being rekindled, along with a number of other initiatives designed to further engage Horns alumni. In recent years, the Pronghorn Scholarship Breakfast has been introduced. This year’s event saw more than 400 Pronghorn supporters attend Olympian Clara Hughes’ passionate presentation.

The future of Pronghorn Athletics is guided by a new sport model that strives for excellence in academics and athletics, while also championing involvement in community initiatives by tracking team and individual volunteer hours. This model provides a framework for Pronghorn Athletics to report on progress and be accountable for its activities. From the day Pronghorn Athletics was born it has always been about so much more than the games they play, rather it’s the opportunities created, the impact on community and the Pronghorn experience.





As co-chairs, and on behalf of our colleagues on the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, we are excited to kick off this year of celebration. From Founders’ Day Weekend January 13 and 14 to Homecoming Weekend September 1 to 3, and many other events and special initiatives, we have an incredible year ahead of us. This golden anniversary is a time for us to come together and celebrate all we have accomplished over the last five decades. It is also a time when we continue to work collectively to advance the future of our university, our city and our province. You’ll have many opportunities to get involved: attend an event with your former classmates or colleagues; volunteer and help our year of celebration come to life; share memories and story ideas; and help the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow by supporting scholarships through the Shine On: 50th Anniversary Fund. The U of L’s history is a shared one — each of us has contributed. Join us as we celebrate our proud past and present, and help us build the foundation of our next 50 years. Sincerely,

Chris Horbachewski Vice-President (Advancement)

Chris Hosgood Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences

The following pages provide a sneak peek of what we have in store for 2017. For details and a complete listing of events, please visit



The only thing better than attending one of our many great 50th anniversary events is helping make them happen! Visit for details.

Shine On: The University of Lethbridge 50th Anniversary Fund

STAY CONNECTED We have a whole lot in store for 2017. Please make sure we have your most up-to-date information, especially your email address, so we can keep you in the loop throughout the year. Visit to update your information.

SPREAD THE WORD Over the last five decades, many individuals have played important parts in the U of L story. Our 50th anniversary is a golden opportunity to reconnect with your former colleagues and classmates. We hope you will make plans to attend events together, and that you will share 50th anniversary information with them. Please email for more information.

HOST A CELEBRATION With more than 41,000 alumni, our 50th anniversary celebrations can take place in communities all around the world. If you would like to organize a 50th anniversary gathering in your community and show your U of L pride, please contact


The 50th anniversary is a time for us to come together to celebrate all we have accomplished over the last five decades. It’s also a time to join our collective efforts once again and advance the future of our University, our city and our province. Shine On: The U of L 50th Anniversary Fund is a way you can help the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow. 100% of all funds raised go directly to support student scholarships. With more than 41,000 alumni, and the combined efforts of faculty, staff, retirees and community members, think of the enormous impact we can make together! Make your gift today:


50 VOICES PROJECT Have you ever wondered what it would’ve been like to walk our halls in 1975? Perhaps you’d like to experience the controversial protest of 1968? The 50 Voices Project conducted by the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT) has captured our iconic stories, as well as those yet to be told, with the help of the University’s history-makers throughout the last five decades.

If you haven’t stepped foot on campus for a few years or a few decades, 2017 is the time to come back for a visit. Campus has changed — and continues to change — dramatically. Historic campus tours will be available throughout 2017. U of L Senate members will be on campus, welcoming guests and serving as tour guides, during events such as Founders’ Day Weekend (January 13 and 14), Open House (February 4) and Homecoming Weekend (September 1 to 3), providing a then-and-now perspective of our everevolving campus. For more information, visit

Through 50 voices — those of our founders, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters — the project has created a kaleidoscope of 50 histories. The oral history vignettes will be unveiled online in 2017 in conjunction with the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Full audio interviews, digital transcripts and photographs will be available in the University Archives and online for future research and as valuable records of University history.

UL50 GOLDEN JUBILEE AWARDS In celebration of the 50th anniversary, our Faculty of Arts & Science will offer $50,000 in awards to students who join us directly from high school. We will give five awards worth $10,000 each to qualifying students enrolled in a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or bachelor of arts & science program. The application deadline is March 15, 2017. For more information and to apply to the U of L, visit

LET IT SHINE ON: 50TH ANNIVERSARY SONG A year in the making, alumnus John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96) has written a song to commemorate the U of L’s 50th anniversary. Let It Shine On has captured our history and our hearts; it will debut at Founders’ Day Weekend in January 2017 and will be available at

COMMEMORATING HORNS HISTORY In 2017, we also celebrate 50 years of Pronghorn Athletics. Along with several special events and announcements in Fall 2017, we’re revitalizing the Pronghorn Hall of Fame and we need your help. A call for nominations will begin January 2017. For more information and for nomination packages, please email Mike Whipple (BA ‘03), associate athletic director, at


SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017 | 10:30 A.M.

Free BBQ lunch for the first 800 guests Noon - 1:30 p.m. | University Hall Atrium

Annual Paul Lewis Retiree Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Students’ Union Ballrooms

• World-premiere performance of our 50th anniversary song by Canadian folk music legend John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96) • Unveiling of the official U of L Tartan Themed Campus Tours 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Learn more about our ever-evolving campus and the history behind some of our iconic landmarks from those who know it best. Indoor Tailgate Party 4 – 9 p.m. | 1st Choice Savings Centre track • Pronghorn Women’s Basketball 6 p.m. | Main Gym •P ronghorn Men’s Basketball 8 p.m. | Main Gym •P ronghorn Women’s Hockey 7 p.m. | Nicholas Sheran Arena

Campus Tours 1 – 5 p.m. Learn more about our ever-evolving campus and the history behind some of our iconic landmarks from those who know it best. Frost Fest 1 – 5 p.m. | The Grove • Rail Jam: Men’s and Women’s ski and snowboard competition • Live DJ and giveaways Indoor Tailgate Party 3 – 9 p.m. | 1st Choice Savings Centre track • Pronghorn Women’s Basketball 5 p.m. | Main Gym • Pronghorn Men’s Basketball 7 p.m. | Main Gym • Pronghorn Men’s Hockey 7 p.m. | Nicholas Sheran Arena True North Cabaret 9 p.m. | Students’ Union Ballrooms • 50th Anniversary performance by Canadian folk music legend and U of L alumnus John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96): 10 p.m. • Performances by the Groove Apostles and The Blue: 11 p.m.


