Throughout his life, William Russell has devotedly served his country, his profession and his community. From distinguished service during the Second World War to his varied contributions to the legal profession, civic government, church and university, he has given his talents with all his heatr and energy.
William Russell was born in Calgary, Ablerta, graduated from high school in Vancouber, then attended the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in 1938, followed by a law degree in 1940. After university he entered active service with the Canadian Army in Western Europe from 1941 to 1946.
Following his military service, William Russell settled in Lethbridge where he practised law with Virtue and Company until his retirement in 1987. Durind his law career he served as solicitor for most of the Irrigation districts in southern Alberta. He was heavily involved in the development of irrigation legislation to govern water resource use in Alberta. He served his profession as President of the Lethbridge Bar Association and was named Queen's Counsel in 1957.
In his public service, William Russell has continued a rich family tradition which began when his great grandfather, william Stafford, became the first manager of the Northwest coal and Navigation Company in 1882.
He was elected to two tems as Alderman for the City of Lethbridge, served on the Boards of the Lethbridge Health Unit, Lethbridge Public Library, Lethbridge Development Appeal, Victorian Order of Nurses, Southern Alberta Art GAllery and YMCA. He was Lethbridge President, District Governor and National Executive Director for the Kinsmen Club, as well as a president of the Lethbridge TEnnis Club and Lethbridge Country Club. He was charter member, steward and trustee of MicKillop United Church.
The University of Lethbridge was fortunate tohave William Russell serve as a member of Senate for six years, then as Chancellor from 1983 to 1987. As chancellor, as in his many other community roles, his obligations were met with an emotional commitment which has endured beyond the terms of his appointment. Motivated by his personal belief in giving to the community as much as it has given him, William Russell has served Lethbridge with his own unique blend of common sense, steadfastness and humour.