Jan. 3, 2019
Top university news stories of 2018: A new president, transformative gifts to the campus, and expansion plans
In a year filled with major news developments from the University of Calgary, among the top 10 most-read UToday stories was the announcement of our new president. Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD, one of the world’s foremost scholars in the field of population ecology, becomes the university’s ninth president and vice-chancellor.
McCauley first arrived at the University of Calgary in 1985 as a professor in biological sciences and he served as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair until 2009. After taking on a two-year professorship at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he returned to Calgary in 2011 as vice-president (research).
McCauley moved into the role of president Jan. 1, 2019. He succeeds Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, PhD, whose extensive accomplishments over eight years as president marked a remarkable period of growth and success in the university’s 50-year history.
- Clockwise from top left: Ed McCauley, ninth president of the University of Calgary; Anderson-Chisholm family gifts a working ranch to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; Faculty of Kinesiology ranks No. 1 among North American sport science schools; Carolyn Emery will lead a concussion research program at Canadian high schools; donation from Bill Siebens and family supports the historic relocation of the Glenbow Library and Archives to the university; construction begins on the MacKimmie redevelopment; Premier Rachel Notley takes part in the announcement of the transfer of land and buildings from the province; gift from business leader Ronald P. Mathison helps fund a second Haskayne School of Business building; Education Minister Marlin Schmidt announces a new master’s degree in software engineering; His Highness the Aga Khan receives an honorary degree.
Read on to learn about the other news stories that make up this year’s UToday top 10, including transformative gifts, several planned campus expansions, and recognition for key programs and people.
- Major gift establishing W. A. Ranches will transform veterinary education and research: A $44-million gift from the Anderson-Chisholm family will transform the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, creating a world-class teaching, learning and research facility. Announced in September, the new W. A. Ranches will establish UCVM as an international leader in veterinary health, education, research and community outreach.
- His Highness the Aga Khan receives honorary degree: In recognition of his commitment to community and his dedication to health and education initiatives here and around the world, in October the University of Calgary bestowed its highest academic honour on His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.
- Plans revealed and construction underway for new MacKimmie Complex: One of the largest construction projects in recent campus history got underway in 2018. In March, the campus community open house unveiled renderings of the finished MacKimmie Library Tower, link and block. Construction of the new high-performance, net-zero-carbon building will continue through to summer 2022.
- Faculty of Kinesiology ranks No. 1 among North American sport science schools: On the strength of its research publications, the Faculty of Kinesiology took 7th place out of 372 universities in Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments, earning it the No. 1 spot in North America.
- University launches new master’s program in software engineering: As part of a broader five-year commitment from the Government of Alberta to add tech training spaces across the province, Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt announced funding in August for a new hands-on, course-based master’s degree in software engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering. The first cohort of 40 students will complete the highly focused, in-depth training in as little as eight months.
- Kinesiology’s Carolyn Emery to lead national NFL-funded concussion research: Youth account for more than half of the annual burden of more than three million concussions annually in North America. In November, the University of Calgary received $12 million from the NFL’s scientific advisory board for a pan-Canadian research program led by Dr. Carolyn Emery, PhD, to reduce concussions and their consequences in youth sport on a national level.
- Haskayne school to expand with new Mathison Hall project: In June, the university announced a gift of $20 million from Calgary business leader Ronald P. Mathison to help fund a second Haskayne School of Business building. With construction adjacent to Scurfield Hall beginning in 2019, it’s expected the new technology-rich, innovative learning environment will be completed in 2022.
- University partners with Glenbow in historic collaboration: The Glenbow’s Library and Archives will be relocated to the University of Calgary over the next two years. The move to the university and the creation of the Glenbow Western Research Centre will increase access to the world-class collection, opening the door to enhanced teaching and research opportunities for students, academics and the public.
- Transformative changes announced to University Research Park: Two new initiatives will see the University Research Park (URP) expanded and transformed, driving innovation, economic diversification and the creation of high-quality jobs. A transfer of 76 acres of land and three buildings from the Government of Alberta to the university will support the creation of a new research cluster at the URP. As well, the university is purchasing the Shell Technology Centre Calgary and converting it into a new Life Sciences Innovation Hub in early 2019.