University of Calgary

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University of Calgary
Motto Mo Shùile Togam Suas
Motto in English
I will lift up my eyes
Established April 29, 1966
Type Public
Endowment $790.6 million[1]
Chancellor Robert Thirsk
President Dr. M. Elizabeth Cannon
Provost Dru Marshall
Administrative staff
Undergraduates ~22,491[3]
Postgraduates ~5,311[3]
Location Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Campus Urban, 4.13 km2
Sport Teams Calgary Dinos
Colours Red, gold, and black[4]
Nickname 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, Canada. Founded in 1966 (after operating as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta since 1945) the University of Calgary is composed of 14 faculties and more than 85 research institutes and centres.

More than 25,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students are currently enrolled. The University of Calgary has graduated over 155,000 alumni in 152 countries, including former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk.

The University of Calgary is one of Canada’s top research universities (based on the number of Canada Research Chairs) and is a member of the U15 (the 15 most research-intensive universities in Canada).

The University of Calgary is the birthplace of a number of important inventions, including the neurochip.[5] The university's sponsored research revenue of $352 million, with total revenues exceeding $1.1 billion, is one of the highest in the country. Being in Calgary, with Canada's highest concentration of engineers and geoscientists, the Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences and the Schulich School of Engineering maintain ties to the petroleum and geoscience industry.[citation needed]

The main campus is located in the north-west quadrant of Calgary, near the Bow River, and covers more than 200 hectares or 494.2 acres.

History and overview

Early history

Central School Calgary, 1905
File:Muray Fraser Hall U of C.jpg
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.[6] The people of Calgary, however, attempted to establish another publicly funded university in Calgary itself. "An Act to Incorporate the University of Calgary" was presented for first reading as a Bill in the Alberta Legislature in an attempt to establish a private university in Calgary. The Legislature allowed the institution to incorporate as 'Calgary College', rather than as the 'University of Calgary'. It withheld from the College the powers to confer degrees and to hold the examinations required for admission to the professions.[7]

Calgary strove to have an institute of higher learning with degree conferring powers which led to the University of Alberta opening a branch in Calgary in 1945. The University of Alberta Calgary Branch eventually gained full autonomy in 1966 and became the University of Calgary. Admission Rate 57%.

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.[8]

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.[8] The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society.[8] The University of Calgary launched its program in architecture in 1971.[8] The University of Calgary tartan is associated with the university and with its pipe band.[9]

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."[10]

During the late 1960s, the University of Calgary saw a massive construction boom. Construction on campus included Blocks F and G of Calgary Hall, Blocks C and D of the Engineering Building, the lab of the Kananaskis Centre, a research, training, and service unit, and the opening of the new University Theatre in Calgary Hall. In addition, Banff Centre (originally known as The Banff School of Fine Arts) became affiliated with the University of Calgary. The School of Social Welfare was also established. Total full-time enrolment in 1966 exceeded 4000 students and there were 355 academic members of staff.[11]


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.[12]

In 2011, an addition of rare neurology books dated over 500 years have been added to the MacKimmie library collection. The collection includes an original copy of the 1953 Nature paper where Nobel winners James D. Watson and Francis Crick first described the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. It also includes the rare first neurological text written in the 1600s by Thomas Willis, the man who coined the term neurology and is known as the ‘father of neurology’. The collection is valued at approximately $600,000.[13]

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.[14]



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.[8] 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 2.13 km2 (200 hectares)and hosts 15 faculties, 55 departments and 36 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.[15]

Faculties and college

The University of Calgary's faculties include the Werklund School of Education, the Schulich School of Engineering, the Haskayne School of Business, the Cumming School of Medicine, Kinesiology, a law school (Juris Doctor), and, starting in 2008, 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.).[16]

The university has 14 faculties and one affiliated college:

