When Bill Kent, ’31 BSc(CivilEng), was 93 years old, he hopped a bus from his hometown of Langley, B.C., and rode 12 hours to Edmonton so he could celebrate his 70th class reunion. That year, Kent became a celebrity with the Alumni Weekend crowd, constantly surrounded by alumni, staff and students wanting to hear stories about his life, his work and campus in the early years.
Kent came back for Alumni Weekend nearly every year after that — even after his 100th birthday and beyond — and each year his appearance was the highlight of the weekend. Sadly, Kent passed away Oct. 11, just as we were putting together this issue. He was a few days shy of his 107th birthday. We are sad to lose one of the university’s proudest alumni and a man many of us called a friend.
Bill Kent is one of the people whose stories we tell as part of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the U of A Alumni Association in 1915.
To create this keepsake issue, New Trail undertook a year-long effort to photograph one alumnus from each graduating year for which there are living alumni and create illustrations of the graduates who have passed away. Our selection committee chose graduates who, collectively, represent all facets of our alumni family. We feature teachers and doctors, volunteers and entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers, alumni who have attained celebrity status and alumni who have had a remarkable impact in their communities. Each of these alumni is an outstanding and accomplished individual. But when you look at these people collectively, you begin to understand how we change the world.
It was that notion — that we can accomplish more together than we can separately — that prompted the formation of the Alumni Association 100 years ago and propels our organization today. The upcoming year will offer numerous opportunities for you to connect with your alumni peers and celebrate 100 years of University of Alberta alumni “doing great things.” Enjoy the issue, and I look forward to seeing you at one of the year’s many celebrations.
Glenn Stowkowy, ’76 BSc(ElecEng)