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Authority record
University of Calgary Archives Corporate body

Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

  • UOFC
  • Corporate body
  • 1970-present

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 University of Calgary Faculty Association

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

TUCFA is the academic staff association and bargaining unit for the University of Calgary faculty members. It succeeded the Association of Academic Staff at the University of Alberta, Calgary (AASUAC) following the University's autonomy in 1966. The Association was incorporated under "The Universities Amendment Act", 1981, having existed as a society under the Societies Act before that. TUCFA's mandate is: to promote the independence and freedom of teaching, thought and research within the University; to foster academic community among Association members; to promote joint interests and welfare of academic staff associations through CAFA (Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations) and CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers); and to collaborate with other bodies on the provincial, national and international level whose interests are similar.

University of Alberta

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

In 1906 the province passed an act authorizing the establishment of a University in Alberta. A Commission was appointed to determine the site and Edmonton was chosen as the University city. Dr. Henry Marshall Tory became the first president when the University first opened its doors in September, 1908. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences staff consisted of William H. Alexander (Professor of Classics), Luther H. Alexander (Professor of Modern Languages), Edmund K. Broadus (Professor of English) and William M. Edwards (Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Civil Engineering). A Board of Governors was set up in 1910 to administer the financial responsibilities of the University with the Senate to administer all academic matters. Some decentralization of University academic studies occured in 1931 when first year courses were taught through Mount Royal College and again in 1946 when the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta opened. The Board of Governors and Senate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton continued to administer the Calgary Branch until 1965 when the government conceded autonomy in most academic and financial affairs for Calgary. The University of Alberta and the University of Calgary became separate entities in 1966 when full autonomy was accorded to Calgary.

University of Alberta. Students' Union

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

The Evergreen and Gold is the official yearbook of the University of Alberta. It chronicles student life at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and is published annually by the Students' Union.

University of Alberta, Calgary

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

Except for Mount Royal College (MRC), there were no other facilities of higher education in Calgary in the 1930s and 1940s. Although MRC had been granted permission to offer first year university courses in affiliation with the University of Alberta (U of A), the pressure of returning soldiers seeking an education and a forseeable baby boom made a new facility a necessity. When the government closed the Normal Schools and placed Teacher training under the guidance of the U of A's Faculty of Education, it was seen as a foot in the door by the Calgary University Committee who advocated a full University in Calgary. In 1946 this educational facility became known as the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta. More courses were gradually added: Arts & Sciences (1951); Commerce (1953); Physical Education (1956); Engineering (1957). In 1957 the campus became known as the University of Alberta in Calgary and became a full-fledged extension of the U of A; in 1961 it was known as the University of Alberta, Calgary; during 1965-1966 it was known as University of Alberta at Calgary. The push for automony in 1964 eventually saw the establishment of separate Faculty councils for Edmonton and Calgary and in May, 1965, the government conceded autonomy in most academic and financial affairs for Calgary. From 1964 to 1966, each campus had its own president and its own General Faculty Council (GFC). Full autonomy was accorded under the new Universities Act in April, 1966. The Library Building Committee at the University of Alberta, Calgary was established by M.G. Taylor, Principal. It became a subcommittee of the University of Alberta (Edmonton) Buildings and Grounds Committee. The Coordinating Council was apparently set up in response to the growing autonomy of the Calgary campus. A new coordinating body was established in 1966 under the Universities Act.

University of Alberta, Calgary Associates

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

The University of Alberta, Calgary Associates was incorporated as a society in 1963 following an initiative by Dr. Malcolm G. Taylor, Principal of UAC. Dr. Taylor approached several law firms, petroleum companies and other Calgary businesses to solicit response to setting up the Associates. The objectives of the society were to promote public interest in the University of Alberta, Calgary, to assist in the university's long-range development plans, and to obtain financial assistance to further the objectives of the university and its library. The society was open to all person's, corporations or organizations who had an interest in promoting the objectives of the Associates, regardless of whether they were alumni of the University. J. Ross Henderson was the first Chairman. The society appears to have been active until 1966.

University of Calgary. Gastrointestinal Research Group

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

The Gastrointestinal Research Group in the Faculty of Medicine is a group of basic and clinical investigators who study the gastrointestinal tract and liver in health and in a variety of important human diseases. Members of the research group study the normal functions of the gut and liver and aspects of diseases such as ulcers, colon cancer, and hepatitis. There are opportunities for trainees of all levels in the group and expressions of interest are welcome.

University of Calgary. Information Resources

  • uofc
  • Corporate body

Information Resources Group came into existence in 1998 as a result of the reorganisation of the Division of Information Services into Information Resources Group, Information Technologies Group and the Learning Commons. Headed by a Director who reports directly to the Vice-President (Academic), the Information Resources Group initially consisted of the University Libraries, University Archives, the Image Centre and the University Press. In 2000 the Nickle Arts Museum was added to the Group. Each of the constituent units within IR have fonds level descriptions. The records that exist for this fonds are those created by the administration office which consists of the Director and his support staff who are responsible for the administration of the overall Group.

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