  • Faculty of Arts is home to the spectrum of Arts programs and departments, from Anthropology to Women's Studies to Economics.
    • Amalgamated on April 1, 2010, from the faculties of Communication and Culture, Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts[17]
  • Faculty of Continuing Education
  • Cumming School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Environmental Design
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Haskayne School of Business offers MBA, BCom, PhD and ExecEd degrees.[18]
  • Faculty of Kinesiology focuses on the studies of human movement through sport science, kinesiology, physical education, physical activity and health, and tourism studies.[19]
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Nursing
  • Schulich School of Engineering
  • Faculty of Science is made up of six departments (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geoscience, Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, Computer Science, and Physics & Astronomy.) More than 60 Bachelor of Science (BSc) programs in 35 subject areas are offered by the University.[20] Students in the Nanoscience program are allowed to use the university's nanolab in their research and studies.[21]
  • Faculty of Social Work offers the only social work degrees available in Alberta.[22]
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is the University's newest Faculty and Canada's fifth veterinary medicine program.[23]
  • Werklund School of Education offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Elementary, Secondary Education, or combined.[24]
  • Banff Centre - The Banff Centre, formerly known as The Banff Centre for Continuing Education, is an arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference complex located in Banff, Alberta. The Banff Centre is part of Alberta's post-secondary educational system, and offers programs in the performing and fine arts, and leadership training. It is affiliated with The University of Calgary.[25]

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.[26]

MacKimmie library was the first library to open at the University of Calgary in 1966. Since then, 5 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.[27] 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.[28] In 2011-2012 the university library was rated 43rd in North America for Total Library Expenditures by the Association of Research Libraries.[29]

Branch libraries

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

  • Taylor Family Digital Library - contains the greatest share of the library system's printed volumes, as well as rare special items like a gaming collection. In 2011 The Taylor Family Digital Library replaced, as the university's primary facility, the MacKimmie Library, which is no longer a library.
    • Data Library
    • Canadian Architectural Archives
    • Fine Arts and Visual Resources
  • High Density Library - located at the university's Spy Hill Campus, serves as a climate-controlled repository for lesser-used materials, which may be called-back for use as required.
  • Business Library, including the Virtual Business Library
  • Doucette Education Library
  • Bennett Jones Law Library, including the Virtual Law Library
  • Health Sciences Library
  • Gallagher Library of Geology and Geophysics
  • The Military Museums Library and Archives

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.[30] 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.[31] 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).[32]

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.

Rankings and reputation


University rankings
Global rankings
ARWU World[33] 151-200
QS World[34] 171
Times World[35] 226-250
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[36] 8-16
Maclean's Medical/Doctoral[37] 9
Times National[35] 9-15

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.[38][39]

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.[40]

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities,[41] 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.[42]

Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks the university 7-8 in the national category.[36]

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.[43] In 2010, The Economist ranked Haskayne's MBA program 3rd within Canada, 43rd in North America, and 82nd worldwide.[44]

The University of Calgary ranks 8th in the medical-doctoral category of Maclean's annual university rankings.[45] 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.[46] 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[47] 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.[48][49]


The School motto on display

The University of Calgary has been ranked as one of the top universities in Canada, and ranked 149th worldwide.[50] 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.[51] 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:[52]

  • overall academic reputation of the university, reputation of university among employers, reputation for conducting leading-edge research, reputation for undergraduate studies, reputation for graduate studies
  • overall quality of education, faculty members' knowledge of subjects
  • overall university atmosphere, sense of personal safety/security, tolerance for diverse opinions/ideas, availability of quiet study space, overall library, library services, online library resources, availability of journals/articles/periodicals, total number of library holdings, computer accessibility on campus, availability of up-to-date computer equipment, on-campus network for Internet/email, overall quality/availability of technology on campus, access to course/teaching materials online


Main Campus

The university grounds lie about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Downtown Calgary, and immediately south of the neighbourhoods of Varsity and Dalhousie. 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, 16 Avenue NW, 32 Avenue NW and Shaganappi Trail. 24 Avenue NW provides direct access to the interior of the campus.[53]

The architecture is defined by a combination of Gothic Revival[citation needed], Brutalist and Postmodern buildings spread across campus, most of them dated between 1905 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 the "Prairie Chicken" sculpture. 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.[54]

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.

