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University of Calgary Calendar 2009-2010 About the University of Calgary Historical Highlights
Historical Highlights


  • Alberta becomes a province. The Alberta Normal School for training teachers is established in Calgary.


  • Premier A.C. Rutherford names Edmonton as the site of the University of Alberta (U of A).


  • Strathcona (now a part of Edmonton) is named as the site of the provincial university. Enraged, Calgarians conduct an unsuccessful battle to have the university relocated to Calgary.


  • Calgary College is created.


  • Calgary College opens its doors as a private post secondary institution. It has no degree-granting status.


  • A provincial commission recommends against giving Calgary College degree-granting status.


  • Calgary Normal School (formerly Alberta Normal School) relocates onto the Institute of Technology and Art campus (now SAIT).


  • The Normal School becomes a southern extension of the U of A Faculty of Education.


  • Citizens form the Calgary University Committee.


  • The Calgary Branch of the U of A offers the first two years of a Bachelor of Education degree. A.L. Doucette is appointed the first director. Land is set aside in Houndsfield Heights for an eventual university.
  • The timetable for the fall term includes folk dancing and tumbling on Saturday.


  • Land in Houndsfield Heights is exchanged for the present campus site.
  • The Board of Governors at the U of A sells all land south of 24th Avenue because the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta would never grow large enough to use it.


  • Radio broadcasts and ads on top of milk cartons are designed to encourage enrolment at the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta.
  • The Calgary University Committee urges an expansion of the Calgary Branch of the U of A and succeeds. First years of the BA and BSc are offered.


  • First year of BComm is offered.


  • The name changes to University of Alberta in Calgary (UAC). By now the first years of the BSc (Eng) and BPE are offered.


  • Sod-turning for the present campus. The Department of Public Works begins levelling the land.


  • The new campus opens with two new buildings, Arts and Science A. McMahon Stadium opens. M.G. Taylor is appointed principal.
  • April 1, Gauntlet editor Alan Arthur launches the first Bermuda Shorts Day by writing on a chalkboard "Wear shorts tomorrow." The major events are a huge marble tournament and a game called squamish.


  • The name changes to University of Alberta, Calgary . The first physical education building opens.


  • The 80-acre research park is designated. Campus patrol arrives. Full degree study is offered.


  • Students begin a drive for autonomy from the University of Alberta.


  • H.S. Armstrong is appointed President. Name changes to University of Alberta at Calgary. The football Dinos begin to play.


  • On May 1 UAC is granted academic and financial autonomy. The residence complex, Calgary Hall (now Craigie Hall), Science B and the Meteorological Station are completed. The Faculty of Engineering and the Division of Continuing Education are founded.


  • The Universities Act passes, creating The University of Calgary. F.C. Manning is appointed as the first Chair of the Board of Governors. The Senate and School of Social Welfare are established.


  • The first convocation is held March 29. The first recipient of a degree, Doctor of The University of Calgary, is Lester B. Pearson. Faculties of Business and Fine Arts are established.


  • A.W.R. Carrothers is named President. School of Nursing is established. More buildings open: Social Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Physical Plant.


  • General Faculty Council is renamed General Faculties Council. First students are admitted to the Faculty of Medicine.


  • Faculty of Environmental Design is established. Four year degree programs begin.
  • Dinnies Den opens as the first pub on campus.
  • Students' Union takes over management of MacEwan Hall.


  • W.A. Cochrane is named President.


  • Faculty of Law is established.


  • Faculty of Arts and Science is divided into the University College and the Faculties of Science, Social Science, and Humanities. Day Care Centre opens. Artic Institute of North America is relocated here.


  • Norman E. Wagner is named President.
  • The Nickle Arts Museum opens.


  • The Canadian Institute of Resources Law is established.


  • The University College becomes the Faculty of General Studies. The University of Calgary Press is established.


  • The University of Calgary is selected as the 1988 Olympic Games venue for the athletes' village and speed-skating events.


  • A $17 million supercomputer is acquired.
  • The Office of Technology Transfer is established.


  • Calgary Hall is re-named Craigie Hall in memory of former Vice-President (Academic) Peter Craigie.


  • The International Centre is established.


  • The University acquires the land under McMahon Stadium in a trade with the city for a piece of northeast campus to expand the Light Rail Transit system.
  • The footbridge spanning Crowchild Trail is relocated to the entrance of the University. It was originally designed by Engineering Professor Bob Loov.


  • The Winter Olympics come to campus. Murray Fraser is named President. Enrolment is frozen at approximately 16,000 full-time undergraduate students.


  • The University of Calgary athletic teams win five national championships. Employment Equity program is adopted.


  • Total outside funding for research reaches $60 million from government and private sources.


  • The University celebrates its 25th anniversary.


  • NASA space shuttle Columbia blasts off carrying a University of Calgary science experiment.


  • The University raises more than $45 million in its first national fundraising campaign. Students commit $2.2 million to the Building on the Vision campaign.


  • The University of Calgary hosts the 1994 Learned Societies Conference in June and welcomes a record 8,100 delegates representing 105 societies and conferences from 24 countries.


  • The University acquires the Higher Education Reserve Lands west of Campus.
  • Site dedication ceremony held for the new Rozsa Centre.


  • Construction of the Rozsa Centre for International Understanding and Fine Arts begins.
  • Terry White is appointed U of C President.


  • The university launches U of C 101 - a four-day orientation session for new students and the first program of its kind in Canada. The program aims to help students make the most out of their university experience - both inside and outside the classroom.


  • U of C cancer researchers receive international recognition after discovering a naturally-occurring human virus that kills cancer in mice.


