Fifty years after legislation created the University of Calgary, a year-long celebration began to recognize a half-century of the institution’s pioneering spirit, its evolution from a somewhat humble start to one of the leading universities in Canada, its impact on the community at large, and its boundless potential. An Alumni Weekend beginning on April 29th launched the year of events aimed at celebrating the milestone anniversary and creating opportunities for the broader community to engage in lectures, tours, exhibits and special presentations which highlighted the teaching, learning and research that is at the core of the university’s mandate.
During its 50th year the University hosted the 75th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences for the first time since 1994. Attended by over 8000 scholars and involving more than 5500 research presentations, the event provided the University with an opportunity to showcase its successes to a broad sector of the research community. A key goal of the University of Calgary has been to be one of Canada’s top research universities by its 50th anniversary. It achieved that goal, and more, ranking among the top young universities in the world for the 5 years leading up to its 50th year.
In 2016 the University was listed as number 1 in both Canada and North America on the Times Higher Education Top 150 under 50 and the Quacquarelli Symonds Limited World University Rankings. The University has also been recognized as one of the top 200 most globally oriented universities in the world and one of the world’s top 200 universities overall. Perhaps most notably, it achieved sixth place in the list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities based on sponsored research income of over $358 million: an increase of 10.5 per cent compared to the national average of only 0.6 per cent. This success was even more remarkable at a time of declining government support, making the ability to attract not-for-profit and corporate funding increasingly important. Of Canada’s top 50 universities, only 21 increased their research income; the other 29 experienced declining revenues. UCalgary was solidly amongst those celebrating an upswing in their research funding.
“When we set out in 2011 to rank among the top research universities in Canada, we recognized that being a young university was a strength for building a strategically
focused research program, and for building support,” said President Elizabeth Cannon. “While attracting growing support in the community, we have continued to enhance our research programs while providing the rich educational opportunities that will prepare our students to lead in our rapidly evolving world….This - our 50th Anniversary year - has truly been a transformational one for the University of Calgary. And it is due to the ongoing dedication and achievements of our incredible students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and friends whose pioneering spirit, passionate curiosity and quest for innovation inspire us daily."