Former Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling has been named chair of Red Deer College’s new board of directors.
The announcement was made during the first annual State of the College Address held Wednesday at the Arts Centre.
“I’m delighted to be here today, and I’m very proud and pleased to assume the role of Red Deer College’s board chair,” said Flewwelling. “I’ve watched this College expand and mature over the years.
“We’re in a time of strong growth and new opportunities at Red Deer College. I look forward to working with the president and my board colleagues in our commitment to providing great learning opportunities for our students and to working with our partners and communities,” he said.
“I’m really excited about the future,” he said, pointing out the number of projects that are currently underway at RDC including the construction of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre which is scheduled to be completed for the fall of 2018, and will host a number of events in the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Flewwelling chuckled as he pointed out that Harris was once a student of his. “I’m so excited to consider how this facility will enhance the teaching and learning opportunities for our students, and how it will provide state-of-the-art venues for our student athletes, too. And how it will allow for future community connections like this Arts Centre does – it welds the community and the College together.
“But most of all, I look forward to serving you – the citizens of Red Deer and Central Alberta in my new role.”
Also onhand at the event was Minister of Alberta Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt, who mentioned that Flewwelling’s leadership and commitment to community-building, lifelong learning and heritage preservation will serve him well in his new role as chair.
“I look forward to seeing Red Deer College build on its successes, position itself for the future and meet the changing needs of today’s students under his leadership.”
Red Deer College President Joel Ward said that of late, there have also been many projects surface that continue to show RDC’s strong and growing commitment to and role within the local community.
“We’re very proud of the role RDC plays in helping to strengthen and enrich the intellectual, economic, cultural and social development of Central Alberta, and we wanted to share this with our partners and community members from across the region,” he explained.
“The work our faculty and staff do for learners provides educational opportunities in a wide array of programs, and this is the foundation of the College. But beyond that, we help to shape Red Deer and Central Alberta in many ways.”
Ward said the future-focused vision continues with such goals as building post-secondary rates and working towards attaining polytechnic university status.
This would open the doors to RDC offering a range of credentials – from certificates to autonomous degrees – in professional, career-focused programs in the arts, creative arts, social and related behavioural sciences, health and wellness, business, engineering, education and trades and technology.
Ward also spoke about the growth of the College, with growth in distance learning programs, the Campus Alberta Central program, increased partnerships with local schools and Alberta Health Services for example, and also the Donald School of Business being established in the downtown core a few years back as well. In the sixth year at the downtown campus, enrolment there reached over 1,000 students for the 2016/17 academic year.
“The list of our partners is extensive – it crosses all sectors of our region, our province and our country. You know that your work for and with us is greatly appreciated.
“Our promise to you is to continue to deliver the training programs that you need in your communities to achieve your goals.”
The event also included outgoing board chair Shelley Ralston, who said how pleased she was to see Flewwelling take over in the role.
“Leading requires having a vision, and having trust in your team,” she said, reflecting on her years as board chair. “It’s about oversight not control. It’s about knowing when to push and when to pull back. I’ve always been very proud to represent the College at meetings in the community and with government. The College community represents so many committed people doing amazing work – all with the intention focused on our learners.
“I have also always been in awe at the repeated presence of many of you with your time, your talents or your treasures – time and time again at events like this. And I’m extremely grateful, and I hope you know we don’t take that for granted.
“Morris has been a friend and a strong supporter of RDC for many years, and I know I speak for everyone in this room that we are confident in passing this torch to some committed, capable and great hands.”