Big Bob’s Picnic in the [Hallway]

mmmm, ice cream
mmmm, ice cream

A steady downpour couldn’t dampen the spirits of the Mount Royal community that came out for the 31st annual Big Bob’s BBQ on May 23. Proceeds from this event support the Transitional Vocational Programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

The BBQ is normally held outdoors by the pond and is an unofficial start to summer at MRU. If it rains, as it certainly did this year, it is held indoors on Main Street.

William Delong, a TVP student who graduated in 2008, spoke about the program as a life-changing experience and thanked the TVP staff for their support and guidance. He is now a full-time cashier at the Dalhousie Safeway.

“Dare to dream big,” William said. “You never know where it’s going to take you.”

Big Bob’s BBQ (named after Bob Charlton, an MRU retiree who tirelessly supported and continues to support TVP) features a picnic lunch, entertainment and – the big draw – door prizes donated by the MRSA, MRFA, several Mount Royal departments and local businesses.

The Cappy Smart Fire Band got things off to a rousing start.
The Cappy Smart Fire Band got things off to a rousing start.

The Cappy Smart Fire Band and the Bow Valley Fiddlers, a division of the Calgary Fiddlers, performed.

There were over 30 door prizes ranging from floral arrangements donated by the Faculty of Continuing Education to an e-reader from the BookStore to gift certificates from nearby Local 002 pub and Wild Rose Brewery.

Crystal Stus of Career Services won a set of patio furniture valued at $500, donated by Gordon Lloyd and the SAIT carpentry program at the Calgary Correctional Centre.

Susan Rutherford of Enrolment Services won a weekend at the Delta Kananaskis valued at $400, donated by the Mount Royal Staff Association and Delta Hotels.

Luisa Cruz-Milette of Continuing Education won a $450 Costco gift card donated by the Mount Royal Faculty Association. MRFA also donated a wheeled cooler, which was won by Darlene Hess.

The TVP has raised over $90,000 and supported 5000 students since it began in 1980.

View more photos from the event here.

by Karen McCarthy

MRU Shift Happened

By Elaine Ori and Courtney Wilson for MRU Shift

On a bright and sunny day in the grand ole city of Calgary, there was a spectacular social media conference hosted at MRU. We called it MRU Shift, but we don’t mind if you just call it plain fabulous. It was a congregation of great minds, with exceptional speakers of serious local talent.

The morning began with a keynote feature from Dr. Alex Bruton, a MRU faculty member and mind-blower extraordinaire. Also known as The Innographer, audiences were held captive during his memorable presentation on innovation, garnering week-long responses from the Twittersphere

Tyler Nagel ‏@tylerwsnagel
@theinnographer Loved your talk at #MRUshift – thanks!


Craig Nolin @CraigNolin ‏
@theinnographer great keynote speech at #MRUshift. Lots of great points.


Breakoutta the Box sessions ensued, with delegates having the chance to decide their fates. Both morning and afternoon breakouts hosted even more local talent including the likes of Buzz Bishop who’s still buzzing about his time with us!

The cool kids joined us over lunch for a race that is even More Amazing than what you can get on tv. It’s true. Twelve teams of delegates lined up to make their marks in a social media themed scavenger hunt race around MRU’s beautiful, interesting and contemporary campus. They raced, sang, became poets, told time, were scared by cougars and did their best to reach the finish line first. With some spectacular prizes, we crowned three teams the top winners and even got to award two honorable mentions. A job well won.

mru shift winners

After bellies had been satisfied thanks to YYC Food Trucks, an afternoon of discovery began. Some heavy hitters from ZGM opened up a purrrrfect afternoon keynote engaging audiences on the planning and execution of a good social media campaign. An onslaught of information, and a chance with ZEDS to practice some bad jokes rounded out an afternoon of super duper revelatory discussions.

From a Market Mall campaign where animals are all the fun, “@AllegedlyOld: Animals in the Mall? I thought the politically correct term was teenager #mrushift”, to some deep insights into where we need to step back and listen before we rush to the smart phone and tweet, delegates learned a thing or two. “@bonnaventure: There are more cell phones than tooth brushes in the world. #gross #mrushift.” Hey, we didn’t say everything would be useful.

In all, an extraordinary day was rounded out with a networking wine and cheese that provided a chance for speakers, delegates and of course the committee to put faces to handles. Toss in some astonishing door prizes (tequila tasting for four, anyone?) and a day’s worth of free candy (Sugar Cube has cost us all our girly figures), MRU Shift was an event for the history books, not soon forgotten. So if you joined us on that fateful day, we know you enjoyed every moment. The social media world is still abuzz. If you missed us this year, that’s really too bad but well… we had fun.

For more about the MRU Shift and other social media tips and inspiration, visit the MRU Shift Blog.

Students Win Awards for Highest Marks


“The last time I was recognized for academic achievement was Grade 5,” said Kevin Davidson (left) when he found out he had achieved the highest marks in the Certified Financial Planner® program at Mount Royal for the 2011-12 academic year.

Instructor Anthony Williams (right) presented the certificate to him on May 9 following an exam preparation class. Kevin will write the exam on June 8 to add CFP® to his professional credentials.

Kevin works in charitable gift planning and will and estate planning for the Mennonite Foundation Canada. “I’ll be bringing this to my next performance review,” he joked.

Two additional Mount Royal students – Lori Olyan and Nancy Kangan – received Canadian Payroll Association 2012 Regional Certification Awards for obtaining the highest overall marks in the payroll courses of the CPA’s professional certification programs for the Prairie Region.

The awards were presented at a CPA event on April 18. Lori received Gold and Nancy received Silver. Mount Royal is one of the Initial Academic Partners of the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).

Congratulations to Kevin, Lori and Nancy. Thanks for making us look good!