University of Calgary

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Submitted by alumni on Tue, 11/01/2016 - 22:09.

Looking Back, Moving Forward


Elizabeth Cannon, BSc’84, MSc’87, PhD’91, President

I will never forget the day I got into my car and headed off for Calgary — all the way from P.E.I. — in pursuit of furthering my ambitions. I was so excited to be on an adventure to what seemed to me like the frontier of Western Canada. My life since has proved to be just that: an adventure fuelled by the pioneering spirit I discovered in Calgary, and that has challenged and inspired me ever since.

I hold many fond memories of my experiences as a professor, dean and now president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. But the moments I treasure the most are from my days as a student.

Back when Calgary hosted the ’88 Olympics, I was a graduate student. The athletes stayed on campus and, of course, the speed skating was held at the Oval. It was so exciting to have such proximity to world-class athletes and competition.

Equally unforgettable was the moment I learned that I had received a Killam scholarship for my PhD studies. I was very grateful for the financial assistance, but also for the boost of confidence it gave me in terms of realizing that my research had earned this endorsement. The scholarship had such a positive impact on my life and, ultimately, the direction of my career.

This is the kind of transformative moment that Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High promises to cultivate as we strive toward our goal of $1.3 billion.