University of Lethbridge Alumni Association names new president

Deirdre McKenna (BA ’94), a partner at Davidson & Williams LLP, has assumed the role of president of the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association (ULAA).

“We are so pleased to welcome Deirdre as the new ULAA president,” says Lyndsay Montina, director of Alumni Relations and Operations. “The University of Lethbridge now has more than 50,000 alums all over the world and the president plays an important role in keeping them connected both to their alma mater and to current students. As a resident of Lethbridge, Deirdre is the perfect person to maintain and nourish those connections.”

McKenna is the daughter of former Dhillon School of Business professor Dr. Ian McKenna, who passed away in 2017. Her family moved to Lethbridge from the United Kingdom when McKenna was 13 years old. She completed high school at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute in 1988 and began her post-secondary education at the University of Lethbridge without a firm idea of a future career in mind.

“I definitely had a worthwhile experience at the University of Lethbridge,” she says. “I took full advantage of the liberal education the University had to offer. I took a diverse set of classes and changed my major three or four times. The University really nurtured my curiosity for many kinds of topics.”

She went from majoring in history to religious studies and even toyed with the idea of political science before choosing philosophy.

“The structure of the University and the teachers — they really encouraged and supported that exploration. That certainly helped me to excel in law school and be able to adapt to something totally new in pursuing a legal education,” she says.

McKenna has served as a director with ULAA for the past year, so she’s familiar with the association and its activities.

“One of my children is at the University right now and it’s been a really challenging time for the University,” she says. “I wanted to be a part of the group of people that would work hard at continuing to keep the University as a positive place of learning. That’s probably what encouraged me to take a more public role with the alumni association. I want to encourage alumni to re-engage with the University and the University community, in particular the students, to help make sure they have the same great experience many of us had when we were students here. I think alumni can be an important resource for students.”