University of Calgary

Imagining Tomorrow

Submitted by alumni on Tue, 04/11/2017 - 21:55.

Imagining Tomorrow

Discover where UCalgary president Elizabeth Cannon believes our progressive university will be in 50 years.
Elizabeth Cannon, BSc’84, MSc’87, PhD’91, President


As an active, optimistic person, my vision of Calgary 50 years from now includes an image of myself riding a bicycle from my modular, inner-city smart home to visit my grandkids (okay, great-grandkids) in the University District. And, if precision-medicine research at the Cumming School of Medicine continues at its current astonishing pace and scope, I expect by then to have a solid handle on my own genomic profile: I’ll know exactly what diseases I’m susceptible to and how to avoid them.

From a broader perspective, I see our city leading the world in resource management, clean technologies and renewable energy in ways we’ve already begun to understand and harness for the benefit of our economy and the planet.

While the exercise of looking ahead to 2067 is nothing short of exhilarating, such a long-term focus is the starting line every single day at the University of Calgary. Indeed, everything we do here — all of our teaching and learning, our research, and our community-building — reflects our goal of preparing the next generation to steward a world that is exponentially smarter, richer, kinder, more efficient and more inclusive than the one we live in today.

UCalgary’s commitment to our vision for the near future, however, will create momentum for this longer-term plan. This year, alongside our thousands of committed alumni, donors, friends and partners, UCalgary is working towards a refined strategic direction that will guide our Eyes High strategy over the next few years.

That strategy, which underpins our ambitious $1.3-billion fundraising initiative, Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, provides the platform from which this university leverages its aspirations. It serves as a beacon for change, for elevating excellence in student experiences and research, and for building a strong community around a shared future.

Ultimately, of course, whether five or 50 years from now, the essence of this university is not defined by what powers our vehicles nor by how far big data can take us. Those advances are — not insignificantly — the healthy, progressive upshots of a university relentlessly fuelled by excellence and ambition.

In other words, in 2067, I expect I’ll be saying the same thing about this institution that I do now: the University of Calgary exists for us, together, to make a real difference in the world. You have been with us on this journey, and we look forward to continuing our adventure together over the next 50 years.

Thank you.

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