Best of the best: Our picks for the top stories of 2018

A lot goes on at the University of Lethbridge over the course of a year. From new knowledge out of our world-class researchers to student success stories, philanthropic ventures, community outreach initiatives and more, the U of L is a beacon of activity for southern Alberta and beyond.

Of all the stories we told over the past year, we wanted to revisit some that stood out for us, and judging by how many viewed them on our website, that also stood out for you.

In no particular order of relevance, we present our most impactful stories of 2018. Feel free to browse the rest of the website for your favourites as well - this is hardly a definitive list.

Transformational gift from Calgary real estate magnate initiates Dhillon School of Business

While we said there was no particular order, this story definitely stood on its own as the biggest of the year. The largest gift in the history of the University of Lethbridge helped reshape the study of finance and business innovation on both our Lethbridge and Calgary campuses. It was our most-viewed piece of the year and continues to resonate throughout the business world.

Largest gift of cultural properties in University of Lethbridge history given by Dr. Margaret (Marmie) Perkins Hess

There are certain stories we just can't wait to unveil and this was definitely one of those. We knew about this unbelievable gift for months but had to wait to announce it because a massive appraisal process had to be comnpleted. With treasured works of art from some of the world's masters included, the Marmie Hess gift will creating a lasting difference on campus and in the southern Alberta community.

Unique research project involves at-risk youth sentenced to playing chess

This one-of-a-kind research project proved to be one of the most popular with the media and it led to much more attention than the researchers could have imagined. It also created a greater awareness of their work and led to more opportunities to apply the principles of the study, both nationally and internationally.

Orban is one step closer to her Olympic dream

Pronghorns track athlete Sara Orban began pursuing her Olympic dream despite not even knowing what sport she'd be trying. Orban attended the RBC Training Ground competition and through her overall athletic excellence, won the Alberta regional qualifier. It created an opportunity for her to work with national-level coaches in a variety of sports as they sought to best match her athletic gifts with an Olympic discipline.

Local businessman Boora giving back to his community through new scholarship award program

Bal Boora understands better than most how valuable an education can be in changing the lives of young people. It allowed him to create a new life in a new country and paved the way for his children to find their life purpose as well. Now, he's giving back to the community by creating opportunities for youth to pursue their academic goals.

U of L grad student creates database of missing and murdered Indigenous women

Our students are very passionate about their studies and many make important contributions to society before they ever enter the work world. One such student is Maria Lucchesi, who turned her own story into a call for action.

Indigenous students have option to wear own regalia as University makes changes to Convocation

The University of Lethbridge, located on Traditional Blackfoot Territory, has always had a strong relationship with its Indigenous community. Therefore it just made sense to further recognize the significance of that relationship at our annual convocation ceremonies by creating unique regalia that Indigenous students can choose to wear as they walk the stage.

U of L partnership with Flexahopper, WD, leads to new Green Polymer and Technology Centre

The U of L works for its community, searching for answers to questions that are unique to the area. When that creates an opportunity to work with local industry partners, the results can be significant. This partnership promises exciting advancements in the plastics industry as we look to tackle one of the biggest problems facing the world today.

U of L oral history project commemorates Alberta's African-American settlers

The University's Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT) hit a home run with this project, working with Deborah Dobbins, president of Edmonton’s Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots, to create We are the Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies. The project won multiple awards and told a compelling, often forgotten, story of early Alberta history.

World-leading research scientist recruited through Canada 150 Research Chairs program

The magnitude of this announcement might not yet be realized by the general public yet but the recruitment of Dr. Borries Demeler to the U of L was an unprecedented coup. He is truly one of the world's most talented researchers and through a little familiarity and luck, he chose to come to the U of L. He tells a great story of his recruitment and we can't wait to see what comes out of his lab and his many collaborators in the next few years. The future sure looks bright.