University of Calgary

University of Calgary
Motto Mo Shùile Togam Suas
Motto in English
I will lift up my eyes
Type Public
Established April 29, 1966
Endowment $790.6 million[1]
Chancellor Dr. Robert Thirsk OC OBC
President Dr. M. Elizabeth Cannon
Provost Dr. Dru Marshall
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 24,387[3]
Postgraduates 5,804[3]
Location Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Campus Urban, 4.13 km2
Colours Red, gold, and black[4]
Nickname Calgary Dinos
Mascot Rex
Website University of Calgary

The University of Calgary (U of C or UCalgary) is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta. UCalgary started in 1945 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta, founded in 1908, prior to being instituted into a separate university in 1966. It is composed of 14 faculties and over 85 research institutes and centres. The main campus is located in the northwest quadrant of the city near the Bow River and a smaller south campus is located in the city center.

The University of Calgary was ranked #1 in both Canada and North America by the QS World Universities Ranking (Top 50 under 50) and the Times Higher Education Rankings (Top 150 under 50) in 2016.[5] Its enrollment is approximately 20,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students with over 155,000 alumni in 152 countries, including James Gosling, OC who invented the Java computer language, former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk.

A member of the U15, The University of Calgary is also one of Canada’s top research universities (based on the number of Canada Research Chairs) and has recently partnered with the University of Edinburgh to collaborate on joint student programs and research.[6] Additionally, the University of Calgary has established student exchange programs with a wide variety of institutions around the world including ESSEC Business School[7] and Sciences Po[8] in France, Peking University, National University of Singapore,[9] Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Auckland,[10][11] the Karolinska Institute,[12] and the University of Oxford.[13][14]

This university is the birthplace of a number of important inventions, including the neurochip.[15] and has a sponsored research revenue of $352 million, with total revenues exceeding $1.1 billion, which is one of the highest in Canada. Being in Calgary, with Canada's highest concentration of engineers and geoscientists, the university maintains ties to the petroleum and geoscience industry through the Department of Geosciences and the Schulich School of Engineering while also maintaining a history of environmental research and leadership, primarily through the Faculty of Environmental Design, the School of Public Policy and the Faculty of Law (see Harvey Locke, Janet Keeping, and NREEL program graduates such as Nickie Vlavianos and Magdalena Muir). In 2016 the University of Calgary was recognized as a world leader in research and student academics as one of approximately 70 prestigious universities, including Stanford and Oxford, to attend the World Class Universities Expo at Xi'an Jiaotong University, with which U of Calgary also has an exchange program.[16]

The main campus houses most of the research facilities and works with provincial and federal research and regulatory agencies, several of which are housed next to the campus such as the Geological Survey of Canada. The main campus covers approximately 200 hectares (490 acres).

History and overview

Early history

Central School Calgary, 1905
Murray Fraser Hall, University of Calgary Campus

The University of Calgary was established in 1966, but its roots date back more than half a century earlier to the establishment of the Normal School in Calgary in 1905. The Alberta Normal School was established in Calgary to train primary and secondary school teachers in the new province.[17] The University of Alberta began operating a campus in Calgary in 1945. The University of Alberta Calgary Branch eventually gained full autonomy in 1966 and became the University of Calgary. The University of Calgary tartan is associated with the university and with its pipe band.[18]

The university was modelled on the American state university (similar to the University of Alberta), with an emphasis on extension work and applied research. The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was a link between the bodies to perform institutional leadership.[19]

In the early 20th century, professional education expanded beyond theology, law and medicine. Graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced.[19] The university's first president, Herbert Stoker Armstrong, held a strong belief that "although the university is accountable to the society that supports it, the university must insist on playing a leadership role in intellectual matters if it is to be worthy of the name."[20]

During the late 1960s, the University of Calgary's campus expanded dramatically with new buildings for engineering and science, the opening of the new University Theatre in Calgary Hall and, in 1971, the launch of the program in architecture. In addition, the Banff Centre (originally known as The Banff School of Fine Arts) affiliated with the University of Calgary in 1966.[19]

The University of Calgary played a central role in facilitating and hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics.


The University of Calgary's Child Development Centre is Alberta's first building designed and constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, the North American benchmark for environmentally high-performance buildings. The facility, which houses the university's second child-care facility and a full continuum of researchers, clinicians and frontline workers, is dedicated to child health. The building officially opened in October, 2007.[21]

In 2011, an addition of rare neurology books dated over 500 years have been added to the MacKimmie library collection.