  • Largest Information Commons of its kind in North America opens in MacKimmie Library.
  • New 400-bed Cascade Hall residence welcomes students.


  • Science professor Alan Hildebrand is part of an international research team that tracks down and recovers meteorites in northern B.C. The meteorites are discovered to be one of the most primitive solar system materials ever found.
  • International researches led by U of C archaeology professor William Glanzman partially uncover a 3,000-year-old temple in Yemen that is linked with the legendary Queen of Sheba. Experts believe the temple could be as significant a discovery as the ruins of Pompeii, the Pyramids of Giza, or the Acropolis of Athens.


  • Dr. Harvey P. Weingarten is appointed as seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Building opens. It features state-of-the-art teaching and Research labs. The building is strategically located between the faculties of Science and Engineering, and provides a link between the two.


  • President Weingarten unveils "Raising our Sights", a four-year academic plan designed to propel the University of Calgary into the upper echelon of Canadian universities by strategically allocating resources towards four distinct areas of strength where the university can truly become an international leader.

  • The Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology (CCIT) officially opens. CCIT fosters multidisciplinary initiatives through teams comprised of researchers, students and professors from such faculties as engineering, science, medicine, kinesiology collaborating with colleagues for industry, government agencies and other universities to find solutions to problems facing society and industry in several key areas.


  • Ground for the new Alberta Children's Hospital was broken on the West Campus.
  • The Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta was created with a $15-million gift from the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation and a $5-million donation by David and Gail O'Brien helped launch a world-class undergraduate educational centre in the Faculty of Medicine.


  • Fine Arts professor Eric Cameron is awarded one of the highest honours for a Canadian artist: a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.
  • Allan Markin, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources, donates $18 million to establish an Institute for Public Health.


  • Seymour Schulich, a director and the largest private shareholder of Newmont Mining Corp., the largest gold mining company in the world, donates $25 million to the University's engineering faculty, an amount matched by the provincial government. The faculty is renamed the Schulich School of Engineering in honour of the donation. Schulich's donation creates an endowment, more than 100 new scholarships, three new research chairs, and invests In enhanced learning opportunities for students.
  • The University launches Fast-Track 05, an initiative to enhance the quality of the student experience. Projects include more opportunities for experiential learning, a wireless campus, improved student spaces, and a new cyber cafĂ©.


  • The university marked its 40th anniversary with a series of celebrations touching on almost every area of the campus community. One of the biggest 40th anniversary projects was the Take Your Place initiative, which saw student designers renovate 40 student spaces on campus.
  • During 2006 the University of Calgary began its pursuit of the biggest single capital expansion in its 40-year history The university embarked on a $1.5-billion plan to add capacity for 7,000 more students and a host of new teaching and research activities. All of the expansion plans are designed to enable the university to enrol 7,000 more students, create new experiences for current and future students and broaden our capacity for research and teaching. The four largest projects are the Taylor Family Digital Library, the Urban Campus Partnership, the Experiential Learning Centre and the new home of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy.
  • External fundraising continued to grow, and included a donation of $25 million to the new Taylor Family Digital Library from Albertans Don and Ruth Taylor. The gift will be used to create a new learning hub in the heart of campus. The Taylor gift will also be used to create the Taylor Quadrangle, an outdoor public space running east/west across campus.
  • In 2006 it was announced that the University of Calgary will bring state-of-the-art nursing education to the State of Qatar beginning in August 2007. The project is the largest overseas program developed to date by a Canadian university.


  • Shell Canada announced it will invest $1.15 million with the U of C to develop the future workforce capacity and research innovation critical to industry success.
  • The Forzani Group Foundation donated $2.7 million to the Colon Cancer Screening Centre in Calgary. The centre will be housed at the U of C's Teaching, Research and Wellness building adjacent to the Calgary Health Region's Foothills Medical Centre.
  • The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and the University of Calgary announced a new fellowship position focused on effective and efficient energy regulation and policy. The part-time fellow, based in the university's Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), will work closely with ISEEE's Energy and Environmental Systems research group and with the International Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability Studies group in the Haskayne School of Business.
  • The University of Calgary bestowed an honorary degree on former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore following a sell-out event that saw Gore share his passion for the environment.
  • Surgery changed forever with the introduction of a new surgical robotic system at the University of Calgary/Calgary Health Region. NeuroArm aims to revolutionize neurosurgery and other branches of operative medicine by liberating them from the constraints of the human hand. The world's first MRI-compatible surgical robot is the creation of neurosurgeon Dr. Garnette Sutherland and his team.
  • Students in India will be able to earn international accreditation in professional communications through a new partnership between the University of Jammu in India and the University of Calgary. Courses will be taught by professors from the U of C's Communications Studies program through distance learning technology.
  • Official opening of a branch campus called University of Calgary-Qatar, will bring state-of-the-art nursing education, in Qatar's capital city of Doha.
  • The Child Development Centre officially opened on October 9, 2007. The centre will house a second child-care facility on campus and be home to a full continuum of researchers and clinicians dedicated to the study of child development-related issues. It will ultimately house other community groups with similar interests. Canada's most advanced child development centre is also Calgary's most environmentally advanced structure, built to Leed Platinum standards.


  • University of Calgary scientist Samuel Weiss, PhD, director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the U of C Faculty of Medicine wins one of the world's most prestigious medical science awards, a Gairdner International Award.
  • U of C launches Canada's fifth veterinary program.
  • U of C becomes the first university in Canada to offer students guaranteed access to classes for timely graduation.
  • Student involvement beyond the classroom will be recognized as part of a new initiative called co-curricular record. The record is a first for Western Canadian universities.