We’re opening our doors and inviting you to see why we’ve been ranked one of Canada’s top-three universities (primarily undergraduate category) for FIVE consecutive years! Join our Open House and learn more about our programs, extraordinary opportunities and proud 50-year history! Whether you’re discovering the U of L for the first time or reminiscing about days gone by, explore our campus and facilities. If you’d like to apply to the U of L, staff, faculty and students will happily answer questions.


Our annual Donor Gala celebrates 50 years of giving. All donors are invited.


FEBRUARY 20, 2017 | 11 A.M. – 3 P.M. 1st Choice Savings Centre Who doesn’t love a birthday party?! We’re throwing ourselves a 50th birthday bash and want everyone to help celebrate at the 6th annual Play Day. Join us Family Day for free family fun and explore all our campus has to offer!

CALGARY ALUMNI AND FRIENDS CONCERT MARCH 16, 2017 Theatre Junction Grand, Calgary

This year, the Calgary Alumni and Friends event takes on a new and exciting format. Reconnect with classmates and friends, and enjoy some of southern Alberta’s very best musical talent in an intimate show celebrating your University’s 50-year history.


JUNE 1 & 2, 2017 | 9:30 A.M. AND 2:30 P.M. DAILY Lethbridge Campus

HOMECOMING WEEKEND SEPTEMBER 1-3, 2017 Lethbridge Campus

Come one, come all! We’re hosting a homecoming like never before and want to see you there! Everyone is welcome to celebrate our wonderful milestone and learn more about our 50-year history. Highlights include live entertainment, Faculty mixers and campus tours.


In the spirit of our motto, Fiat Lux, Let There Be Light Night is a celebration of achievements brought to you by the University of Lethbridge and University of Lethbridge Alumni Association. Join us as we honour alumni from around the world with the Alumnus/na of the Year and Young Alumnus/na of the Year awards, and induct new members into the Alumni Honour Society.


OCTOBER 14, 2017 | 10 A.M. Lethbridge Campus

1967 The University of Lethbridge’s first home was located on a small corner of then Lethbridge Junior College. The “temporary” ATCO trailers pictured above, were moved to the west side U of L campus, where they remained for more than 40 years.


The building of University Hall (then, the Academic and Residence building) was a massive undertaking.

At the time, there was no water, sewer or powerlines west of the river, and the only bridge connecting east Lethbridge to west was Highway 3.

Since then, there have been many sod turnings and building openings. Campus and the entire west side of Lethbridge have evolved before our very eyes.

Official Building Openings 1973: Students’ Society Building


Official opening of the U of L campus on the west bank of the Oldman River

1981: University Centre for the Arts

1986: Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre


Turcotte Hall; new student residences (Kainai House, Piikani House, Siksika House and Tsuu T’ina House); Students’ Union Building


Papokan Sculpture Park to commemorate the U of L’s 25th anniversary

1999: Hepler Hall

2000: Anderson Hall

“It took a lot of committee work to translate academic plans into concrete building plans, but we had a lot of good people. In the long run, it’s the quality of the staff that does the work. I was always very proud of the people we had working for us.” BOB COMSTOCK Began at the U of L as a capital development officer in 1968 and retired as vice-president campus development in 1990.


2002: 2001:

University Library (then the Library Information Network Centre); Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience


Helen Christou Gallery

2003: Residence Village; Paterson Centre

2005: Iunctus Geomatics Ground Receiving Station


1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness; Parkway Services Complex

2009: Community Sports Stadium 2008: Turcotte Hall expansion; Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building

2010: Markin Hall; University Daycare

2013: Mt. Blakiston House

The Destination Project The U of L will soon be home to the Destination Project. Since celebrating the start of construction in spring 2016, the science and academic building is taking shape on the north end of campus. The 37,500 square-metre facility is the largest construction project to take place on campus since the original construction of University Hall. It will be transformational, shaping the future of the U of L and southern Alberta for generations to come. Watch the future take shape:


For the lastest U of L news, visit:

Top 3 in Maclean’s

He was also named one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 under 40 last December by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.

Maclean’s 2017 University Rankings are in and for the fifth consecutive year, the U of L ranked third in the Primarily Undergraduate category, a classification of 19 universities from across the country. “It’s exciting to continue to make strides in areas that we have identified as key priorities for the University, namely research, teaching and student services,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “Our focus on providing a supportive student experience, coupled with the commitment of our faculty to be leaders in both research and the classroom creates a unique campus atmosphere that continues to garner national recognition.” The U of L earned a tie for top spot in the Student Services category (percentage of a university’s budget spent on student services), moving up one spot from the previous year and continuing a trend that reflects the University’s commitment to its students.

Record Enrolment This fall, we welcomed 8,628 students on campuses in Lethbridge and Calgary — an all-time record enrolment for the U of L. The fall 2016 semester saw a 2.1 per cent increase over 2015, with a 9.1 percent increase in the FNMI student population; 6.4 per cent increase in science disciplines and 2.7 per cent in graduate student enrolment. High school undergraduate registrants have increased 20 per cent over the last two years.

“I am humbled and honoured to be appointed Chair of the University Board of Governors,” says Schlachter. “It’s very rewarding to be back on campus and experience the growth that has taken place since I was a student here. I’m looking forward to working with my board colleagues to ensure the continued development of the U of L, and to witnessing first-hand the opportunities that the Destination Project will provide for our students and the community as a whole.”