Canada’s fifth veterinary school, the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, was opened in mid-2008. Research and graduate education programs will be focused on areas of strength and importance in Alberta and will fall in line with the college’s areas of emphasis: production animal health, equine health, ecosystem and public health and investigative medicine. The first class of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students started classes in the fall of 2008.[22]



The university offers 150 programs in post-secondary education awarding bachelors, masters, and doctorate (PhD) degrees. The University of Calgary has developed a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.[19] The University of Calgary also encourages multi-disciplinary programs, meaning students can combine their interest areas and create an education that suits them. The campus has an area of 200 hectares (490 acres) and hosts 14 faculties, 55 departments and 85 research institutes and centers (see Canadian university scientific research organizations). The teaching staff is 2,596. The university employs 2,777 management, professional and support staff. This puts the staff at 5,363, making it one of Calgary's largest employers.

With the economic boom in Alberta, the government has promised $4.5 billion to post-secondary institutions in the province.[23]

Faculties and college

The University of Calgary's faculties include the Schulich School of Engineering, the Haskayne School of Business, the Cumming School of Medicine, the Law School (Juris Doctor), and Western Canada's second veterinary school. The Faculty of Environmental Design offers a program in architecture accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board at both the bachelor level (B.Arch.) and the master's level (M.Arch.).[24]

The university has 14 faculties and one affiliated college:

Libraries and Cultural Resources

Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) includes eight libraries, two art galleries, Archives and Special Collections, the University of Calgary Copyright Office, Research Data Centre and the University of Calgary Press.[34]

MacKimmie library was the first library to open at the University of Calgary in 1966. Since then, five different library branches have been opened in order to provide students with a greater amount of literary choice in many subjects. In addition, the University of Calgary will be the first library system in North America to contain a video game library.[35] Over 3.7 million printed volumes combined with online access to more than 300,000 full-text electronic journals and more than 800 electronic databases are available at the university. As of 2012, the library system is the eighth largest, by the number of volumes held, in Canada.[36] In 2011–2012 the university library was rated 43rd in North America for Total Library Expenditures by the Association of Research Libraries.[37]

Branch libraries

The library system at the University of Calgary also has seven library branches:

Taylor Family Digital Library

The Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) is a convergence of libraries, historical archives, arts museum, scholarly publishing, and student academic support services. The TFDL was officially launched on October 20, 2011.[38] The TFDL allows the full re-engineering of the university's library system, creating more and better space for teaching and learning resources, while moving the majority of the University of Calgary's growing collection off campus to a high-density library.[39] In addition, The TFDL offers books and online resources, a large Learning Commons with café, workrooms, film and audio rooms, editing and recording suites, multimedia labs, quiet study areas, and seminar and consultation space for academic growth.

Don and Ruth Taylor, longtime supporters of the University of Calgary, donated $25 million in December, 2006 to help build the new digital library. In recognition of the gift, the Board of Governors of the University named the library the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL).[40]

In addition, the gift will also be used to create the Taylor Quadrangle, a green space in the centre of campus adjacent to the TFDL.

The Taylor Family Digital Library is home to the Nickle Galleries, formerly known as the Nickle Arts Museum, which features exhibits of contemporary art, as well as rugs, textiles, and numismatic items from its collections.[41]

Rankings and reputation


University rankings
Global rankings
ARWU World[42] 201-300
QS World[43] 196
Times World[44] 195
US News and World Report Global[45] 194
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[42] 7-16
QS National[46] 8
Times National[44] 8
US News and World Report National[45] 8
Maclean's Medical/Doctoral[47] 9
Maclean's Reputation[48] 11

This university consistently ranks among the top ten universities in Canada based on a variety of criteria and is ranked #1 by QS and Times Higher Learning for 2016 in North America.

In the 2015 QS Top 50 Under 50, which ranks universities under 50 years old, the University of Calgary was the highest ranked university in Canada out of a list of three, the second highest ranked in North America, and the ninth highest worldwide.[49][50]

In 2016 the QS Ranking was #1 for both Canada and North America[5]

In 2015 the University of Calgary was ranked among the top 200 universities in the QS world subject rankings, placing in 24 out of 29 subjects, making it the 5th best placing university in Canada. The University of Calgary also placed in the top 150 for Medicine, and in the world's top 100 for civil engineering, English, and Law.[51]

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities,[52] which ranks universities on their presence on the Internet, ranks the University of Calgary 73rd in the USA and Canada category and 98th in the world. It is ranked 6th in Canada.

