Good chat with my husband, Gérard, and a cup of coffee — always with beans from Phil and Sebastian, who are both alumni. I check my email, download the Calgary Herald, Globe and Mail and the National Post, and take a look at CBC and CNN. Everything that’s happening in the world has an impact on the university in some way.
Met with a donor at Phil’s Restaurant to discuss a few things over breakfast. We chatted about how he sees the impact of his family’s current gift to the university.
I left that meeting feeling energized because his family is so proud of the impact their investment is having on health outcomes in Calgary and beyond. I was also reminded that our students, faculty and staff are making a meaningful difference in the world — and that’s why we exist. Hearing those stories makes my job even more worthwhile.
Co-hosted a networking event with Innovate Calgary, followed by a panel discussion and town hall led by the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. This was such an incredible opportunity for the university to be involved in an open discussion about our role in Canada’s development of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. This event reminded me how critical it is for us to be the connecting force in the 21st-century economy, led by students who think differently and solve problems with creativity and innovation. It’s a very exciting time for the university.
Ate lunch in my office. This is a rarity. I attend so many events that I often crave simple food from home — occasionally, I get to bring my own lunch to work.
Met with a student I’ve been mentoring.
I’m involved in UCalgary’s Emerging Leaders Program, which pairs me up with a first-year student I meet with four times a year. I connect with them to learn about how they’re adjusting to university life, what they like about their studies, who their great professors are and how they’re getting involved on campus.
Conference call for Universities Canada, a national organization of university presidents. This association focuses on supporting one another and advocating to the federal government around research and innovation, student support, Indigenous education and student awards. As the chair, I help represent all Canadian universities — it’s an opportunity to contribute to the discussion about what’s important to the post-secondary sector, and what’s going to be important to Canada. That’s exciting and very rewarding.
Attended a UCalgary event celebrating the excellent work of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. These community events are when I really get to hear from people and connect with them — I get an excellent opportunity to listen to feedback in an informal setting, which is so valuable.
How do you spend your non-working time?
Weekends are for connecting with my family. We see our son, who lives here, and I talk to our daughter, who lives in New York. I also try to get to Edworthy Park for a big walk/run as often as I can; I put on my headphones and do a 13-km loop. It’s funny — people see me as this very serious person, but if they could hear what I’m actually listening to, they’d be surprised. Most recently, I downloaded that song from the soundtrack of The Martian by Thelma Houston, “Please Don’t Leave Me This Way.” That song can really get your energy up for running.
How do you stay energized to represent UCalgary around the world, following long flights and sticking to tight schedules?
I have an advantage in that I can sleep anywhere. I feel sorry for people who can’t sleep on a plane. I have ear plugs and an eye mask, and off I go. When I arrive somewhere, there’s a lot of adrenalin and I hit the ground running, so I try to arrive rested. There’s so much work behind the program that’s been shaped for me and I don’t want to let anyone down. My job is to represent UCalgary in the most positive and passionate way that I can.
Gift-giving comes full circle
UCalgary is built on the support from our community. Meet our longest standing-donor, Margaret Clarke and her 50 years of philanthropy.