Alumnus Appointed Chair of U of L Board of Governors Lethbridge-based lawyer and U of L alumnus Kurt Schlachter (BSc ’00) has been appointed Chair of the U of L’s Board of Governors — the 10th in the University’s history. Schlachter, who earned a Bachelor of Science with Honours (2000) from the U of L and a Juris Doctor from the University of Saskatchewan (2003), is the Regional Managing Partner of Stringam LLP law firm and former Chair of Economic Development Lethbridge. Noted for his volunteerism, community service and commitment to the U of L, Schlachter has served as a board member of the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta, the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone, the Canadian Diabetes Association (Lethbridge Branch) and the Southern Alberta Epilepsy Association. Schlachter has also served on the U of L Senate.

RE$EARCH Infosource Rankings For the second consecutive year the U of L has improved its ranking among the country’s elite research universities, moving up one spot in each of the undergraduate and overall categories of RE$EARCH Infosource Inc.’s annual Research Universities of the Year rankings list. The U of L jumped to third in the country in the 2016 Undergraduate classification, while also moving up a spot to 34th in the overall rankings. “These rankings reflect the excellent work of our faculty as they continue to excel in attracting research dollars to the University,” says U of L Vice-President (Research) Dr. Erasmus Okine. “Their research activities are making significant impacts on society, and all the while they are providing outstanding research opportunities for both our graduate and undergraduate students.” 31



Becoming a songwriter wasn’t part of John Wort Hannam’s (BA/BEd ’96) plan when he began his studies at the University of Lethbridge, rather it was an unexplored part of who he was. “Some people go to university because it’s a stepping stone to the job they want. I went to university because I wanted to learn more about the world and the place around me,” says Wort Hannam. “The fact that I went into education and became a teacher was not the reason I went to university. I went because I was just thrilled to learn new things.” His spark for learning was fueled by a paper, written by Dr. Leroy Little Bear (BASc (BA) ’72, LLD ’04), he read for a contemporary native issues class he was attending at the then Mount Royal College. Intrigued and ready to focus, Wort Hannam wanted to know more about Aboriginal culture and signed up at the U of L. He counts his university years as a defining time. He met his future wife (Jennifer Burke, MSc ’06, BEd/BSc ’97) at the U of L, joined the crosscountry running team and the track team, and succeeded academically.

“Light represents everything from enlightenment to hope. There are so many attributes you can play with as a songwriter with the theme of light,” he says. Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock, University Advancement executive director, wanted the song to capture the spirit and essence of the U of L. She knew Wort Hannam to be a gifted storyteller — that he happens to be a U of L alumnus is an added bonus. “Music has an ability to ignite and unite us all,” she says. “If we can ignite the dreams of the students who come through our doors and have them leave with a feeling of community and connection, then I think we’re doing our job.” Wort Hannam’s songwriting process was like a miner panning for gold. He sifted through the University Archives, looking at photos and reading old issues of The Meliorist. Words or phrases, ‘nuggets’ as he calls them, that stood out were stored away in the back of his mind. While lyrics usually come first for Wort Hannam, this time the melody preceded the lyrics. Playing around with his guitar one day, he started humming a melody. He recorded it into his smart phone where it waited for lyrics. But day-to-day demands meant his self-imposed deadline of April 1 was going to roll by without a finished song.

While Wort Hannam put his University credentials to use teaching on the Blood Reserve, inside he nurtured a dream to write and perform songs. After nearly six years, he quit his teaching job to learn to play the guitar and write songs. He brought his dream out into the light where it flourished, fed by time, commitment and plenty of hard work. Now, at 48 years old and the father of a fouryear-old son, he’s cut back from touring some 200 days of the year to about 50 to be there for his family. When the University, thanks in part to a donation from Terry Whitehead (BA ’94), commissioned him to write a song to commemorate the U of L’s 50th anniversary in 2017, Wort Hannam knew almost immediately he’d use dreams as a lyrical feature. He also looked to incorporate light, in keeping with the University’s motto Fiat Lux, or let there be light. 33

Let It Shine On reflects both individual transformation and the University’s transformation over the past 50 years.

“Some songs are a gift; they’re given to you, and other songs, you have to pull them out and almost beat them into submission. This one was a little bit of both. I decided at the end of March that I was going to book some time up at the Banff Centre. It would allow me time away from my daily routine,” he says. “I was given the keys to a beautiful studio that I had 24-hour access to, and a beautiful room that looked out at the mountains. I woke up whenever I woke up, I got up and I walked to the studio and just started pulling out sheets of paper and hammering away at it.” He placed each completed page, like a miner lifting his pan out of the creek bed, on the floor and eventually had 42 pieces of paper in a line. Then he hunted for nuggets like a turn of phrase, a bit of writing, or a pattern, that might work into his rhyming scheme. He admits it’s an intense process and work he does best alone. “It’s exhausting. I can only sit for a few hours. My head hurts as I’m going through the process. As I write things down I find I have only a certain amount of mental energy and I have to get up and walk around,” he says. “When I left the Banff Centre, I was tired, mentally and physically.” The song, titled Let It Shine On, speaks about the dreams everyone has inside, waiting to come into the light, and being ignited on hallowed ground. Wort Hannam says the term refers not only to the hallowed halls of higher education but also the traditional Blackfoot land the University is built upon and Wort Hannam’s first impression of the coulees and river valleys of southern Alberta. He includes a line about the need to work together, as students’ learning is shaped by the voices of those around them. 34

“Western universities like the U of L are based on a European model of knowledge and discovery but the faculty and staff come from many diverse cultures, from First Nations to new Canadians from around the world. Each brings with them a different way of viewing the world,” he says.


Now that the most intense work has been done, Wort Hannam is looking forward to the next phase. Chris Morris (BFA ’07), technical specialist at the U of L, has helped record the song on campus in Studio One, and Leslie Ohene-Adjei (BFA ’16) is working on a music video. Jesse Plessis (BMus ’10), who is currently working on his doctorate at the University of Montreal, will be generating a choral arrangement of the song. Once complete, Let It Shine On will be a legacy for both Wort Hannam and the University. “I feel very, very honoured that I was asked to do it. For me, this was never part of the plan. When I went to the U of L, I had no idea that I would only teach for six years and then I would leave and try to make a living writing songs,” says Wort Hannam. Let It Shine On reflects both individual transformation and the University’s transformation over the past 50 years. “We would like John to perform the song in our 50th year on many different occasions. The song will debut at our Founders’ Day Weekend in January and will live on at the heart of the U of L for many years to come,” says Jacobson-Gundlock.

