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University of Calgary Calendar 2015-2016 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. Arctic 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 café.


  • 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.


  • 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 in the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Student involvement beyond the classroom is recognized as part of a new initiative called co-curricular record. The record is a first for western Canadian universities.
  • 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.


  • The university finalizes the site of its new downtown campus, which will open its doors in the fall of 2010 for students and researchers in a variety of programs.
  • International House opens housing Global Village (the university’s first multicultural living-learning residence) and Hotel Alma (the university’s first on-campus hotel).
  • Alumnus and celebrated Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk, BSc’76, LLD’09, began his 189-day mission aboard the International Space Station. While in space, he accepted an honorary degree from U of C.


  • A new chapter in the U of C’s 44-year history begins as Elizabeth Cannon, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, is officially selected as the University of Calgary’s eighth president and vice-chancellor on March 24.


  • In a short amount of time, construction has transformed the hole in the ground outside of MacEwan Hall into the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL). The first two floors of the building, including the Information Commons opened January 2011. The building is fully operational in summer 2011.
  • U of C's Ward of the 21st Century Research and innovation Centre welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on July 7, 2011.
  • The new Energy Environment and Experiential Learning (EEEL) Building was opened to the University community September 6, 2011.
  • A new strategic direction for the next five years, Eyes High, is launched Fall 2011.


  • The Haskayne School of Business and the Department of Economics at the University of Calgary announce the new Centre for the Digital Economy (CDE@) sited at the University of Calgary's downtown campus.
  • The University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) has united with local businessman Ronald P. Mathison to create a centre dedicated to finding innovative treatments and providing early intervention for mental illness.


  • The Taylor family donates $40 million to establish a home for the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.


  • The Faculty of Education was re-named Werklund School of Education in recognition of Dr. David P. Werklund's $25 million donation to the Faculty.
  • The University of Calgary was named the number one university in Canada under the age of 50 and ranked as one of the top ten young international universities.
  • The Faculty of Medicine was named The Cumming School of Medicine in honour of $100 million donation from Geoffrey Cumming.