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50th Anniversary wraps up; university kick-starts next half-century

Energized Eyes High strategy sets the stage for 2017-22

More than 800 members of the university community came together to begin the next phase of our Eyes High journey.

It’s official — the University of Calgary has graduated from the ranks of the world’s young universities, marking the end of our 50th anniversary year and kick-starting our next half-century with the introduction of a newly energized Eyes High strategy for 2017-22.  More than 800 members of the university community came together on April 28 — almost 51 years to the day since achieving autonomy on April 29, 1966 — to begin the next phase of our ambitious Eyes High journey.

“We’ve accomplished so much together since launching the original Eyes High strategy in September 2011. I am thankful for all of your efforts and honoured to be able to celebrate our tremendous progress with you today,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Cannon. 

“Whether it’s great student achievements, the attraction and retention of talented faculty and staff, unprecedented investment in the university, or building our reputation on the world stage, the university has seen many successes over the past five years. And as we wrap up a year celebrating everything that makes this place so special, we are well positioned for our next phase of growth and evolution.”

Beginning on April 29, 2016, the anniversary year engaged tens of thousands of people to celebrate the university’s legacy, spirit and evolution in the context of our city, province and country. View the video of 50th Anniversary year highlights below and let us know how you feel about the year-long celebration through a short survey.

Eyes High Strategy 2017-2022

The next stage of our Eyes High journey will move the university forward boldly over the next five years. The community engaged in extensive consultations between September and December 2016, yielding more than 10,000 points of engagement and great feedback that has helped refine the institution’s strategic direction.

“I want to thank everyone who participated in the consultation process,” says Cannon. “We heard you loud and clear: you told us that Eyes High was working; that it was guiding us in the right direction and uniting us in a vision that focused on the right things at the right time for this university. You also provided some very useful feedback on how we could improve as we evolved the strategy. ”

What’s new?

The overarching strategy statement has been updated to guide our path towards 2022, incorporating a commitment to fostering entrepreneurial thinking, which is about being creative, taking initiative, exchanging knowledge, and learning from experience.

The University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub located in Canada’s most enterprising city. In this spirited, high-quality learning environment, students will thrive in programs made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. By 2022, we will be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, fully engaging the communities we both serve and lead.

The statement notes that we will be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities — after spending the last five years building our capabilities and proving that we belong there. As we move forward, we will reinforce that position while drawing attention to the impact our work has across the country and beyond.

We also renewed our commitment to the three foundational commitments established in 2011:

  • Sharpen focus on research and scholarship
  • Enrich the quality and breadth of learning
  • Integrate the university with the community

Based on community input, we incorporated a much stronger emphasis on creating a great student experience and building a supportive, inclusive campus culture.

“Our task now is to deliver against our strategy. We must transform this strategy into resolute action throughout our planning cycles and with the leadership and dynamic support of our faculties and units,” says Cannon.

Download the Eyes High Strategy 2017-22 at  A number of resources are available to support faculty and staff as they incorporate the strategy into their work.

For more information, please email