Five years ago, part of the West Campus was leased for the new Alberta Children’s Hospital and a new Ronald McDonald House. So far, 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.[53]

Health Sciences Campus

The University of Calgary Board of Governors chose to launch a new 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.[55]

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.[56]

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.[57] [58] [59]

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:[60]

  • A Regular Track program for high school - Qatar transfer students (BNRT)
  • A Post-Diploma program for students with an acceptable Nursing diploma (PDBN)

The University of Calgary in Qatar also offers a Diploma of Nursing program that launched in September 2012.[61]

In addition, several graduate programs are expected to be phased in.[62] Currently the University of Calgary in Qatar campus offers a Master of Nursing program which is sponsored by the Hamad Medical Corporation[63] 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.[64]

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.[65] 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.[66] 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:

  • University of Calgary Aquatic Centre: Contains an Olympic sized swimming pool with a deep end diving tank featuring two sparging units for a bubble machine which was used for springboard and platform divers, kayakers and general ocean simulated swims.
  • Fitness Studios
  • Dance Studio
  • Weight Room: Equipment includes universal, free weights, global, hydra gym, nautilus.[67]
  • Climbing Walls
  • Fitness and Lifestyle Centre: The physical facility offers members 3,750 m2 (40,365 sq ft) of space with fitness equipment.[68]


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).[citation needed]

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 2 club teams: Men's Baseball and Men's Rugby.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The University of Calgary has been associated with the Olympics since 1976, when 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]



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.[69]

The Gauntlet is the University of Calgary's weekly student newspaper, covering the campus and the Calgary community.[70] 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.[citation needed]


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[71] 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.[72]

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.[73]


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.[74] This includes reporting/interviewing; hosting; writing; camera operation; lighting; sound mixing; Final Cut Pro & Adobe Creative Suite editing; producing; and directing.[75] 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.[76] 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[77] students, situated in eight buildings named after mountains in the Canadian Rockies. The two traditional buildings are Rundle Hall and Kananaskis Hall[78] 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[78] 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.[79] 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.[80]

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.[77]

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.[81]

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.[82]


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.[83]


  • Bermuda Shorts Day (BSD): An annual end-of-school student celebration. Organized and run by the Students' Union, BSD occurs on the last day of classes. Students' wear Bermuda style shorts and participate in a variety of informal pre- and post-BSD activities including couch racing (recently banned by the university administration over safety concerns), the beer mile, and breakfast parties. The official event is an outdoor fenced in party with live music and beer garden.
  • The Empty Space: Every Friday the Students' Union hosts a live music venue in The Empty Space, attended by students for free (this was canceled in 2011 due to changes installed by the 69th Student Legislative Council).
  • Student Appreciation Night: Every Thursday The Den (the campus bar) is filled to capacity and serves cheap drinks to a mostly undergraduate crowd.

Greek life

The Omega Chi Chapter was formally initiated into the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity on March 12, 2005, becoming the 302nd active branch[84] and the 14th in the Northwest Region.[85]

Zeta Psi Fraternity was chartered at the University of Calgary in 1967 and has been contributing to campus life for over four decades and has several hundred alumni that continue to support The University of Calgary. For over 40 years The Zete Haus located at 2668 Capitol Hill Cr. has provided economical student housing and a focal point for fraternity activity.

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.[86] The co-curricular record is an official university document to 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.[87]

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.[88]

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.[89]

The University joined Project Hero, a scholarship program cofounded by General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, for the families of fallen Canadian Forces members.[90] 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.[91]

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.[92]

Top students in the Schulich School of Engineering are recognized as Schulich Scholars and are awarded prestigious Schulich Entrance Scholarships.[93] The first cohort of Schulich Scholars graduated in 2010-2011.[94]

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.[95]

The University also offers student awards for academic and leadership excellence. The two biggest awards a student can receive are the[96] President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership and the Arch Future Alumni Award.[97]


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.[98]

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.[99] 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.[100]

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

  • V Jones, CS Lane 'A History of the Faculty of Management at the University of Calgary (1967–1981), in: Administrative Sciences Association of Canada - Annual Conference 19, no. 24 (1998), pp. 56–66
  • Geertje Boschma 'Faculty of Nursing on the Move: Thirty Years of Nursing Education, Research and Science at the University of Calgary, 1969-2000' (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, September 30, 2005)
  • Anthony Rasporitch 'Make no small plans: The University of Calgary at forty' (Calgary: The University of Calgary, 2007)
  • Historical essays and materials on the Medical Faculty in particular and the history of medicine in Southern Alberta in general are also provided through the Calgary History of Medicine and Health Care Program.

See also


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External links

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