Sept. 6, 2022

Here’s your backstage pass to Alumni All-Access

Alumni event of the year, Sept. 29 to Oct. 13, includes a dozen sessions by some of the university’s top thinkers and expert alumni, fun-filled events, annual Arch Awards, and more. Register soon
Alumni All-Access

Alumni All-Access (AAA) is the alumni event of the year. Let us introduce you to a dozen mind-expanding sessions by some of the University of Calgary’s top thinkers and expert alumni, as well as a round-up of fun-filled events, the annual Arch Awards, and more. Online and in-person, Alumni All-Access (Sept. 29-Oct. 13) is your chance to reconnect with colleagues and professors, as well as create new UCalgary memories.

For the first time since the pandemic began, many events are once again in-person (though often with livestream options) at a variety of venues, from Mac Hall and the new MacKimmie Tower to the Fairmont Palliser Hotel, the Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark and the Ranchmen’s Club. Some have limited capacity, so register soon.

Parties, human rights and sports

Launching 14 days of non-stop alumni action is the Arch Awards ceremony on Sept. 29 (our first hybrid event since the awards began in 1985), with front-row access to an innovative live broadcast. Appearing later on AAA’s roster will be the recipient of the International Career Achievement Arch Award, Dr. Aamir Jamal, PhD’13, who will give a talk on Oct. 3 about gender justice and his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan titled, The Gate Keepers. Also headlining AAA is this year’s keynote speaker, Eric Termuende, BComm’14, also a 2022 Arch Award recipient (for Early Career Achievement), whose timely topic is about navigating an unpredictable future. His No. 1 tip: perfect the art of one-degree shifts. On Oct. 12, Termuende will tell you precisely how to do just that and following his talk will be a wine and cheese reception.

Not surprising given our state of global affairs, one of AAA’s themes this year is human rights, slated to be discussed and debated in a lively forum that focuses on how certain rights impact sport. Questions about mandating drug use (to lower one’s natural production of testosterone in order to compete) to issues around transgendered athletes are certain to be covered at the Oct. 1 event, How Human Rights Affect the Sports We Love, with lawyer and sports law instructor Wilma Shim, BSc’07, JD’10. 

Mention sports on campus and it’s impossible to ignore the legends behind our beloved Dinos. Four standout student-athletes, plus a lifelong member of the Dinos family, will be inducted into the Class of 2022 at UCalgary’s Athletics Hall of Fame at an in-person event on Oct. 13.

Never one to disappoint are the interactive, hands-on sessions about the magic behind science, art, machines, sound spaces and far more. Dubbed the Schulich Maker Innovation Showcase, this Oct. 1 event has been engineered for the entire family with a promise to whisk you through seven experiential spaces within the Maker Multiplex.

Unique sandbox, math wars and more

After you travel around campus (it’s hard to miss the new MacKimmie Tower, the ever-growing Mathison Hall and the new home of the Prairie Chicken), consider zipping across town to Telus Spark, where you can check out the mind-melder known as the Quantum Sandbox. If your eyes glaze over whenever the conversation turns to quantum anything, this Oct. 11 session might give you the foundational blocks to carry on a chat at say, your next cocktail shindig. Dr. Peter Zoller, PhD, a professor of theoretical physics, will lead you through the mysteries and magnitude of quantum physics and mechanics and the critical role they play in society. With a global quantum revolution underway, treat this session as your own personal leap — and, yes, we couldn’t resist — a quantum one!

Just as topical is Beyond Math Wars, an online Oct. 6 session that will attempt to unravel and dispel the long-suffering myths behind “traditional” and “new” math. With more than a decade of research and studies to draw from, two renowned thinkers will explain what’s behind this ideological dispute and how we can all learn from Math Minds. What’s Math Minds, you wonder? Register and find out!

Some may call them "one-offs," or "standalones" — the few sessions that don’t slip into a prescribed category, but are always crowd-pleasers. This year’s happy surprises include an Oct. 6 lecture with Italian photographer Luca Nostri, who will dive into the notion of place and identity. Part of the ever-popular Design Matters series, many of these lectures provoke and challenge ideas when it comes to spaces and places and how they relate to diversity, health, sustainability and social justice. The other is the 2022 Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture with Dr. Shane Sinclair, PhD’09, who, along with his team, has spent the last decade exploring what it means to not only know, but have the ability to show compassion; their research is within the Faculty of Nursing.

Whether you remember it as Alumni Weekend or Alumni Month — this year’s Alumni All-Access is also answering ongoing requests by alumni who are keen to volunteer and give back to the community. This fall, we are looking for volunteers from Oct. 7-10 (the Thanksgiving weekend) to work a shift at the Calgary Drop-In Centre (serving meals) or rescuing and delivering food to service agencies through the Leftovers Foundation. If you’d like to discover what, exactly, UCalgary Alumni Association does, please attend the annual general meeting of its members at noon on Oct. 3 (online).   

Whatever you choose to do at Alumni All-Access, we hope your return to campus is an unforgettable one!