Spring 2013

Up Front

 

 

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In my previous life, before returning to our alma mater, I spent many years working for the Edmonton Oilers. My time there confirmed that sport is one of the most powerful community builders in society. You need only look at how Team Canada united our country during the 2010 Winter Olympics or how the Golden Bears and Pandas energize our campus.

Integral to the power of sport is the impact of volunteers. All athletes begin as kids playing minor sports and would be nowhere without the volunteer coaches, referees and others. In the world of sport, the arts, sciences and other areas of life — volunteers light us up as surely as any championship win.

Glenn Stowkowy, ’76, BSc(ElecEng) — like 99 per cent of us — never played in the NHL. But a simple pair of skates transforms him into a community leader. For 14 years coaching his son, and then seven more years as a referee, Glenn and his skates became part of the fabric of the community of St. Albert, just northwest of Edmonton.

Glenn has spent the past 37 years, literally, building Edmonton from behind his desk as an engineer at what is now called Stantec, and yet he still finds the time to build his community. Now Glenn is taking over as the president of the Alumni Association, bringing those talents to bear in the service of the quarter million University of Alberta alumni. (More about Glenn on page 16.)

You may have read recently about the economic realities facing all post-secondary institutions right now. And I hope you’ve also heard about the economic impact of the University of Alberta — $12.4 billion according to a 2012 Alberta School of Business survey.

But this is only part of the story. U of A graduates build corporations, but they also build communities.

We’ve long recognized that our alumni seem to volunteer in inordinate numbers, paying forward the value of their educations on a local, national and global scale. In late April, the Alumni Association launched its Do Great Things Alumni Volunteer Challenge as a way to celebrate the contributions of our grads and to create an even greater impact. This summer we are facilitating countless volunteer opportunities, from your campus to your community. The campaign is called Do Great Things, not just because that’s what our grads do, but in recognition of the vision of our founder, Henry Marshall Tory.

There’s more about volunteering on page 11. Join Glenn Stowkowy and thousands of other alumni, and Do Great Things with us.

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