Nov. 20, 2019

UCalgary Nursing benefactors contribute to student leadership

50 Faces of Nursing: Randy Mabbott, BA’84, and Shelley Mabbott, BA’87
UCalgary Nursing Donors Event with the Mabbotts
The Mabbott family with students at the UCalgary Nursing 2018 Donor Appreciation Evening.

Randy and Shelley Mabbott may have degrees from other institutions, but UCalgary (where they both received their Bachelor of Arts degrees) holds the top spot in their hearts when it comes to post-secondary education.

Although both are lawyers, they have chosen the Faculty of Nursing as the focus for some of their philanthropic attention because of their overall interest in health care (Shelley was a member of the former Calgary Health Region Board and Randy was assigned to nursing as a member of UCalgary Senate) and their commitment to seeing well-rounded individuals graduate.

“As a senator, I attended meetings in the nursing faculty that discussed everything from curriculum changes to setting up the campus in Qatar,” says Randy, now president of a company that buys and develops commercial real estate.

“When I finished my term on Senate, I continued to stay in touch with the Faculty of Nursing. I was invited on to the Dean’s Advisory Committee (now the Community Advisory Council) and continue supporting the dean today.”

This experience led the couple to set up student scholarships for nursing students to exchange to the Qatar campus for a portion of their final clinical practicum.

“Our focus was to assist students who would not have been able to otherwise participate in the opportunity due to lack of financial resources,” explains Shelley who is semi-retired. She adds:

“One of the most impactful experiences for me and our family was when we met with every single student who travelled to Qatar and it was very apparent that the experience had changed their lives; it motivated and gave them confidence to set higher goals for themselves.”

“We have an interest in giving back: we both have had experiences that have shaped our education and careers and we wanted to help students have similar adventures,” adds Randy.

What most excites you about the future of nursing or changes coming in the profession?

“Nursing is becoming an increasing important and pivotal role in health care. This ranges from the frontline role to increasingly a more collaborative health function.”

Is there a nursing issue you are especially passionate about or you would like to change?

“Leadership in nursing. We are in the process of putting together an endowment for nursing leadership at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.”

What piece of advice would you like to share with aspiring nurses?

“Think outside the box.”

Is there one luxury in life you would rather not live without?

“Our home in Palm Springs.”

All through 2019, we'll be highlighting 50 Faces of Nursing and profiling nursing members in celebration of our 50th anniversary. For more, visit