Mount Royal to open doors as university
Just one week before fall semester classes begin, it was announced in an emotional ceremony Thursday that Mount Royal College is now Mount Royal University.
The much anticipated “historic milestone” was finally revealed to a packed house of past and present Mount Royal students, faculty and staff at Kenyon Court by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.
“When we first announced legislation to enable Mount Royal to use the word ‘university’ in its name, some people said, ‘Hey, it’s just changing one word. What difference can one word make?’ I’ll tell you the difference for Calgary,” Stelmach said before signing the ceremonial scroll, “It confirms the essential role that Mount Royal plays within Campus Alberta. And it recognizes the depth and breadth of Mount Royal’s programs from certificates and diplomas, to applied degrees and baccalaureate degrees.
“As Calgary’s oldest post-secondary institution, Mount Royal has a strong history of serving the community.”
President Dave Marshall said during an emotional speech that as the first president of Mount Royal
University the name change serves as an affirmation of countless years of hard work.
“I’m rarely at a loss for words, but the emotion that I know I have and many of my colleagues at Mount Royal have at this moment, I mean this has been a change that has quite literally been 99 years in the coming. It has been an evolution and this takes us to a different platform and what it means to our students is something that everyone of us here understands and appreciates,” Marshall said. “So many people have put so much effort into it and so much emotion into it, so many people have had such an attachment to Mount Royal that today is just a very emotional day.”
Alberta’s Lt.-Gov., Norman L. Kwong, who was a student of Mount Royal College 60 years ago, was given Mount Royal University’s first honorary degree.
SA seeking name change of its own
While Mount Royal’s name has been forever changed, the process has only just begun for the Students’ Association of Mount Royal College, says VP External Robert Jones.
“It’s something we have looked into, obviously we knew this could become a reality and have looked into changing it from SAMRC to SAMRU,” he said. “We had been waiting because the university change had been pure speculation till this point.”
The duration of time needed for the name change now rests with Alberta Registries, added SA President Travis McIntosh. He said the new Mount Royal University label has far greater implications externally than internally.
— With files from Jeremy Nolais