Meet the Legends
The decades-long involvement of these supporters adds up to far more than the sum of their donations — their vision and dedication have lifted every aspect of this campus, and shaped our city’s future
Marnie Burkhart, Jazhart Studios
Richard and Lois Haskayne
Renowned for his corporate leadership savvy as much as for his ethical integrity, Richard (Dick) Haskyane, Hon. LLD’97 — for whom a handshake-deal has never gone out of fashion — is the steadfast backbone of business education in Calgary. An industry leader and member of the Order of Canada, Haskayne and his wife Lois’s contributions have helped propel UCalgary up the list of the top-ranked faculties in the world. Their support has empowered the school to raise the bar on experiential teaching and learning, and diversified its world-class programs.
Through all of it, the Haskaynes always come back to student success. Their gift to the Energize campaign marks the largest student scholarship ever given to the business school. The Richard and Lois Haskayne Legacy Scholarship ensures five undergraduate students get a full-ride scholarship through their program. “While it’s nice for me to have our name associated with the university, the people who are going to establish the reputation over time are the students,” says Richard. The Haskaynes’ support is tangible proof of their inspiring perspective that, in business and every other sector, people come first. As Lois puts it, “All of us are given some capacity or other to make a difference in the world.”
Here and far beyond, the Hotchkiss name is inextricably tied to more than a few iconic milestones in Calgary’s ongoing story: success in the oil-and-gas industry; the acquisition of the Flames hockey team; and passionate acts of generosity that have shaped this city in myriad ways.
Harley Hotchkiss, Hon. LLD’96, who passed away in 2011, had a famously big heart and wide philanthropic reach. His family continues that legacy of transformative positive impact, in particular via their vision and giving around brain and mental research at the Cumming School of Medicine. The Hotchkiss Brain Institute, whose mission is to inspire discovery and apply knowledge towards innovative solutions to neurological and mental health disorders, enables advances in research that attract top doctors from around the world and inspire ongoing, game-changing philanthropic support.
“When Harley passed away, people were naturally nervous that the leader is gone,” says Chen Fong, philanthropist and friend of the Hotchkiss family. “And then the family members really picked up … everybody rolled up their sleeves and were so engaged in furthering the cause. It’s very much, if you will, a family dynasty.”
Diane and Doug Hunter
Hard-scrabble prairie beginnings aren’t unusual around here. It is rare, however, for those roots to flourish into a vision that elevates not only the next generation, but shapes a city’s future. Diane, BA’67, MA’69, Hon. LLD’19, and Doug Hunter, Hon. LLD’19 both grew up in Western Canada in tough economic circumstances. They got married shortly after high school and took turns working and going to university. In 1971, they took a leap, starting a small oil-and-gas consulting firm. Fearless, resourceful and collaborative by nature, the Hunters taught their kids to identify problems and run with their ideas.
Their extraordinary gifts to UCalgary have likewise proven that entrepreneurs aren’t born — they’re made. In 2012, the Hunter Family Foundation created the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business and, six years later, their $40-million donation established the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking. Humble and fearless as ever, Diane and Doug remain the poster couple for a movement that’s transformed our city’s approach to global success.
Bill and Sharon Siebens
Prescient business savvy, strong work ethic and generous community involvement are an enormous part of the unforgettable legacy of Bill Siebens. It’s his characteristic joy and infinite capacity for compassion, however, that put this extraordinary Calgarian in a category all his own. Bill passed away on June 29, 2020, at the age of 86, but his spirit lives on in the city he loved. Among his many gifts to UCalgary, the United Way and other causes, Bill, along with his wife Sharon and family, provided support integral to the relocation of the Glenbow’s extensive materials relating to Western Canada, to its home in the Taylor Family Digital Library’s newly created Glenbow Western Research Centre.
In his own words, Bill shared how that philanthropic opportunity spoke to his heart: “My family and I were inspired to make our gift because we believe it is critical to preserve the valuable records and artifacts that illustrate who we are as Albertans, and who we are as Western Canadians,” he said. “We are mavericks, we have can-do attitudes, we get things done with integrity and consistency. The Glenbow library and archives are a testament to this spirit – a colourful story of the Indigenous peoples, the pioneers, ranchers, oilmen, military forces and families who wrote the story we are living today.”
Bill’s future-forward optimism has had dramatic positive impact on UCalgary’s students and the community and will continue to ignite learning and connection for generations to come. Bill Siebens was a true maverick. His pioneering spirit will live on through his business and philanthropic legacy in Calgary and beyond
Community is at the heart of UCalgary and the same can be said for Canadian Natural. The Calgary-based company believes strongly in investing in the communities where they live and work and, with education and training being a top investment priority for the organization, UCalgary has benefitted from Canadian Natural’s generosity and vision for more than 30 years.
During the Energize campaign, Canadian Natural made a transformational gift in support of the Schulich School of Engineering expansion project. In fact, at the time it was the single largest corporate gift in UCalgary history. Since its opening in 2016, the award-winning Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex has enabled new opportunities for students, faculty and researchers. The space is home to improved classrooms and student spaces, advanced research labs, and the innovative Maker Multiplex — a fun, safe and experiential environment to ignite innovation, discovery, and new ways of learning and problem solving.
“Investing in education is of pivotal importance to develop our future leaders for the success and sustainability of Canada’s oil and natural gas industry,” says Tim McKay, president of Canadian Natural. “Through education we have been able to accelerate innovative thinking, develop game-changing technology and position Canada as a world leader for responsibly produced oil and natural gas. Commitment to education will always be a priority for Canadian Natural.”
In addition to investing in teaching and learning spaces, Canadian Natural created the Canadian Natural Resources Graduate Scholarship for students studying economics, geoscience, engineering or management at the graduate level. And their contributions don’t end there. As a supporter of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute Gala, Canadian Natural has helped the institute raise $5.2 million for cardiovascular health initiatives since the gala’s inception. Indeed, Canadian Natural is a true champion of the community.
Shell Canada Limited
There’s a lot that can be said for Shell Canada Limited’s support of UCalgary. Words like “innovative,” “champion” and “steadfast” come to mind. “Unparalleled” is another apt descriptor. With their first gift to the university made more than a half-century ago, Shell Canada is one of UCalgary’s longest-standing contributors.
Shell Canada has played an invaluable role in growing UCalgary into a leader in energy research and a hub for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. In recent years alone, Shell has sponsored award-winning energy research chairs, funded student awards, created meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students, and helped revitalize UCalgary’s research park. It was an extraordinary gift in kind during the Energize campaign that transformed the Shell Technology Centre Calgary (STCC) in University Research Park into the Life Sciences Innovation Hub, a dynamic research facility that supports the promising life sciences sector of the Calgary economy.
The evolution of the facility is representative of the enduring relationship between UCalgary and Shell Canada. “For more than 30 years, our teams at (STCC) led energy sector innovation,” says Michael Crothers, president and country chair of Shell Canada. “It’s fitting that the building’s legacy of spurring innovation in Alberta will continue as part of UCalgary.”