Community involvement earns Dymond recognition through University of Lethbridge Volunteer Award

Dr. Anne Dymond, an art history professor in the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Fine Arts, could not sit idly by as a humanitarian crisis was unfolding in Syria. The fact she had no connection to the country or that it was halfway around the world did not diminish her sense of responsibility. She had to act.

Dr. Anne Dymond receives the University of Lethbridge Volunteer Award from Chancellor Charles Weaselhead.

Dymond soon became a central figure in the push to bring people displaced by violence to the city of Lethbridge.

“Anne’s involvement in every aspect of the relocation of Syrian refugees here to southern Alberta represents all that is good in our society,” says U of L Chancellor Charles Weaselhead. “She looked at what was a very large problem and found a way for our community to make a very meaningful difference in the lives of these newcomers to Canada.”

Dymond created a committee at the U of L whose goal was to sponsor people displaced by violence and bring them to Lethbridge. Her involvement included raising awareness around campus, initiating fundraising activities and working with partner groups who would be essential in facilitating the arrival of a new family.

In February 2016, the first family of four Syrian refugees arrived. Dymond and the Refugee Action Committee realized how many government-sponsored refugees could also use additional support, and she knew the community was ready and willing to help. The committee facilitated the donations of literally tons of household goods that were distributed across the newcomer community.

Her belief that, even when the problem is too big to solve, we can change lives by action did not go unnoticed by her students, who looked to Dymond as a mentor and followed her lead. She played a central role in helping a student group establish a World University Service of Canada chapter at the U of L that sponsored a student refugee. The group lobbied all University students to agree to pay $2/term which will allow the club to sponsor a qualified refugee to escape violence and study at the University every year.

Dymond is currently out of the country but will be recognized throughout the University’s Convocation week activities, with her award celebrated at the Chancellor’s Dinner, Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the Coast Lethbridge Hotel. Those planning to attend the dinner are asked to RSVP at or by contacting the University of Lethbridge Senate Office (403-329-2482 or Tickets are priced at $75 per person.