Research Infosource ranks the top 50 research universities in Canada each year. In its 2009 ranking Calgary was 6th.[53]

Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks the university 7–8 in the national category.[54]

Calgary's Haskayne School of Business has for years dominated the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.), hosted annually by Queen's University. For much of the competition's lifetime, the teams representing Haskayne have come out on top each year by winning first in the majority of the competition's case study categories, including accounting, business policy, debating, ethics, finance, human resources, marketing, and MIS.[55] In 2010, The Economist ranked Haskayne's MBA program 3rd within Canada, 43rd in North America, and 82nd worldwide.[56]

The University of Calgary ranks 8th in the medical-doctoral category of Maclean's annual university rankings.[57] However, the rankings have been met with criticism. The University of Calgary and other universities have argued that Maclean's Magazine takes data out of context and is an inaccurate reflection of performance. In 2006, 21 Canadian universities along with the University of Calgary, many being part of the leading group of research universities known as the U15, opted out of the rankings.[58] Other universities opting out in 2006 included Alberta, UBC, Carleton, Dalhousie, Lethbridge, Manitoba, McMaster, Montréal, Ottawa, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto and Queen's.

The University of Calgary is ranked 16th in QS InfoSource's[59] 2013 ranking of the world's universities founded since 1962.

In the category, for 2013, of the top 100 universities under the age of 50 years in service, the University of Calgary is ranked 23rd in the world, according to Times Higher Education.[60][61]


The School motto on display

The University of Calgary has been ranked as one of the top universities in Canada, and ranked 149th worldwide.[62] The university enjoys high rankings in its science and engineering programs. Historically the university has produced 11 Rhodes Scholars. In October 2008, the University of Calgary was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine. Later that month, the university was also named one of Alberta's Top Employers.[63] The Globe and Mail's University Report Card reflects the opinions of 25,000 current undergraduates who responded to some 100 questions about their respective universities. The University of Calgary received scores of A- and above in the following categories:[64]


Main Campus

The university grounds lie about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Downtown Calgary, and immediately south of the neighbourhood of Varsity. The University of Calgary campus occupies 213 hectares (530 acres) or 2.13 km2 (0.82 sq mi), an area larger than Calgary’s entire downtown. The campus is bounded by Crowchild Trail, 32 Avenue NW, Shaganappi Trail, and 24 Avenue NW.[65]

The architecture is defined by a combination of Brutalist and Postmodern buildings spread across campus, most of them dated between 1960 and 1980.

A light rail transit link is provided to the university by the C-Train at the LRT station.

A large park is built in the center of the main campus, and is home to several specially commissioned sculptures. In addition, a pond surrounded by benches and an open field is available. The park contains old oak trees which were specially transplanted to the location when the university was opened. Together, they form a considerable amount of tree canopies which add a more natural feeling to the campus.[66]

West Campus

In 1995, the Province of Alberta gave the University of Calgary a large tract of land west of the Main Campus with the understanding it would be used in the future to advance the University’s mission, vision, values and priorities. About a third of the size of downtown Calgary, the land overlooks the Bow River valley and covers 80 hectares (198 acres) east of Shaganappi Trail between 16th Avenue (TransCanada Highway) and 32 Avenue N.W. The western campus lies on mostly hilly terrain, near the Bow River. It is adjacent to the main campus of the university, and is home to the Alberta Children's Hospital and Child Development Centre. With the recent boost in annual funding, the university has begun a development plan in order to make better use of the remaining space.

