Centennial year full of changes at MRU
by Bryan Weismiller
In case you spent the last eight months trapped under a pile of textbooks, Mount Royal University celebrated its centennial this year. It was a historic time filled with all kinds of unique celebrations and memorable moments. From bank donations to burritos, The Reflector recaps this year’s major events. It’s a review session, but unlike cramming for your final exams, there’s no test waiting at the end.
(14) TD Bank donates a $500,000 bursary to Bissett School of Business for fourth-year students minoring in financial services.
(16) Wild Rose Brewery releases “Royal 100,” a special-edition beer that celebrates the school’s 100th birthday.
(20) President Dave Marshall dons a top hat and gives fall address as school founder George Kerby.
(21) A student-led initiative leads to 100 trees planted on Convocation Lawn as part of centennial celebrations.
(24) School-wide scavenger hunt has students racing around campus. U Fest, an outdoor concert featuring K-OS and Fred Penner is held later in the evening.
(27) International street artists Cey Adams, Pat Lazo and TheKidBelo paint MRU centennial mural at West Gate.
(2) Mash-up DJ Girl Talk performs in Wyckham House as part of Mount Royal’s Legacy of Ideas series.
(13-16) Under Western Skies: Climate, Culture and Change in Western North America is held at MRU. Academics, activists, artists and oil and gas execs come together to talk about the environment
(18) Naheed Nenshi, former MRU business professor, elected mayor of Calgary. Nenshi received 40 per cent of the vote, beating his main competitors Ric McIver and Barb Higgins. He then takes a leave of absence from the school.
(22) The Globe and Mail gives Mount Royal several high grades in their annual Canadian University Report, including an A grade in terms of student satisfaction in the small university category.
(1) Students upset after parking passes sell-out within hours of being released.
(4) Change to valedictorian nomination process announced. Beginning in 2011, students can nominate any student who meets the entry qualifications.
(5) Fall Convocation held for 261 graduates. Mayor Nenshi returns to campus for the first time since being elected and speaks at ceremony.
(7) Telus increases capacity in a service tower near campus after the Mount Royal community makes several complaints of poor cellphone reception.
(13) Over 1,700 prospective students and parents attend an open house campus, breaking the attendance record.
(Mid. Nov) A petition to extend library hours receives over 1,000 signatures in three days. Library hours are extended as a result.
(18) The Reflector publishes an in-depth look at MRU’s parking woes.
(24) Calgary Transit holds an open house to discuss plans of adding southwest Bus Rapid Transit routes.
(Early December) National College Health Assessment stats released. Mount Royal University students reported to consume a higher average number of alcoholic drinks at a social event compared to college averages.
(3) Calgarian Don Taylor donates $20 million to help fund the Mount Royal University Conservatory. It’s the largest private donation the school has ever received. The new conservatory will include a 750-seat concert hall, which will be named after Taylor’s mother, Mary Belle Taylor.
(16) Mount Royal throws 100th birthday bash featuring several events such as pond skating, road hockey, ice sculpture carving, live music and fireworks. Many people, including mayor Naheed Nenshi, packed into Ross Glen Hall for birthday cake. “I’ve never been prouder to say I am Mount Royal,” Nenshi said.
(1) The university’s license with Access Copyright – a collective of creators and publishers – expires. Mount Royal rejects the interim license estimated to cost an extra $330,000 each semester. One solution involves using more online learning material, which worries instructors who believe it’s tough to learn by reading on computer monitors.
(Early Jan.) The campus bookstore proposes adjustments to their business model to keep up with the increased use of digital material.
UPDATE: Initiatives such as printing on-demand have stalled after the Conservative government fell and an election was called in March. Bill C-32, an amendment to Canada’s copyright laws, would have made printing on-demand legal on campus.
(7) RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler, a former Mount Royal business student, is caught on tape kicking 51-year-old suspect Buddy Tavares in the face. The incident draws outrage throughout the country after it’s posted on YouTube.
UPDATE: Mantler was suspended with pay and will make his first court appearance in Kelowna on April 26.
(20) MRU’s Centennial Digital Reader launches. The project aims to publish colourful academic ideas that wouldn’t otherwise reach young people.
(25) CBC publishes a story about the Sodexo-run Tim Hortons’ refusal to accept gift cards or interact transactions on campus.
UPDATE: As reported by The Reflector on March 10, a full-scale Tim Hortons is planned to be open for fall semester. The new location will accept gift and debit cards.
(27) Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine’s editor-in-chief, visits MRU as part of the Legacy of Ideas series.
(31) Wyckham Pharmacy opens.
(3) The Reflector publishes an article examining SAMRU’s health and benefit plan after hearing several complaints about the opt-in policy. It’s determined obeying FOIP legislation in relation to third-party service providers slows down the activation process, even though the U of C and SAIT do not have to contend with the same issue.
UPDATE: The student benefits plan process has been forwarded to the appropriate individuals in the executive offices. The issue is currently being looked at by the employees involved in the process to see how the process can possibly be improved.
(9) All-female executive council elected in the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University’s elections. Meghan Melnyk (president), Michelle Dennis (VP external), Jennifer Langille (VP academic) and Kaylene McTavish (VP student life) to serve beginning in May.
(17) A sudden increase of locker thefts, particularly from the recreation area, are reported to Campus Security. Students also complain after the parking and transportation department accidentally sells the same locker to two different
(18) Mount Royal announces it will start offering a bachelor of education – elementary degree. Next fall, it will replace the two-year transfer program currently being offered
(2) Mucho Burrito opens in Wyckham House, much to the delight of burrito enthusiasts who waited several months after the initial announcement was made.
(3) SAMRU holds a special general meeting to address the deficits projected from the student benefit because of an overwhelming increase in claims. The decision was made to raise fees by $34.50 next year.
(10) David Docherty of Wilfrid Laurier University is named Mount Royal’s next president in a surprise announcement. He was selected to be MRU’s ninth president after a months-long process. Later that day, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell speaks at Jack Singer Concert Hall as part of the university’s Legacy of Ideas series.
(11) The Bissett School of Business receives a $1.1-million donation from RBC. Business dean Wendelin Fraser announces she will be leaving MRU.
(Mid. March) A higher than usual number of break-ins are reported to have occurred in campus residences.
(15) CMRC radio changes name to
(17) A moment of silence is held in Wyckham House for the nearly 12,000 people who’ve died in Japan following a horrific earthquake and tsunami. The MRU SKFS Japanese Club collects over $4,600 in donations for relief efforts.
(23) Former judge John Reilly speaks at MRU as part of Native Awareness Month.