Despite a discouraging Dinos loss to long-time football rivals the University of Alberta Golden Bears, it was an otherwise clean kick-off to celebrate the University of Calgary’s 40th anniversary.
The Sat., Sept. 9 football game and concert event at McMahon Stadium brought together almost 7,000 alumni, staff and students to celebrate the university and its community.
“Remember that the university is like a community and you’re seeing a reflection of the community in the university here today,” U of C president Dr. Harvey Weingarten told media at the event.
“We are thrilled with these numbers,” said associate vice-president external relations Catherine Bagnell Styles. “It was a huge number of students, especially first-year students, and I think we made an impression on them as to what their time here will be like.”
Bagnell Styles also noted that she believes current students interacting with alumni is positive.
“To put students and alumni in the same place, it can only be inspiring,” she said.
Attendees were treated to a tailgate party with free pre-game pancakes. Following the football game, there was music spanning four decades, featuring the Stampeders, Spirit of the West and Bedouin Soundclash.
“The concerts went really well,” said Students’ Union VP events Eric Jablonski. “It was a really diverse audience but everyone seemed to like it.”
Jablonski said the most important part of the day was the connections made amoung attendees.
“It was such a great opportunity to build community,” said Jablonski.
Despite the large crowd, security concerns were minimal.
“From our standpoint it was a non-event,” said Campus Security manager Lanny Fritz, who could not cite a single disturbance.
With the success of this event in mind, there are already plans for another.
“I’d be surprised if we don’t do something like this next year,” hinted Bagnell Styles.
The event cost $130,000 with $20,000 donated each by the SU and the Alumni Association and $90,000 put up by the U of C.
Kick-off was the first event of its kind at the U of C.