Spring 2012

Up Front

Jane Halford & Sean Price

One thing is certain: the challenges we face today cannot be solved in isolated silos.

Our alumni are actively engaged in solving some of the world’s most pressing issues, and we love sharing your stories. Our students, researchers and faculty, too, take advantage of geography and the highest levels of expertise to form partnerships, which, in turn, extend to alliances with other organizations and places of learning around the globe. We see this in many places, from the Festival of Ideas — where students, faculty, alumni and the public alike are encouraged to dream big, and dream together — to the National Institute of Nanotechnology, where an artist–in–residence works alongside chemists, biologists and physicists to find solutions to energy and medical crises.

Sadly, there are plenty of crises to address: global warming, water shortages both current and imminent, renewable energy or the lack thereof, food riots, child soldiers.

Amidst these and many other social and political problems, a novel approach to research and learning has been emerging and gaining momentum the world over, particularly since Richard Florida coined the term “creative class” 10 years ago. It is strongly interdisciplinary, and, in many instances, the social sciences, humanities and fine arts are providing the centrifugal force.

In this issue of New Trail, we hope you enjoy reading about the importance of creative thinkers in today’s economy; how alumni are working across silos to rebuild the physical and emotional infrastructure of Slave Lake; and new leadership with the Board of Governors. 

We need each other, and — because we are human, and all of these problems are human problems — we need the perspectives of those working in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts. Henry Marshall Tory would agree: if we are to “uplift the whole people,” we must see the people as a whole.

Jane Halford, ’94 BCom
President, Alumni Association

Sean Price, ’95 BCom, MBA
Associate Vice-President, Alumni Affairs; Executive Director, Alumni Association