Part of the West Campus was leased for the new Alberta Children’s Hospital and a new Ronald McDonald House. Currently, the campus is only halfway developed and is considered building room for the future. From this location, it is possible to see the entire university and also Downtown Calgary.[65]

Atrium on the Health Sciences Campus

Health Sciences Campus

The University of Calgary Board of Governors chose to launch a medical school in the late 1960s, with the first tangible building to house this endeavor being the Health Sciences Building, which opened in 1972. The Health Sciences Building shared a site with the Foothills Medical Centre some distance south of the Main Campus. This site became known as the Health Sciences Campus, with subsequent additions being the Heritage Medical Building (opened 1987), the Health Research Innovation Centre and the Teaching, Research and Wellness building.[67]

Downtown Campus

On September 13, 2010, the University of Calgary opened its new downtown campus located at 8th Avenue and 8th Street SW. The first phase is currently open, as well as a second phase containing a bookstore, library, retail space and additional learning spaces. The building houses classes including Continuing Education, and energy & environment, as well as classes offered by the Haskayne School of Business and the new University of Calgary School of Public Policy.[68]

School of Public Policy

The School of Public Policy is an institute at the University of Calgary and was founded in 2008. The school is devoted to public policy research and education, and is led by economist Dr. Jack Mintz who is cross-appointed to the Faculty of Law. It is home to over 60 faculty and fellows (either full-time or part-time). The school is organized into three policy areas: Economic and Social Policy, Energy and Environmental Policy, and International Policy. Since 2012 the school has offered a graduate degree program, the Master of Public Policy. The degree is structured as a 12-month program involving two semesters of classroom-based learning and one semester of project work. Other degree programs offered include a joint Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Policy and a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy.

A study about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) titled All the workers we need: debunking Canada's labour shortage fallacy published at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy in May 2013 has gained headlines in Canadian media.[69] [70] [71]

Qatar Campus

In 2007, the University of Calgary established a campus in Doha, Qatar, the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), which currently focuses upon nursing education. The University of Calgary in Qatar offers a flexible, innovative, Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges of a rewarding nursing career. Throughout the program, students are provided with a theoretical base and supervised clinical experience in a variety of nursing practice settings.

The University of Calgary in Qatar offers two routes towards a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree:[72]

The University of Calgary in Qatar also offers a Diploma of Nursing program that launched in September 2012.[73]

In addition, several graduate programs are expected to be phased in.[74] Currently the University of Calgary in Qatar campus offers a Master of Nursing program which is sponsored by the Hamad Medical Corporation[75] with focuses in Nursing Leadership and Oncology.


The Olympic Oval interior
The Olympic Oval exterior and basketball courts

The university is home to MacEwan Hall Ballroom, a concert venue holding 1000 people. The Ballroom is also used for conferences, dinners, and political debates, including the 2006 Alberta PC leadership debate.

The university also has the Rozsa Centre, a theatre and concert hall on the south west side of campus, off 24th Ave NW. The Rozsa Centre has a Bach organ built by Jürgen and Hendrik Ahrend. The Rozsa Centre hosts wind ensembles, choirs, and other fine arts. Musical competitions are held at every year and can host 384 people. The University Theatre, beside the Rozsa Centre, is designed for drama and dance with seating for 505.[76]

The campus is home to the Black Lounge. Throughout most of the 1990s, the room was a music venue. Its capacity for live music entertainment is 350.

Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall of Rozsa Centre at Calgary University

The Olympic Oval ice arena was site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, the fastest ice in the world. It has a 400 m track oval as well as a short track and two ice hockey rinks.[77] The campus also has the Jack Simpson Gymnasium, consisting of three gymnasiums with bleachers that cover the outer two courts capable of seating 2,700 people.[78] The University campus also covers the McMahon Stadium, which is home to the Dinos Football Team and the Calgary Stampeders.

Many other sport facilities are also located at the university of calgary. These include among others:


The Calgary Dinos are the athletic teams that represent the University of Calgary in the Canada West, a division of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. They were known as the "Dinosaurs" but usually referred to as the "Dinos" until 1999, when the name was officially shortened. Some of its venues are the Jack Simpson Gymnasium (basketball, volleyball), McMahon Stadium (football, soccer), Olympic Oval (speed skating), Hawkings Field (field hockey), University of Calgary Aquatic Centre (swimming, often shortened to Aquatic Centre) and a 200m Running Track (cross-country and track & field practice).

The Dinos compete in 12 varsity sports: basketball, cross-country, field hockey, football, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. The Dinos also have two club teams: Men's Baseball and Men's Rugby.

The men's hockey team plays at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena, while the women's hockey team's schedule is split between the Olympic Oval and Father David Bauer Olympic Arena. In the rare case of scheduling conflicts, both men's and women's hockey have used the Max Bell Centre for games.