Can’t wait to hear Let It Shine On? The song will debut on Founders’ Day Weekend in January. Visit for details. (L-R) René, Henri, Raymond and Charles Huel, 1985

Now at the ripe-old age of 50, the University of Lethbridge is starting to see second and third generations of U of L families. In this issue of SAM, we are excited to introduce you to the Huel and Matisz families, and share their stories with you.

Huel Trio Henri, Charles and René — brothers in the Huel family — can’t remember a time when the University of Lethbridge wasn’t a part of their lives. In 1974, their father, Dr. Raymond Huel moved his young family to Lethbridge after accepting a position as a professor in the U of L’s Department of History. Dr. Huel would go on to have a long career at the University, even being awarded the Speaker Research Award in 2000 before retiring in 2003. But as he recalls, those first years comprised a special space in time. Having been established only seven years earlier, the U of L was still a young institution. Core foundations were coming to fruition. Research was being cultivated. The sky was the limit. In following years, as the University gained momentum, the children in the Huel family were also maturing, in essence growing up alongside the U of L. “I remember being a kid going to my dad’s office, running around the halls,” recalls René (BSc ’98). “Whether it was attending sporting events or Faculty Christmas parties, the University has always been a part of us.” By the time Henri, Charles and René were ready to explore the next steps in their education, the U of L was coming of age. While maintaining small student

to professor ratios, it was also a wellrespected University receiving national rankings for its undergraduate programs. Already familiar with campus, the Huel sons naturally chose to enrol as students at the U of L. Henri, the eldest, was the first to complete a Bachelor of Arts in political science. René came next, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. Finally, Charles convocated in 2005, also with a Bachelor of Arts in political science like his eldest brother. All three speak fondly of that time. “I always tell people those were the best five years of my life. It was an unbelievable experience,” says Henri (BA ’94). Following graduation, Henri and Charles started Rocky Mountain Hardwood and later All-Crest-Homes. While on paper, entrepreneurship may have seemed an unlikely route for two poli-sci majors, they credit their success in part to the education they received. 35

“A liberal education may not necessarily give you the skill sets for business, but it gives you the skill sets for learning, and that’s what you do in business every day,” explains Charles (BA ’05). “Most of our days are based around problem solving, dealing with people and meeting their needs. A liberal education teaches you to think in a different way and see a bigger picture. I may not use a lot of sociology, psychology or anthropology today, but the thought process remains the same. It transcends all disciplines.” It’s a sentiment shared by Henri. “When people find out what we do for a living, they often are surprised by our past. But I don’t regret my education. It’s invaluable. It’s done nothing but benefited us, as well as our clients,” he says. René, the youngest, took an entirely different direction and now works as the head of the DNA Laboratories for the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Currently based out of Rossland, B.C., his work frequently takes him around the world to places like Sarajevo, Bosnia and Africa. “As one of the most advanced DNA labs dealing with human remains, we’ve been tasked with identifying

(L-R) Tristan (Charles’ son), Henri, Raymond, René and Charles Huel, 2014

missing persons following the tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, and even in Canada we’ve assisted with various cases,” explains René. While René’s occupation couldn’t look more different than that of Charles and Henri, all three agree on two things: the education they received truly prepared them to take any path they chose, and the University not only shaped them as individuals but as a family. “We all feel quite proud to be alumni of the University. It was a very unique experience in our lives,” recounts Charles. “It’s neat to go back, especially with my wife and kids. You can almost mark the passing of time through the change to U-Hall as it sits in the coulee, to see the new additions, the change in the buildings themselves and the change in the faculty — you can see the progression of your own life through the life of the University. In that way, you actually see the living breathing function side of the institution which isn’t always evident — as our lives evolved and changed, the University evolved and changed as well. We became intertwined with the institution, it impacted our family years after we had gone there and is still very much a part of who we are today.”

Don Matisz (BASc (BA) ’68)

Before the University of Lethbridge was ever a leading institution, it was a dream in the hearts of visionaries like Paul Matisz, a then local lawyer in Lethbridge. The 1960s was an era marked with great debate around both the need and the location for an additional post-secondary institution in Lethbridge, but it was Paul’s firm opinion that educational matters were finally being given a top priority in the country and it was only a matter of time until a university would be established in southern Alberta. In 1967, Paul and others saw their hard work come to fruition. The University of Lethbridge was officially established and Paul was among the members appointed to the original Board of Governors. It only seemed fitting that Paul’s nephew, Don Matisz (BASc (BA) ’68), would enroll and be among the first students to attend the newly formed university. Don has vivid memories of those early days as an art student. “The University was still on the south side, on the same campus as Lethbridge College (then Lethbridge Junior College). There was a big barn that had been converted for use as art studios and classrooms. The professors needed separate spaces for the potters, the painters and so on. They made dividers out of wooden frames and sackcloth, so sometimes, if you were working on a project, you could actually sit in on a lecture without being in the class,” he recalls.


IMAGES ABOVE (L-R): Don Matisz’s original artwork, 1968. Official U of L Coat of Arms, registered 2012.

