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Olds College kicks off centennial celebrations

Olds College kicked off a year of centennial events on Friday.

“This is a celebration of our past and the success of our future,” said Barry Mehr, chairman of the college’s board of governors.

Friday was chosen for the launch because Feb. 22, 1913, marked the Alberta government’s introduction of the Agricultural Schools Act, establishing the Olds School of Agriculture and Home Economics, which opened later that year with 36 men and 39 women students.

“It’s hard to believe we once consisted of a two-storey wood building and a demonstration farm,” said the centennial governance team’s Bill Quinney. “I think we look pretty good for our age.”

College president Tom Thompson told the crowd of 250 people, including many Central Alberta elected officials of all levels, that the college’s long history of achievements mirrors that of Alberta.

“We have a responsibility to tell people about this place and its success. It’s a very positive story.”

Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta deputy premier and minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, thanked the college for “providing generations of young men and women with careers in agriculture.

“I know that we’ll be depending on Olds College and other institutions to evolve Alberta economically,” he said before presenting a cheque for $100,000 to help with centennial celebrations.

Thompson said entrepreneurship is a major college focus and its agreement with Pomeroy Inns and Suites, now under construction, guarantees enhanced student learning through new management and beer brewing programs and a 13 per cent return on the college’s equity.

That focus will touch every student next fall when the Gamified Entrepreneurship Curriculum is introduced. Every full-time student will need an iPad to access the game-based custom app with 12 small business topics. Completing the course will be mandatory for graduation.

“This will make us the first fully integrated iPad learning campus in Canada,” said Jason Dewling, vice-president, academics and research, in presenting the app.

A Canada Post commemorative envelope was also unveiled. Designed by college graphic artist Cheryl Arnold, the cover features photos of students over the years while the back details the college’s history.

The centennial song 100 Years Today and its accompanying video were also introduced. Written by alumnus, country singer and rodeo rider Denver Daines, it’s based on college employee Laurie Chicoine’s dream about leaving home to attend the school, then graduating to the next stage of life.

More information on the college’s centennial activities is available online at

Olds College "100 Years Today" by Denver Daines



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