The University of Calgary has been associated with the Olympics since 1972 when enrolled student and swimming team coach Ralph Hutton competed in Munich. Four years later, in 1976, the 10-year-old athletic department sent three athletes to Montreal. Since then, 42 Dinos athletes have competed at both the summer and winter Games, bringing home 11 medals, and UC hosted the athletes' village and speed skating events at the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988.

The football team plays home matches at McMahon Stadium, home of CFL's Calgary Stampeders. It has won the Vanier Cup on four occasions, 1983, 1985, 1988 and 1995. In recent years, the team played in the Vanier Cup in 2009, 2010 and 2013.



The University has two main newspapers, UToday, and The Gauntlet. UToday is the online source for news about the University of Calgary, published by the department of University Relations in collaboration with our 14 faculties. Created in September 2008, UToday reports on research discoveries at the university, major events and milestones, campus happenings and personalities, and opportunities to get involved in learning or activities. It is published every weekday throughout the year. UToday's readers include students, faculty, staff, alumni, news media, donors, community leaders and partners, and residents at large.[81]

The Gauntlet is the University of Calgary's weekly student newspaper, covering the campus and the Calgary community.[82] First published in 1960, it is primarily focused towards undergraduates. It currently publishes every Thursday throughout the year.

The University also prints Libin Life, which is published by the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta.


CJSW is the university's campus radio station, broadcasting at 90.9 MHz FM. CJSW is a member of the National Campus and Community Radio Association[83] and the University of Calgary Tri-Media Alliance in partnership with NUTV (the campus television station) and The Gauntlet (the campus newspaper).CJSW is a non-profit society maintained and operated by a group of four staff members and over 200 volunteers drawn from both the University of Calgary student body and the wider city of Calgary population. CJSW broadcasts music, spoken word and multicultural programming.[84]

In addition to the FM broadcast, the station can be heard at 106.9 MHz cable FM, and via Ogg Vorbis stream from its web site. Select shows are also available for podcast download.[85]


NUTV is one of the oldest university-based television production societies in Canada. Established in 1983 and incorporated in 1991, NUTV is a campus-based non-profit organization. NUTV offers the opportunity to University of Calgary students and community members to explore the medium of television by learning the various stages of production.[86] This includes reporting/interviewing; hosting; writing; camera operation; lighting; sound mixing; Final Cut Pro & Adobe Creative Suite editing; producing; and directing.[87] NUTV is part of the University of Calgary Tri-Media Alliance, comprising print The Gauntlet, radio CJSW 90.9, and television (NUTV). The University of Calgary is unique in that it is the only Canadian university that houses three media operations on-campus.

Book publishing

The University of Calgary Press was founded in 1981 and to date has published over 400 titles.[88] Special emphasis is placed on three areas: works concerning the geographic regions spanning the Canadian Northwest and the American West; innovative and experimental works that challenge the established canons, subjects and formats, with special interest in art and architecture; and internationally focused manuscripts with particular attention to Latin America, World Heritage Sites, international relations and public policy.


Kananaskis Hall
Cascade Hall

The University of Calgary offers a wide range of residences on campus as a significant proportion of undergraduate students reside on the campus.

The residence buildings on campus house 2200[89] students, situated in eight buildings named after mountains in the Canadian Rockies. The two traditional buildings are Rundle Hall and Kananaskis Hall[90] and were built in the early 1960s when the university relocated to its present campus. Five newer buildings named Glacier, Olympus, Norquay, Brewster, and Castle Halls[90] were built prior to the 1988 Winter Olympics as the athletes’ Olympic Village. However, each is smaller than the traditional buildings, being three or four stories tall and housing 10 to 30 students on each floor. One of the newest, Cascade Hall, is five stories and is the third largest residence building, its floors being able to house more students. The newest six buildings are all designed in the style of apartments with a hallway on each floor with sets of rooms that can accommodate up to four people each. This is in contrast to the traditional buildings which have hallways on each floor, each having rooms accommodating two, along with a common area at the centre of the building on each floor.[91] Yamnuska Hall opens September 2011 to upper year, international, and transfer students. The two and three bedroom suites are designed to ensure that students experience residence life by sharing space, but also ensures that each student has a private room.[92]

A new building, Dr. Fok Ying Tung International House houses 200 international students, instructors and conference attendees. In addition, a new residence for first year undergraduate students is due to be completed in 2011. Construction of the new residence at the University of Calgary broke ground Friday, May 15, 2009. This is part of the university's $1.5 billion capital program. With the completion of this new building, the number of beds on campus will increase to 3000.[89]

