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The impetus for the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory (RAO) was initiated by Mr. Alexander (Sandy) Rothney Cross in December 1970 when he offered to donate a quarter section of land near Priddis, Alberta to the University. The Capital Resources Policy Committee passed a motion in June 1971 to proceed with a tree farm, animal farm and observatory on the land (the tree and animal farms never came to fruition). At Cross’s request, the observatory was named the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory to honour his mother’s side of the family. The site was officially opened in January 1972 by Dr. Margaret Burbidge, then Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, who unveiled the RAO’s sundial to symbolize the emergence of the University of Calgary onto the astronomical scene.
Cyril Challice, the Head of the Department of Physics, gave the initial planning of the site to Dr. T. Alan Clark who was joined in September 1971 by Dr. Eugene F.Milone; the two would become co-directors of the facility in 1975 and oversee its modest beginnings to a million-dollar research destination. The equipment first used was a 16 inch (.4 m) research grade telescope ordered by Clark from England with the initial photometer instrumentation obtained from the University of Virginia. This early photometer was modified over the years to become the Rapid Alternate Detection System (RADS), a system developed at the University of Calgary that allows for precision photometry through light cloud and that can adjust for variations in urban light reflections.
In the early 1980s, a Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera was purchased for $.01 from the Cold Lake Air Force Base and transported to the RAO where it was installed in 1983. At the same time, Dr. George Coyne, then Director of the observatory at the Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson facilitated the acquisition of a 1.5 m metal mirror for the RAO. This became the basis of a $198,000 grant to build an alt-alt mounting for an infrared telescope to permit unblocked views of the entire sky and allow observations at the zenith where atmospheric distortion is minimal. The Cross Educational Foundation provided the funds for a building to house the apparatus and a dedication ceremony for the new 1.5 m, 8 tonne infrared telescope (IRT) was held on May 6, 1987. Dr. George Coyne, S.J., now Director of the Vatican Observatory, dedicated the telescope; Mr. Cross officially cut the ribbon. The telescope was renamed the ARCT or the Alexander Rothney Cross telescope to honour Sandy Cross who had donated more land and significant additional funding over the years. At the time, the RAO was Canada’s only dedicated infrared telescope facility, with its advantage of altitude and extreme dry air conditions that allowed for clear observations.
The 1.5 m mirror was replaced in 1993 by a new generation 1.8 m honeycomb mirror created in the Optical Sciences Centre of the University of Arizona. The Astrophysical Research Consortium at the Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico had offered in the late 1980s to fund ½ the costs of polishing the mirror in return for its short-term usage. Dr. Alan Clark developed the design for the mounting and oversaw its construction; first light was achieved through the newly upgraded 1.8 m telescope in January, 1996. A year later, the RAO celebrated its 25th anniversary.
In 2001, Dr. Milone submitted a grant to build a Visitor’s Centre at the site in order to expand outreach and teaching capabilities. The $400,000 submission was successful; the new Visitor’s Centre and teaching facility was official opened in 2005. Dr. Milone stepped down as Director of the RAO on September 1, 2004. Dr. Rene Plume became Acting Director for a year until Philip Langill was named Director.
The Future Group was created in the summer of 2000 with the aim of working with governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and other people in areas of the world affected by an international crisis. Their first project was to send a team of four people to Cambodia in May-July 2001 to tackle the problems of child sex slavery and trafficking. The team members were Benjamin Perrin, Shuvaloy Majumdar, Nicholas Gafuik and Stephanie Andrews. Their project had five parts: building relationships between the non-governmental organizations already at work in Cambodia, developing an education program against child prostitution targeted at high-risk children, running a responsible tourism campaign, facilitating the establishment of drop-in shelters and writing a report on the situation, actions taken and proposals. The final report was published and distributed to the international community, businesses, NGOs, media and the Government of Cambodia.
The Department of Archaeology was formed in 1966 in the Faculty of Arts and Science. It moved to the newly formed Faculty of Social Sciences in 1977.
In 2010, the department became part of the newly created Faculty of Arts. In 2014, the Departments of Archaeology and Anthropology merged to become the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology.
Heads of the Department of Archaeology: R.S. MacNeish, 1966-1968; R.G. Forbis, 1968-1969; D.H. Kelly, 1969-1970 (Acting Head); P.L. Shinnie, 1970-1975; R.G. Forbis, 1975-1976; J. Scott Raymond, 1976-1981; J.H. Kelley, 1981-1987; N.C. David, 1987-1992; J.S. Raymond, 1992-2001; M. Anne Katzenberg, 2001-2006; B. Kooyman, 2006-2011; G. Otelaar, 2011-2014; P. Sicotte, 2014-.
Victor Edward Mitchell was born January 29, 1929 in Vancouver B.C. He graduated from Victoria High School in 1947 and received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1950. After completing a Professional Teaching Certificate he taught drama in Ladner and served two years as the High School principal in Slocan. He moved to England for a short time to study theatre at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was a tutor at Westminster City School in 1959. Mitchell received a Canada Council grant to study theatre production at Stanford University where he received his Master of Arts in 1964. He was in the midst of writing his PhD dissertation when he was hired at the University of Calgary.
