Red Deer College has kicked off the celebrations for their 50th year, and done so in a big way.
“We have a lovely mural which is a compilation of the past 50 years of the College and how we’ve grown and been a part of the community,” said Joyce Fox, director of marketing and communications at RDC.
The mural is 50 ft. and is a mixture of pictures and text and Fox said it was designed that way so people can wander and look at the changes over the last 50 years.
“This whole thing is bigger than just a mural, it’s the launch of our 50th year and what it looks like moving forward. This isn’t all about the past, it’s about the possibilities for our future,” said Fox.
Joel Ward, president and CEO of RDC, said the college is doing many things for their 50th, but that they will be incorporated into pre-existing events so it provides the year with a 50th celebration theme.
The event unveiling the mural was not a long one, and Fox said it was intended only to launch the 50th year and act as the first public event where the College was announcing that from now on for the next year there will be things to look forward to.
Ward said the mural is a walk down memory lane from 1964 all the way to 2014.
“We went from a couple classrooms at Lindsay Thurber in 1964 all the way to 2014 where we have a million square feet, 1,800 employees and 75 programs,” said Ward.
Some of the milestones that Ward said are especially important include the move of the Donald School of Business downtown, the partnership with the City for the Arts Centre, the library which is the only public library on a college campus in Canada and many other achievements.
Ward added that RDC has an impact not only on Red Deer but Alberta on many levels. Red Deer College adds to the City on a cultural level because of the Arts Centre and City Centre Stage, he said.
“We also contribute to Red Deer socially by providing post-secondary education. If people are qualified, we’ll take them. If they’re not, we’ll get them qualified and if they can’t afford to go to school, we’ll try to help find them funding,” said Ward.
Janice Wing, director of community relations, made the announcement that the college is working towards increasing the dollar figures they are able to provide in student funding through awards and certificates.
“Red Deer College currently gives out about $700,000 in these funds, but we are targeting growth around that to put it closer to $1 million. We are working with our donors to make that move,” said Wing.
Wing said this is an important piece of work because as was mentioned by Ward, part of the College’s mandate is to say if you can’t afford to come, we will help you find a way to come.
“This is a great opportunity to work with our donors with their areas of interest in order to help students find money that will support the program that they want to be a part of,” said Wing.
Fox said the big end splash celebrating the 50th year of RDC will be at convocation in June of 2014.