Efforts are being made to preserve green space wherever possible, which includes retaining the green belt fronting 24 Avenue N.W. and transplanting five mature oak trees to the front of the Dr. Fok Ying Tung International House this fall. A new site landscape plan is also being prepared, which involves planting replacement trees and creating additional recreational green space on the grounds of the new residence.[93]

Student life

MacEwan Student Centre is home to a wide range of student clubs and organizations

The Den and Black Lounge

The Den and Black Lounge is the campus bar located in MacEwan Hall, the student centre in the middle of campus. Occupying two floors, with the Den located on the lower floor and the Black Lounge on the upper floor, in the warmer months of the year the second floor features a large outdoor patio. Once run by the University of Calgary, the Den was taken over by the Students’ Union in 2000.[94]


The Last Defence Lounge (LDL) is run by the University of Calgary Graduate Students' Association. It is a members-only club that is open to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff and members of the public.[95]


Bermuda Shorts Day

Bermuda Shorts Day (BSD) is an annual end-of-term tradition for the University of Calgary, usually celebrated around the close of winter semester every April. As the name suggests, students traditionally wear Bermuda shorts. Recent trends however have seen the rise of bright-neon and floral attire instead of the short formal trouser. The event is notorious for turning the campus for one day only, into a giant festival of alcohol consumption and day-party concerts.[96] This cornerstone event of student life however had more modest origins.[97][98][99][100]

In the summer of 1959, arts student Alan Arthur was ridiculed for wearing shorts in public,[101] an apparent uncommon occurrence for men during the time. In the following year, on Thursday, 31 March 1960, Arthur who was the inaugural Associate-Editor for the newly created student-run newspaper the Gauntlet at the time,[102] took to the campus advertisement board and wrote in chalk, words of what would become the start of a campus tradition. It is hotly contested what the original words were exactly, but one variant goes that Arthur wrote "Tomorrow is Bermuda Shorts Day. Everyone wear Bermuda Shorts.[98][101][103]" Arthur has stated that he wrote the now immortal words, in part to the arrival of warm spring weather,[103] in jest as a light-hearted April Fools joke,[100] and as an unlikely way to reduce stigma around men donning short-cut trousers.[99][101] The famed arts alumnus, Maurice Yacowar – who strangely enough, was The Gauntlet's inaugural Editor-in-Chief at the time – was a contemporary and personal friend of Arthur. Yacowar recalls that many individuals of the UAC's 250 student population stayed true to Arthur's announcement, and wore Bermuda shorts that April Fools of 1960.[103] The first BSD, according to Arthur and Yacowar, was a more innocent affair, featuring a highly competitive marbles tournament.[98][100][103]

Due to a controversial article entitled "Don't Wear a Poppy,"[104] Yacowar was abruptly fired from his position as Editor-in-chief just five months in,[105][106] receiving a 56.4% student-wide favourability rating against his dismissal.[106] He was then succeeded by his friend Arthur, becoming the second Gauntlet Editor-in-chief.[106] The pair would later graduate in 1962 to pursue lives in academia. Arthur who received a degree in History would later become a – now retired – Professor of History from Brock University[98] while Yacowar, who received a degree in English, would become Emeritus Professor of English and future Dean of Humanities here in the University of Calgary.[98] However, little did Arthur know just how powerful those 9 words would become, as the event gained increasing popularly for students to destress before exams.[96][101][107] The BSDs of later years would feature pie duels with the University President,[108][109] musical gatherings in Administration,[110] games of squamish,[111][112] and a tricycle race between SU representatives.[113][114] In 1989, the University with the Student's Union introduced the BSD of modern day, with a single area which included the concert grounds and beer gardens.[101]

Greek life

Chi Gamma Chapter of Zeta Psi Fraternity was chartered at the University of Calgary in 1967 and has been contributing to campus life for over four decades, They have several hundred alumni that continue to support active chapter as well as The University of Calgary. For over 40 years The Zete Haus, located at 2668 Capitol Hill Crescent N.W. has provided economical student housing and is a focal point for fraternity activity.

