Campus Life

Open Mike - September 2014, Welcome to the fall 2014 semester

University of Lethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon, addresses faculty and staff about what's happening at the U of L

Welcome to the fall 2014 semester at the University of Lethbridge.

As we get ready to welcome approximately 8,300 students to our campuses in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton tomorrow, including approximately 2,300 new students, I would like to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication to make this happen.

Because of you, our university is one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions. When our students graduate, they are prepared not only for the careers of tomorrow – but to create a better tomorrow. The results of our efforts are evident in communities around the world.

Thank you for making our university, Alberta’s Destination University.

September is shaping up to be a busy and exciting month.

At this year’s NSO we celebrated our very first Commencement ceremony. Commencement is a way to introduce students to the U of L’s history and traditions. This year, we also introduced a new U of L tradition. Each student who attended received a commemorative coin to mark the beginning of his/her post-secondary journey.

Challenge coins are used around the world to symbolize belonging. Unique to our university, the front of our coin features the U of L’s coat of arms, representing signature elements of the University; the back includes the University’s shield along with the word 'Commencement' and the year.

In a few weeks, the Supporting Our Students program will proudly welcome this year’s co-chairs, Dr. Jan Newberry and Heather Mirau, and their team of dedicated volunteers. Last year, 2,101 awards were given out, totalling $3,512,193. These funds support student scholarships. I thank all faculty, staff and retirees for supporting our students and the volunteer committee for leading this important initiative.

On September 23, Pronghorn Athletics will host the 2014 Pronghorns Scholarship Breakfast. This year’s featured speaker is Brian Burke, president of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames and one of the most accomplished and prominent personalities in professional hockey. He has spent time with professional hockey organizations in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim, Toronto and now Calgary over the last 20-plus years. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, they are available online ( Thank you for supporting our student athletes.

That same week, Stantec Architecture and KPMB architects will be on campus presenting three possible design concepts for the Destination Project. I encourage you to attend the presentation at 11 a.m. on September 24 in the University Theatre and help shape the future of our university.

September promises to be an exciting month. I hope you will take a break from your busy schedules and reconnect with your colleagues at the annual Welcome Back BBQ, which will be held on September 8 at noon on the South Plaza Patio, just outside the SU Building.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Mike Mahon, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Lethbridge