A Legacy Rooted in Tomorrow’s Leaders

An abiding belief in the potential of students.

01 November 2021

Dorothy and Carl Meilicke

This is what Carl and Dorothy Meilicke want to be remembered for. And it is what they hope will be reflected in each recipient of the Carl and Dorothy Meilicke Leadership Award. This new award was created to honour the couple’s dedication to the U of A’s School of Public Health – and the ground-breaking work they did to foster healthcare leadership across North America.

Carl was the founder and first Director of the Masters of Health Services Administration program. It was the first program of its kind and one that Carl had dreamed about bringing to Western Canada for several years.

In 1968, Carl’s vision became a reality – and a class of 7 students became the first Health Services Administration cohort. The program focused on each student's unique needs, interests, and abilities, which Carl believes is why so many of the graduates would go on to become leaders in their field.

“They entered change-making careers,” says Carl, “and they made significant contributions to changes in healthcare for the better of all of us.”

His former students remain appreciative for his belief in them, and the way that their program paved the way for the robust Public Health program at the U of A. So grateful in fact, that several joined together to create the Carl and Dorothy Meilicke Leadership Award and endowment fund in their honour.

The award’s name is shared with Carl’s wife Dorothy, who was and still is his partner in everything he does. She shares his values and was an accomplished health administrator in her own right. The creation of this fund so touched the couple, that they decided to contribute their own gift of shares.

“It is an honour to be recognized in this way,” says Dorothy. “It’s heartwarming to know that many future students will get assistance and encouragement to also become leaders in the field of delivering health services.”

Did you know that endowment funds can be created by donors with current gifts, and supported by gifts through Wills? It’s a great way to support students now and into the future.

Carl believes the award will further encourage students to excel. He also recognizes how critical financial help can be. “I had to hitchhike from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to Toronto in 1957 to begin my first post-graduate degree,” he says. “Sometimes people can really use a little help.”

For Carl and Dorothy, the award is an opportunity to continue to support the leaders of tomorrow and encourage others to consider giving back.

“None of us would be where we are if it weren’t for the opportunity the University gave us.”