Closeness, particularly among students and faculty, has stood out in Don’s memory over the last five decades. “The professors became an extension of your family. They were approachable and wonderful teachers,” he recalls. “I remember one class I had on European history with Ted Orchard. There were only three students in the class, so we had the class in Ted’s office. We’d sit in there, him with his pipe, and we’d talk about European history. It was more of a conversation than a lecture.” In 1968, there was a call for students to enter a contest to design a Coat of Arms for the University. Don carefully researched all the elements needed and put forward a submission. “I never dreamed I would win, but I did,” he recounts. While many of the elements of that design have shifted over time, parts of the original Coat of Arms can still be seen, including the Fiat Lux banner as well as the sun, both of which continue to be integral identifying features of the current U of L logo. “I feel honoured to have that longstanding legacy at the University, that a piece of me lives on,” says Don. For Don, 1968 continued to be a monumental year. He would design the first scepter used at convocation and

would also be the first graduate in the University’s multidisciplinary program. He went on to have a long career as a local art teacher and renowned potter, selling more than 20,000 pieces worldwide. While Don remained a proud alumnus, things came full circle when he was asked to participate in the University’s 25th anniversary at convocation. What really cemented that day in time was seeing his daughter, Laurianne (Matisz) Schell (BFA ’92), cross the stage in a cap and gown. “Having been in that first graduating class, and watching me graduate 25 years later, made it a very special day for both of us,” recalls Laurianne. “I was excited to learn what the future held for me and very happy to share that day with my dad.” For the Matisz family, the U of L continues to play a central role. Rhonda (Matisz) Nelson, another of Don’s daughters has worked in advising at the University since 2010, and the youngest sister, Jessica (Matisz) Maneschyn, is currently enrolled as a student. “My mom was working in the general office when she met my dad. Each family member has a special bond to the U of L, which helps unite our family,” says Laurianne. “Whenever I see the U of L logo I’m reminded of my family’s connection to the University of Lethbridge.”

Don Matisz (BASc (BA) ’68) and Laurianne (Matisz) Schell (BFA ’92) at Convocation in 1992.

Are you a U of L Family? We will be sharing stories on U of L families throughout our 50th year. If you’re a U of L family, we would love to hear your story. Visit and tell us about your family’s U of L connection.


BE PART OF THE TRADITION Order your official University of Lethbridge alumni ring today. Available only to University of Lethbridge graduates, the Fiat Lux Ring is an enduring symbol of your achievement and an emblem of pride that ties you to the University and your fellow alumni.

Cast in sterling silver, the ring is available in a wide or narrow band and features a number unique to each owner engraved on the inside. For more information or to order, visit

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President Randy Kobbert (BMgt ’86) Vice-President Michael Gabriel (BASc ’04)


Treasurer Jason Baker (BMgt ’02) Past President Grant Adamson (BSc ’03) Secretary Jeff DeJong (BFA ’98) Alumni Association Directors Neil Boyden (BASc ’73, BEd ’85, MEd ’94) Joey Baranyay (BMgt ’10) Jason Elliott (BMgt ’95) Ted Likuski (BEd ’74) Matthew McHugh (BA ’03) Jeff Milner (BFA ’06, BEd ’12) Michael Persinger (BA ’10) Diane Randell (BN ’91) Calgary Chapter President Shelley Miller (BMgt ’08) Board of Governors Representative Richard Masson (BMgt ’92) Students’ Union Representative Cameron Howey

MESSAGE FROM THE ULAA PRESIDENT As president of the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association, I am honoured to represent more than 41,000 U of L alumni worldwide. This year, we are proud to recognize a diverse and accomplished group of alumni: the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, the Young Alumna of the Year and the Alumni Honour Society inductees. These individuals are shining examples of what it means to be a U of L graduate. They have used the knowledge they gained at the University to achieve their personal and professional goals, and have left a lasting impact on the people, organizations and communities with which they are involved. You can read more about this year’s honorees and find more information on how to nominate your fellow alumni for 2017 in the pages that follow.

Graduate Students’ Association Representative Emma Jing

As our alma mater prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, there will be many occasions to connect and celebrate. Whether you live in Lethbridge, or across the world, I encourage you to connect with each other to celebrate the achievements of our fellow alumni and the success of our community. If you are interested in hosting an alumni event in your community, please contact the U of L Alumni Relations office at As alumni, we play an important role in the U of L’s story — we represent its past and will help shape its future. Let others know that you’re a U of L graduate, and help spread the world about the difference our university and fellow alumni are making in communities around the world. Sincerely, Randy Kobbert (BMgt ’86) President, U of L Alumni Association

Edmonton Chapter Preside Bruce Thomson (BMgt ’03, MSc ’04) FNMI Chapter Chair Michael Bruised Heath (BASc (BA) ’80, BEd ’98) Alumni Relations Lyndsay Montina (BMgt ’09) Manager, Alumni Relations Contact us: University of Lethbridge Alumni Association 4401 University Drive West Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 Phone: 403-317-2825 Toll-Free: 1-866-552-2582 Email:

NEW FACES IN THE ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE The U of L is excited to welcome (L-R) Lyndsay Montina (BMgt ’09), manager of alumni relations, and JoAnn Rennick Brown, administrative assistant, advancement. As an alumna, Montina says she is thrilled to return to the U of L. “I’m looking forward to meeting and connecting with my fellow alumni,” she says. “With the 50th anniversary on the horizon, there will be many opportunities for alumni to gather and show our blue and gold pride!” When you call

the alumni office, the first person you’ll likely speak to is Rennick Brown, who says she’s looking forward to working with alumni, staff and students. 39



Just as the University of Lethbridge’s iconic Aperture sculpture portrays the idea of a beginning, an opening or a passing through to the future, so too the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association (ULAA) has focused on a new beginning for each graduate. From the initial 1968 spring convocating class of 32, ULAA members now number more than 41,000 strong and continue to grow each year.