Mitchell was the Head of the Drama Division in the Department of Fine Arts from 1965-1968. He then became first Head of the new Department of Drama 1968-1974 in the newly formed Faculty of Fine Arts. Under his direction the department grew rapidly in the 1970s, following Mitchell’s production centred curriculum that blended academic and practical studies around the preparation and performance of stage plays. Mitchell chose plays that challenged both his students and the audience including Volpone, The House of Atreus, In the Penal Colony, and Spring Awakening. He also conducted summer theatre study tours for the Faculty of Continuing Education: London, Stratford and Edinburgh in 1982; and Stratford, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and New York in 1983. Mitchell retired from the University in 1984 and was awarded Professor Emeritus status.
Mitchell was very active in educational and community theatre groups in Calgary. Among his many activities he was a founding member and on the Board of Directors of MAC 14 Theatre (1965-1968), the Musicians and Actors Club that was the precursor to Theatre Calgary; a founding director of Prairie Players, a professional touring company (1966-1968); and a founding member with Joyce Doolittle of Calgary Youth Drama Society and the Pumphouse Theatre. Mitchell was also the founder and director of several productions for the Riverside Theatre Company and The Alternative Theatre Company. Among the many productions he directed and/or acted in were: The Importance of Being Earnest, Every Man in his Humour, Ten O’Clock Mail, Echoes in the Attic, Hosanna, and Saved. Mitchell continued to act and direct in his retirement in Victoria, and was honoured with a theatre named for him at the Pumphouse Theatre in 1984.
Mitchell travelled widely in his retirement, touring Vietnam and Turkey, visiting friends in England and Europe and frequently spending his winters in Thailand and the Philippines. He died in Victoria, B.C. on July 22nd, 2006.
The Department of Physics was established at the University of Alberta, Calgary in 1963. When the University of Calgary was created in 1966, the Department became part of the Faculty of Arts and Science. When that faculty split in 1977, the Department moved into the Faculty of Science. In 1989, it was renamed the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Heads of the Department of Physics and Astronomy: C. Challice, 1963-1971; R. Krouse, 1971-1974; T. Mathews, 1974-1985; J. Bland, 1985-1995; S. Murphree, 1995-2000; B. Hicks, 2000-2005; R. Taylor, 2005-2010; R. Thompson, 2010-.
Dr. Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Flagler was born in Brandon, Manitoba on February 1, 1947. She earned her BSc and medical degree at the University of Alberta and completed her residency training in Calgary and Toronto. She had an active community based practice in Calgary since 1976 working at the Foothills and Grace Hospitals. Dr. Flagler had a particular interest in colposcopy since setting up a clinic at the Cancer Clinic in 1977.
In 1979, Dr. Flagler began as an Assistant Professor for the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. This changed to a Clinical Assistant in 1983 and then in 1985 she was a Clinical Associate with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 1990, she took a sabbatical leave to study ethics at the University of British Columbia which resulted in a joint appointment in the Faculty of Medicine in Medical Bioethics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Dr. Flagler was Acting Director for the Office of Medical Bioethics.
Active with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) Independant Committee on Doctor/Patient Sexual Involvement and a myriad other provincial and national committees pertaining to ethics, Dr. Flagler was a founding Board member of the Sheldon M. Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership. She was awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 1997 and a life membership in the CPSA in 2000 which she had served as President of in 1997. Dr. Flagler passed away on May 12, 2002.
The Management and Professional Staff group had its origins at the University as the Administrative and Professional Staff Association (APSA), which was dissolved in 2000. In 2001, the Management and Professional Staff group (MaPS) was established with the mission to be "Partners in University Leadership." It is represented by the MaPS Executive Committee. This Committee is comprised of nine members elected by MaPS staff. Members of the committee represent the MaPS group on many University of Calgary committees and volunteer for activities related to the MaPS group. The role of MaPS Executive is to work collaboratively to represent MaPS employees, to foster a culture of partnership in the leadership of the institution, and to promote a positive and productive work environment for MaPS employees.
- Corporate body
The Campus Planning Office was in existence by the mid-late 1990s. It has prime responsibility for the assignment of space, and (working with colleagues across campus) shares responsibility for the inventory, utilization and evaluation of academic and administrative facilities at University of Calgary-owned and occupied sites. Most of what Campus Planning does is related to infrastructure projects.
Campus Planning reports to the Deputy-Provost as part of the Vice-President (Academic)/Provost's portfolio. The unit is closely associated with the Office of Institutional Analysis to ensure that planning and reporting activities remain driven by the university's goals.
Campus Planning also works closely with the Vice-President (Facilities Management and Development) portfolio. CP's accountability for the allocation of space on campus is intimately tied to both Facilities Management (which operates and maintains existing infrastructure) and Facilities Development (which steers the re-development and construction of new spaces).
The Immunological Sciences Research Group formed in the Faculty of Medicine prior to 1987. In 2008, it became part of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases and subsequently was renamed the Immunology Research Group. In 2014, the Faculty of Medicine was renamed the Cumming School of Medicine.