Celebrating 50 Years

This has been a celebration five decades in the making. From Founders’ Day Weekend to the Homecoming and the Shine On Summer Festival, it’s been a year of historic celebrations and legacy initiatives that will live on at the heart of the University of Lethbridge for generations.

Founders Day Weekend

The community came together to kick-off the U of L’s 50th anniversary for Founders’ Day Weekend. From indoor tailgate parties and Pronghorns games, a BBQ (complete with a legendary UHall cake), retirees brunch, Frost Fest and True North Cabaret, it was a weekend of festivities and fun.

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Let It Shine On

Since the song debuted at Founders’ Day Weekend in January, Let It Shine On has captured our hearts and left us all singing along. Written and composed by alumnus John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96), Let It Shine On reflects both individual transformation and the University’s transformation. Chris Morris (BFA ’07) recorded the song on campus in Studio One and Leslie Ohene-Adjei (BFA ’16) created the music video. Paul Walker (BMus ’82) arranged the song’s instrumental version which the U of L Wind Orchestra, led by Dr. Chee Meng Low, performed at the 2017 Spring Convocation, and Cottonwood Records’ Clayton Varjassy (BMgt ’13) and Joel Varjassy (BMus ’14) produced and recorded.

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Tartan Unveiling

The U of L proudly unveiled the University tartan as part of Founders’ Day Weekend in January 2017. A symbol of enlightenment and overcoming adversity, tartan represents a connection to history and an ethos looking forward. Alumnus Steve Firth (BA ’14, MA ’16) initiated the tartan as a 50th anniversary legacy project. Alumna and staff member Sarah Hilliard (BA ’10) created the design, which is inspired by Convocation and the grand accomplishment it signifies. The U of L tartan was registered with the Scottish Tartan Authority on January 18, 2017. A kilt, handwoven by world-renowned kilt marker Paul Henry (UK), is worn by the piper at Convocation. Tartan and 50th anniversary products are available for purchase through the U of L Bookstore.

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50 Voices

The 50 Voices Project captured our iconic stories, as well as those yet to be told, with the help of the University’s history-makers throughout the last five decades. Conducted by the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT), full audio interviews, digital transcripts and photographs will be available in the University Archives and online for future research and as valuable records of University history.

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Fiction at Fifty

New Canadian content debuted to sold-out shows on the U of L’s mainstage in November 2017 with the world premiere of When There’s Nothing Left to Burn, by Sean Devine, the winning play commissioned through the Fiction at Fifty playwright competition. This three-year project, initiated and funded by alumnus Terry Whitehead (BA ’94), pushed the boundaries of theatre, from its inception to its final production, while providing an amazing opportunity to both playwright and students.

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Let’s Raise A Glass to the Dreams of the Past!

In celebration of the U of L’s 50th anniversary, Coulee Brew Co., a local brewery with strong alumni connections, partnered with the U of L to provide custom labels. Both 50 Gold and Aperture Ale beers are available for purchase at Andrew Hilton and Coulee Brew Co. and a portion of sales support student scholarships.

Cheers

In late 2017, we unveiled a commemorative 25-year aged single malt scotch whisky from one of Scotland’s most renowned bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail. Complete with a wooden collector’s case, only 400 bottles with the U of L 50th Anniversary label have been produced.

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Concert

While 1967 is well known as the birth of the U of L, it is also the year the Beatles released their iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Their eighth studio album, it is widely considered the first concept album in music history and changed the sound and face of popular music forever. Alumni Bente Hansen (BMus ’86) and Jesse Plessis (BMus ’10) collaborated to present a two-piano arrangement of the complete album that Plessis crafted in 2011 at a special alumni event in May.

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Campus Tours

From sharing the inspiration behind Arthur Erickson’s iconic University Hall to providing a virtual sneak peek inside the future science and academic building, U of L Senate members hosted historic campus tours throughout 2017.

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Fine Arts Celebrates

The Faculty of Fine Arts celebrated the 50th anniversary with many exciting events that brought back alumni and former faculty while engaging students and the community. The Department of New Media celebrated with the Digital Vertigo New Media Symposium in the spring. The Department of Art hosted two 50th Anniversary exhibitions this fall, the Roloff Beny Photography Award Retrospective and FIFTY an exhibition by current and former faculty members. The Department of Music welcomed 200 students, alumni, faculty and friends to their 50th Anniversary symposium. The two-day celebration included performances, presentations, master classes, workshops, and wrapped up with a Faculty Artists & Friends concert featuring alumni, faculty, students and the U of L Singers Reunion Choir.

500 by 50 campaign

The most extensive alumni celebration in the U of L’s 50-year history, alumni from as far away as Turks and Caicos, Ottawa and the Northwest Territories came “home” to the U of L for this three-day event. Whether exploring campus, attending the AlumX Speaker series and Last Lecture, and catching up at the Blue & Gold Reunion Rally and Ignite the Weekend, hundreds of alumni returned to the U of L to reconnect and reminisce.

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Shine On: 50th Anniversary Fund

More than 700 alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and community members have come forward to support Shine On: The University of Lethbridge Anniversary Fund! The first 10 students were awarded a scholarship in 2017.

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50 Ways to Stay Well

The Wellness Committee hosted a year-long challenge helping faculty, staff and student improve their mental and physical well-being.

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Homecoming Weekend

The most extensive alumni celebration in the U of L’s 50-year history, alumni from as far away as Turks and Caicos, Ottawa and the Northwest Territories came “home” to the U of L for this three-day event. Whether exploring campus, attending the AlumX Speaker series and Last Lecture, and catching up at the Blue & Gold Reunion Rally and Ignite the Weekend, hundreds of alumni returned to the U of L to reconnect and reminisce.

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View the Homecoming Weekend photo gallery

John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament

Proudly hosted by the U of L Alumni Association (ULAA), the 10th and final John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament kicked-off Homecoming Weekend in September. Alumni, community members and friends hit the links in remembrance of the former ULAA president and to raise funds for student scholarships. Thanks to a decade of continued support, the fund has been endowed to continue student awards in perpetuity, leaving a lasting legacy for John and creating a bright future for generation of students to come.

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Shine On Summer Festival

More than 3,000 people gathered September 2 for the biggest concert ever hosted in our Community Sports Stadium. Canadian artists Dallas Smith, Corb Lund, Mother Mother, Virginia to Vegas, The Washboard Union, Trevor Panczak, Double Jack and the U of L’s own Millz Skillz, provided concert-goers an unforgettable summer music festival right here at home.

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Community Fair and Market

With kite-flying, an inflatable obstacle course, cultural performances and demonstrations, food trucks, local artisans and a battle of the bands, the Community Fair and Market was a whole lot of family fun.

View the Homecoming Weekend photo gallery