The ULAA initial charter members were a varied group of individuals who chose to identify with the U of L and applied to become charter members. A.G. Markle, the first secretary of the Alumni Association, was tasked with convening the first meeting of applicants. At the time, all faculty administrative staff of the U of L automatically became members as well as all former students in Lethbridge who had gone to university. Today, individuals automatically become members of the ULAA once their degrees are conferred at convocation. The ULAA encourages lifelong commitment by fostering pride and passion for the U of L, celebrating and connecting alumni, supporting students and engaging the community. Our members hale from countries around the world and have gone on to make significant contributions in communities locally, provincially, national and internationally. A vibrant recognition program has evolved to celebrate our alumni. In 1992, the inaugural Alumnus of the Year program commenced. Its aim is to recognize alumni for exceptional professional achievement, academic excellence and/or contributions to society. To date, 24 individuals have been recognized and honoured. In 2002, to mark the 35th anniversary of the U of L, the Alumni Honour Society was initiated. This program recognizes the achievements of a select group of alumni each year who serve as role models through success in their vocation, provide outstanding community service or achieve superior accomplishments in their avocation. To date, the ULAA has p proudly recognized more than 80 recipients with w this award. Most Alumnus recently, the Young Alum mnus Achievement Award was established in n 2016 to honour younger U of L alumni. This award recognizes alumni 35 years or younger youngger for significant achievements in their fieeld of endeavour and acknowledges them as an n emerging leader professional through their professiona al or voluntary contributions. It also focuses focu uses on the difference they made to others and for the example they set for future young alumni alum mni to follow.

In 1985, U of L Alumni Association president Marija Boh (BN ’83) left her footprint in the wet cement of a time capsule dedicated as part of the University’s Leave a Legacy project. The ULAA is proud of the financial support offered through numerous student scholarships. The ULAA Award is awarded to students whose parents are alumni. The 25th Anniversary award recognizes both academic achievement and community or campus involvement. A nursing scholarship is awarded to those who demonstrate proficiency in nursing practices. The Dr. Helen Manyfingers Award supports third or fourth-year BEd students in an undergrad degree program or second-year students in a BEd After Degree program. The Calgary Chapter supports a scholarship in BMgt and the John Gill Memorial Bursary, with funds provided from an annual golf tournament, supports students in any undergrad degree program.

Alumni chapters have been established in Calgary and Edmonton as well as the local FNMI chapter. These chapters provide opportunity to connect with fellow alumni, develop important contacts, contribute to the growth and prestige of the U of L, and provide a chance to give back by volunteering at events or by mentoring current students. In 1985, the ULAA buried a time capsule containing artifacts at the base of Aperture. This is to be opened in 2067 on Canada’s 200th birthday and the U of L’s 100th anniversary. When it is opened, we will get a glimpse into our University’s proud history, knowing that the U of L and its alumni have a bright future.


2016 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR maintenance crew. With a spot on the Pronghorns men’s volleyball team waiting and a group of friends planning on attending as well, it just made sense for Skolrood to stay close to home. The practical choice also turned out to be the prudent one. “I had the opportunity to do a ton of things that I might not have at other places, particularly in my last year. I was on student government, I took part in drama productions and had three great years playing Pronghorns volleyball. I enjoyed being busy and enjoyed being involved in all aspects of the campus,” he says.

For the Honourable Mr. Justice Ronald A. Skolrood (BA ’83), there’s no questioning the value of a liberal arts education. It not only set him on the path to a more than 30-year law career, it broadened Skolrood’s campus experience and helped established the ideals of community engagement and citizenship. Now, 33 years after completing his undergraduate degree at the U of L, the highly respected British Columbia judge has been named the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association’s 2016 Alumnus of the Year. “There’s a lot of discussion about the value of an undergraduate education and particularly a liberal arts education and how that compares to getting trade training,” he says. “In my view, an undergraduate arts education is the best job training you can get for anything. Who knows what the jobs are going to be in five or 10 years from now, but the opportunity to write, to think and to analyze — all those things you do in an arts degree — I think sets everyone up well for the future.” Raised in Lethbridge, Skolrood seemed destined for the U of L. His father was a founding member of the Faculty of Education and, after graduating from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, Skolrood spent the summer working on the University’s 42

After completing his bachelor’s degree in English, Skolrood went on to study law at the University of Victoria and never left the province. Recognized for his integrity and impassioned approach to law, Skolrood has made significant contributions to his profession, earning a position on the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2013. Skolrood spent the entirety of his practising life at Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver, and is known as a contemplative and thoughtful jurist, concerned with principle and the way in which his work might promote the values of justice and fairness. These qualities are reflected in his judgements, and he is well respected by peers and colleagues across the country. Beyond his work in the courts, Skolrood is renowned for his community involvement. He is an avid supporter of his children’s sports teams, having coached, managed or sat on numerous executives, often taking on several roles at a time. Outside of the sports community, he has committed more than a decade to the Ryerson United Church Council. Academically, he has been a guest lecturer teaching courses at the University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University Law School and served as a course group leader at the University of British Columbia. He and his wife Jane have three children, with two now pursuing post-secondary education. The advice he has for them is simple and rooted in his own experience. “They don’t have any great career goals in mind yet and I keep telling them don’t fuss about that because what you are doing now is going to set you up for the rest of your life. My friends and I, who came out of the U of L, are living proof of that,” he says.

2016 YOUNG ALUMNA OF THE YEAR Danielle Tait, BMgt ‘10 First hired as special events coordinator in 2008, Danielle Tait has held a variety of roles at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG), where she is currently the associate director. In addition to a demanding workload, Danielle volunteers with the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and as a board member for Economic Development Lethbridge. She has also volunteered with groups in Tanzania and supports a number of organizations, including the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Urban Spirits.


