Winter 2011

Up Front

Jane HalfordWe all take different, and often unexpected, paths through life. In fact, sometimes we even surprise ourselves when the path we take is very different than the one we had originally planned.

The university experience is very common to this theme. There are some for whom their original path does not waver or branch out into areas of interest unanticipated or unimagined. But rare is the student who doesn’t meander down at least one or two forks in the road to becoming an alumnus.

The university experience is famous for pushing us in directions we never dreamed possible. That’s what makes the experience so unique. Not only is it comprised of exceptional opportunities for learning and discovery inside the classroom and out, but it’s also invaluable for what we learn about ourselves in the process — the limitless potential when opening one’s self to a world of higher education.

Sean PriceAt the U of A, students and faculty come together from all walks of life and all corners of the globe for a life-changing learning experience in pursuit of Quaecumque Vera—the University’s motto, “whatsoever things are true.” That motto was adopted by the University from the very beginning when President Henry Marshall Tory was in charge of carving a university out of the wilderness.

Tory, featured in this issue, is a perfect example of someone who was open to the opportunities that different and unexpected paths afforded him. His original intent was to become a Methodist minister, not, as it turned out, the founder of four universities, including ours, as well as Canada’s National Research Council.

This issue also features stories of U of A researchers who were intensely interested in researching one topic, only to find their research pointing down a path they hadn’t quite expected. It is this serendipity in life than often allows us to make some of our greatest discoveries—whether we are trying to find the cure for cancer, trying to bring education to the people, or just trying to find ourselves.

Jane Halford, ’94 BCom
President, Alumni Association

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