The Omega Chi Chapter was formally initiated into the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity on March 12, 2005, becoming the 302nd active branch[115] and the 14th in the Northwest Region.[116]

The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, is the one of the two other fraternities present at the university. It was at the university and is still running, being on campus since 1982. The other current fraternity is Kappa Sigma, also known as K Sig.

Alpha Gamma Delta and Alpha Omicron Pi are the two existing sororities at the U of C, being established in 1983 and 1985 respectively. Together, they form the Panhellenic Association of Calgary.

Leadership on campus

In 2009, the University of Calgary's Office of the Student Experience (now the Student Success Centre) launched their own co-curricular record, the first of its kind in western Canadian universities.[117] The co-curricular record is an official university document that can be coupled with a student's academic transcript, that recognizes out-of-classroom experiences that are still connected to the university. The Student Success Centre (SSC). The SSC offers programs and services to support students in creating: (1) Academic Success, (2) Personal Success, and (3) Career Success. The SSC offers Orientation Programs, Personalized Career Planning Sessions, Career and Life Workshops, Leadership Programs, the First-Year Experience Program, the Senior-Year Experience Program, Arts & Science Program Advising, Learning Support Services, and Writing Support Services.

In April 2011, the University of Calgary launched the Scholars Academy Program: a program for students that excel beyond just mere academics.[118]

The University of Calgary also offers the President's Award for Excellence in Student Leadership to five graduating students (undergraduate or graduate) that represent academic achievement in addition to extracurricular contributions to the university and community.[119]

Scholarships and Awards

The University of Calgary offers many scholarships, awards, and bursaries to students.

A notable high school level scholarship is the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship which was introduced by the Government of Alberta in 1980. The Alexander Rutherford scholarship is to recognize and reward exceptional academic achievement at the senior high school level and to encourage students to continue their studies. To be considered for these scholarships, students must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who plan to enroll or are enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program of at least one semester in length.[120]

The University joined Project Hero, a scholarship program cofounded by General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, for the families of fallen Canadian Forces members.[121] Dependents of Canadian Forces personnel killed while serving in active military missions will have the support of the University of Calgary to complete undergraduate degrees.

The office of the Chancellor and Senate offers many scholarships, awards, and bursaries to University of Calgary students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and exceptional service to the internal and external community.[122]

In 2011, the University of Calgary joined the Schulich Leader Scholarship program. Through this initiative, each year the university awards one $80,000.00 scholarship to a student entering the Schulich School of Engineering and one $60,000.00 scholarship to a student entering a Science, Technology or Mathematics program at the University of Calgary.[123]

Top students in the Schulich School of Engineering are recognized as Schulich Scholars and are awarded prestigious Schulich Entrance Scholarships.[124] The first cohort of Schulich Scholars graduated in 2010–2011.[125]

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program are eligible for the O'Brien Centre Continuing Scholarship, which supports full-time students dedicated to extra-curricular involvement and the community on top of their academics.[126]

The University also offers student awards for academic and leadership excellence. The two biggest awards a student can receive are the[127] President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership and the Arch Future Alumni Award.[128]


The University of Calgary recognizes Aboriginal students, and has instituted an Aboriginal Admissions Policy [section A.13] and Aboriginal Student Access Program (ASAP) [section A.14], as dictated in the Undergraduate Admissions section of the annual calendar. Any student with Aboriginal ancestry (First Nations, Inuit, Metis) and legal status may apply and be considered under the policy. More information can be obtained online at the University of Calgary's website.[129]

Order of the University of Calgary

The Order of the University of Calgary, developed in 1994 resulting from a suggestion brought forward from the University's Senate, honours worthy recipients who have a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the University. Individuals who have been admitted into the Order have included faculty, staff, students, alumni and volunteers. Young aboriginal leaders such as Spencer Saurette have caused an increased awareness in aboriginal heritage and traditions on campus.[130] It is available to any member of the University community, those currently or formerly attached to the University and to those representing the University in the community. Candidates nominated for membership in the Order may include, but are not limited to, current or former faculty, staff, students (graduate or undergraduate), alumni and volunteers.

The Order of the University of Calgary includes numerous personalities of note including the likes of Dr. Eldon R. Smith. As of November 2009, a total of 114 individuals had been admitted into the Order.[131]

Notable alumni

Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, graduated from the university in 1991.
Robert Thirsk, Canadian astronaut who holds the record for longest time spent in space.

Notable alumni of the university include:

Histories of the university

See also


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