Steve Craig, BMgt ’99 As director of external relations and student professional development in the Faculty of Management, Steve Craig has diverse responsibilities, ranging from running the Management Coop Program to overseeing events and working with the Faculty’s external stakeholders. Patrick C. Forrest, BMgt ’92 Patrick Forrest serves as vicepresident & associate portfolio manager at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. He currently holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation, and has been awarded the designation of Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI), the highest designation within the Canadian Investment

industry. Forrest is also a dedicated volunteer and fundraiser. Kathy Lewis, BN ’83, MEd ’99 After completing her nursing degree, Kathy Lewis helped develop palliative care, continuing care and sexuality education in the Lethbridge area, establishing herself as a well-respected nursing educator. She has served on community boards and worked with volunteer groups throughout the region, including terms on the University’s Board of Governors, Senate and as president of the ULAA. Ryan MacDonald, BSc ’06, MSc ’09, PhD ’14 Ryan MacDonald’s work on catchment-scale hydrological

processes and aquatic ecosystems has played a lead role in the development and application of process-based hydrological models for mountain watersheds. He works regularly with government, industry, First Nations and NGO clients in Alberta and B.C. He continues to collaborate with the University as an adjunct assistant professor. Reed Spencer, BEd ’83 Reed Spencer is perhaps best known as the sculptor of The Buffalo, which stands atop the coulee south of University Hall. A talented artist, he’s pursued various artistic methods and mediums over the years while spending his professional career as an educator. He has also dedicated countless

hours to sport development in our community, helping found both the Lethbridge Elks baseball program and the Prairie Baseball Academy, earning him recognition in the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. James Wade, BFA ’11 James Wade is an important emerging voice in Canadian playwriting. He has written one full-length and several one-act plays; two pieces he wrote as an undergraduate student earned him the University’s Play Right Competition’s top prize. His work has been performed regionally and nationally, and earned awards from the Ottawa Little Theatre National Playwriting Competition and the Alberta Playwriting Competition.

SEND IN YOUR 2017 NOMINATIONS We bet you know University of Lethbridge alumni who are shining examples of what it means to be U of L graduates. In recognition of our 50th anniversary, celebrate the achievements of your fellow alumni by nominating them for the 2017 Alumni Achievement Awards! Distinguished Alumnus/a of the Year | Young Alumnus/a of the Year | Alumni Honour Society Make a nomination or learn more at: Nominations close January 31, 2017.

Alumni Updates

Top 40 Under 40

U of L alumni are recognized across the province.

1980 Brad Hamilton (BMgt ’88) Brad Hamilton recently published “Engageonomics: Harnessing the Power of Engaged Employees, Why Companies Get It Wrong.”

1990 Ian McKinley (BA ’90) Following a successful conclusion of his diplomatic posting to Bogotá, Colombia, Ian McKinley has taken leave-without-pay from the Foreign Service to pursue novel-writing ambitions. He was invited by Moncton’s Frye Festival, Atlantic Canada’s largest literary event, to participate as one of three Anglophone “Prélude Emerging Writers” and on the margins of that event in April 2016, unveiled his second novel, “Harbinger, Book One of Northern Fire.” More information about his endeavours can be found at: Jacqueline Pratte (BSc ’96) Jacqueline Pratte currently entertains internationally as a “Girl Named Jake” and was recently performing for Princess Cruises.


Michael Weiss (BEd ’97) “I am grateful to be part of the staff at Banbury Crossroads Independent School in Calgary! Banbury is a self-directed learning, K-12 school, where students take an active role in their learning. I will have math students from Grades 7 through 12 in the classroom at any time during the day. It’s a very dynamic setting and the best part is, the students are happy! Thank you for a great teacher education program U of L!”

2000 Candice Staniek (BMgt ’01) “I graduated from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, in 2015 as a naturopathic doctor. I’m currently living in the US and in the process of setting up my practice. I’m thankful for the BMgt I received from U of L as it is a perfect fit and necessity when starting a business because half of having my own medical practice is being an entrepreneur.” Joel Mrak (BA ’04) “After the U of L, I completed a Master of Arts in Sport Management at Brock University and am now the athletics director at (continued next page)

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce named the following U of L alumni with their top 40 award: Jared Bell (BMgt ’10), Whitney Bullock (BMgt ’09), Eric Chang (BSc ’09), Steve Christensen (BMgt ’10), Steven Foord (BMgt ’05), Kerry Gellrich (BA ’06), Rachael Harder (BA/BEd ’10), Josh Hellawell (BFA ’12), Dawn Leite (BEd/BA ’04), Obed Maurice (BMgt ’06), Jena Murray (BFA ’11), Terra Plato (BA ’99), Kurt Schlachter (BSc ’00), Shelly Shaw (BMgt ’02), Derek Taylor (BMgt ’99), Jason VandenHoek (BMgt ’04) and Ashley Walker (BMgt ’08). In Calgary and Edmonton, Avenue Magazine named the following U of L alumni with their top 40 under 40 award: Manwar Khan (BSc ’07), Melanee Thomas (BA ’03), Shawn Hanson (BMgt ’02) and Deanna Thompson (BMgt ’09).

Advancing Cancer Research

’15) and Robbin Gibb (BASc (BSc) ’77, MSc ’01, PhD ’04), she is researching the effects of chemotherapy on the brain using a mouse model. Many patients, after receiving chemotherapy, report having effects with their attention, memory and cognitive function.

U of L PhD student Anna Kovalchuk (BSc ’14, MSc ’15) is one of 166 doctoral students in Canada to be awarded a 20152016 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Working with U of L professors Drs. Bryan Kolb (DSc

“We’re exploring what is happening at the molecular level that is causing this side effect. If we can figure out what is going on, it will be a foundation for helping ameliorate or even eradicate these side effects,” says Kovalchuk, who hopes to become a radiation oncologist. She has been accepted into the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine and will start her studies there next July.

Concordia University of Edmonton. I was the head coach of the Team Canada Women’s Deaf Volleyball team in 2012 and 2013, and was recently featured in September for National Coaches Week by the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.” Matt Taylor (BMgt ’05) Matt Taylor graduated from the University of Alberta with an MBA in June 2016. Richard Evans (BA ’08) “It’s been eight years since I graduated from the U of L. To say I had the time of my life there is an understatement. From the first year to the last, they were all memorable. Being on student council for two years as VP internal taught me a lot about who I could really be. But I learnt the most not from a classroom or seminar but from my peers. To this day U of L graduates share a unique bond, with hundreds of my friends from school still in my life today. You may not see them for years but the memories of Lethbridge do not fade. On a business side, it took some time to find my feet after graduating. I now live the perfect life with the dream job of working for the world’s biggest hockey company (Bauer). I owe the U of L everything. I went from being a quiet English kid living in a foreign country to the man I am now. Thanks U of L - Fiat Lux!”

