April 25, 2022

UCalgary volunteers display empathy every day

National Volunteer Week runs April 24 – 30
Werklund School of Education staff stand around a long table making sandwiches.
Werklund School of Education staff volunteered to make sandwiches for Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth, for a United Way initiative in November. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Each day, countless Canadians commit their time, energy and passion to helping their communities flourish. The University of Calgary thrives on the efforts of those who go above and beyond the call of duty.

The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Volunteering is Empathy in Action, emphasizing how volunteerism and human connection build stronger communities.

UCalgary President Ed McCauley says empathy is at the core of much of our work at the university, as evidenced by the altruistic spirit of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“Every day, members of our campus demonstrate their care for others and their genuine intention to build a better world,” says McCauley. “We’re proud of how they take the skills and awareness built through teaching, mentorship and research, into the wider community to support great causes around the world.”

UCalgary also relies on the support of our city, with community members stepping up to volunteer at events, mentor students, serve on boards like the Senate and Alumni Association, and lend their advice and expertise wherever needed.

For example, over the past year, numerous community members have volunteered on campus, including Calgary lawyer Sandra Aigbinode Lange and Nursing alumna Lani Babin, BN’97, who were recognized for their mentorship of UCalgary students and alumni.

In 2021, more than 40 UCalgary community members volunteered to lead fundraising events in their faculties and groups, raising $431,245 during this year’s United Way campaign.

A group of UCalgary students and alumni collaborated to launch Connect Tutoring, a program to provide one-on-one academic help to K-12 students from low- to middle-income families in Calgary. Connect Tutoring has grown to become one of UCalgary Alumni’s latest affinity communities, which are always welcoming new alumni members.

“We want to recognize and thank all the volunteers who have amplified the University of Calgary’s impact this year,” says McCauley. “Our community is stronger thanks to your steadfast leadership and compassion.”