2023 Order of the University of Calgary Recipient

Honorary Degrees and the Order of the University of Calgary Recipients
The Office of the Chancellor and Senate bestows two prestigious awards during convocation each term for people making an impact in our community and around the world: Honorary Degrees and the Order of the University of Calgary. 

Colleen Bangs

Colleen Bangs

Presentation – Thursday, Nov. 16, 2:00 p.m ceremony  

Colleen Bangs, senior director of Alumni Engagement at the University of Calgary, is a transformative leader who has dedicated over 12 years of her career to the University of Calgary. During this time, Bangs has been a beacon of innovation and collaboration. 

Bangs’ leadership philosophy, rooted in a "servant leader" approach, has guided her in being a leader to over 70 team members throughout her time at the university.  Her focus has always been on culture and developing people, both personally and professionally. 

For her dedication to fostering a positive work environment, strengthening community connections, and promoting personal and professional growth, Bangs will be recognized with the Order of the University of Calgary at the 2023 Fall Convocation ceremonies. 

Bangs’ commitment to mentorship is evident in her ongoing engagement with prospective students, especially those connected to alumni or friends of the university. She often delivers personal tours of the campus or guides students through their strengths assessments, embodying the university's Start something spirit. 

Her passion for equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility is deeply ingrained in her work. Bangs believes in the inherent value of every individual and strives to create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging. This commitment extends to her involvement with initiatives like the It Gets Better U of C campaign, aimed at combating homophobia and transphobia. 

As a presenter for the Canadian Council for Advancement in Education (CCAE), Colleen has shared her insights on Alumni Engagement data at the 2018 National Conference, participated as a panellist in the 2021 CCAeTalks webinar on leading teams during the pandemic, and presented at the 2023 Alumni Leaders Summit on collaboration and integrated planning. Her contributions to these platforms attest to her desire to exchange knowledge across disciplines, a key aspect of entrepreneurial thinking. 

Bangs’ tenure at the University of Calgary has been marked by her tireless dedication and remarkable leadership. Of particular note are her efforts to make Convocation a special day for all. She has been instrumental in fostering a positive and engaged community, and her legacy will continue to inspire current and future members of the university community. 

Bangs is the proud mother of Aidan and Ava, who are both away at university.  She credits her husband, Mike with being a ‘pretty special guy’ who has often stood back so she can give as much as she does.