2010 John Lobo (MEd ’12) “I am the current acting principal at Onoway Junior Senior High School after being assistant principal for three years. My MEd in educational technology leadership has been invaluable in this process.” Brian Hennings (BMgt ’12) “I anticipate being called to the Alberta Bar in Spring 2016. I am currently a Student-at-Law at D’Arcy & Deacon LLP, and have been hired back as a firstyear associate.” Shabana Manji (BA ’11) Shabana Manji recently accepted a position as a Student Life Advisor with the University of Central Asia based in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. The university’s inception only took place in September of this year which has allowed her to be involved in the start-up of a new institution. Darren Hummel (BEd/BSc ’15) “I am now teaching physics, chemistry and honours algebra at a school in Managua, Nicaragua, and have completed the first of my two-year contract.” Alisha Kanji (BA ’15) “Thank you for a wonderful time at the U of L. I will always be a proud alumna and will continue to praise the University, the profs and the students. After completing my BA I have now moved to Regina, Sask., to complete my BEd. Here in Regina, I continue to remember the values I was taught while at the U of L.”

Steacy’s connection to Pronghorns everlasting The most decorated athlete in Pronghorn history, twotime Olympian Jim Steacy (BASc ’09) officially announced his retirement this summer. Undefeated in five years of competition at both the Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) levels, Jim set down the hammer for the final time after an illustrious 17-year career.

2016 Friend of Health Sciences U of L alumna Diane Shanks (BN ’84) is the recipient of the 2016 Friend of Health Sciences award in recognition of her remarkable and inspirational commitment to registered nursing, nursing leadership and education. Over the course of her 35-year nursing career, Shanks has been witness to an evolution in health care. She has been on the frontlines of emergency care and managed the emergency department. In her current position as a clinical care director, she is responsible for the emergency department, the intensive care unit (ICU), in-patient medicine, cardio-respiratory services, stroke services, trauma services and bed utilization.

Tell us where the road from the U of L has taken you! Email: 45

In Memoriam The University of Lethbridge’s founding president Dr. W. A. Sam Smith (LLD ’90) always maintained that “people matter ultimately.” This sentiment has remained at the heart of the U of L over the last 50 years. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the following members of our community. We thank them for letting the U of L be part of their story, and we extend our sincere condolences to their family and friends.

Amazing alumni

From the bustling cities of Vietnam, the frozen tundra of the Northwest Territories and on the remote islands off the BC coast, U of L alumni Julie (Greidanus) Taylor (BA ’05) and Lowell Taylor (BFA ’04) had an amazing run on CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada.

Although their time on The Amazing Race Canada has come to an end, the adventures are far from over for the Taylors. Lowell, who is legally blind and suffers from a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, is turning up the training dial on his journey to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games to compete in cycling. You can keep up to date on Lowell’s journey and support him by checking out his website:

Shamus Rainford (BA ’13) Passed away January 4, 2016

Carolyn Reum (BEd ‘80, MEd ’12) Passed away April 13, 2016

Lana Sutherland (BA ’89) Passed away January 13, 2016

Freda Scout (BA/BEd ’01) Passed away April 29, 2016

Ray Harris (BASc ’71) Passed away January 16, 2016

Helen McKee (BEd ’76) Passed away May 28, 2016

Robert Golembiewski (DSc ’96) Passed away January 18, 2016

Colleen Jones (BN ’00) Passed away June 19, 2016

Larry Baker (BEd ’76) Passed away January 24, 2016

Stella Tallman (BHSc ’10) Passed away July 9, 2016

Kevin Weiss (BMgt ’00) Passed away January 27, 2016

Elizabeth Telke (BEd ’94) Passed away July 31, 2016

Dennis Griffith (BASc ’73) Passed away February 10, 2016

Mel Hurtig (LLD ’86) Passed away August 3, 2016

Donald Getty (LLD ’03) Passed away February 26, 2016

Marmie Hess (DFA ’04) Passed away September 2, 2016

John Zolinsky (MEd ’98) Passed away March 14, 2016

Kenneth William (BEd ’74) Passed away September 16, 2016

Brendon McQuaid (BN ’16) Passed away March 15, 2016

Peter Madany (BEd ’78) Passed away September 19, 2016

Jim Hillyer (BA ’99) Passed away March 23, 2016

Sutton Raymond Bowers (BA ’09) Passed away October 9, 2016

Jackie DiSalvo (BMgt ’83) Passed away March 23, 2016 Howard Cable (DFA ’02) Passed away March 30, 2016

Remember when?


If U-Hall’s walls could talk, imagine the tales they would tell! Alumnus Allan Wilson (BA ’72, BEd ’92, MEd ’98) shared his story from 1970 when he was almost arrested for treason because of what was printed on the Meliorist’s cover.

Read the full story at

SHINE ON: The U of L 50th Anniversary Fund is a way you can help the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow.

In celebration of our university’s golden anniversary, let’s come together and help students shine brighter. With more than 41,000 alumni, and the combined efforts of faculty, staff, retirees and community members coming forward to support the Shine On: 50th Anniversary Fund, think of the enormous impact we can make together.

100% of funds raised go directly to student scholarships |



Stay Connected

Connect with fellow alumni and current students to advance your alma mater together.

Catch up with classmates, professors and staff, and stay informed of upcoming events, news and special alumni offers. Follow us:

Share Your U of L Story We all have a story. Tell us how the U of L changed your life and how you’re making a difference.

Phone | 403-317-2825 Toll-Free | 1-866-552-2582 Email |

WE HAVE A WHOLE YEAR OF EXCITING CELEBRATIONS IN STORE AND MANY HISTORIC STORIES TO SHARE AS WE LOOK BACK OVER THE LAST FIVE DECADES. As we get ready to celebrate, please: • Update your contact information. • Share your memories and story ideas. • Mark your calendar! Founders’ Day Weekend kicks off on January 13 and 14. Invite your former classmates and colleagues to join you!

Publications Mail Agreement No. 0040011662 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: University Advancement University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive W. Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4