Winter 2015

Up Front

One hundred years ago, as the Great War was being fought overseas and women at home were fighting for the right to vote, a group of University of Alberta graduates came together and created a community.

For the past year we have been celebrating the anniversary of that decision, and the positive and progressive impact of that simple, but important, act.

One of the most remarkable things about the early days of our Alumni Association is that its founders thought beyond themselves and their own time. They looked ahead 100 years to envision the day when U of A alumni would be a powerful coalition of leaders and innovators contributing their time, talents and skills to address issues that matter.

In contemplating and celebrating achievements of the past, we build on a solid foundation to create a path for our future. The choices we make today — just as alumni did 100 years ago — help guide our collective destiny, tomorrow and beyond.

It’s exciting and daunting to consider the possibilities. When I imagine our bicentennial in 2115, I see recognized and sought-after U of A graduates contributing to local, national and global success. They’re young (even now about half our alumni are under 40) and ambitious dreamers who believe in the power and strength of a diverse, inclusive community and society more than ever before.

When I look 100 years out, I see us celebrating our bicentennial in a permanent home on North Campus: a physical space that places alumni at the heart of the university, in surroundings symbolizing the contributions we make to the success of our alma mater; a place that functions to link the experience and wisdom of alumni with the students of the day — effectively creating our leaders of tomorrow.

President David Turpin is articulating a bold vision for our university — one that sees the U of A as a leader in building our community, our province and our nation by tackling complex global challenges. What role will U of A alumni play in this future and in building our university? The answers to those questions begin now.

I’m optimistic. Our track record is inspiring. The tradition of service and excellence continues. The possibilities are limitless. U of A alumni are doing great things and will continue to do great things in the century to come. I can’t wait to see what we make happen.

Mary Pat Barry

Mary Pat Barry, ’04 MA
President, Alumni Association