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Big Bob’s Beautiful Day

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The newly named Charlton Pond.

It’s a little corny to talk about the weather for a picnic, but goodness, a beautiful day around here this year is worth celebrating.

Blue skies and sunshine welcomed MRU staff and faculty to Big Bob’s BBQ in support of the Transitional Vocational Programs (TVP) for developmentally disabled adults.

This annual fundraiser was started 32 years ago by Bob Charlton and Stu Gauthier. Bob was head of Security and Stu worked in custodial when they began fundraising for TVP. They continued after retirement. The annual highlight was the Picnic in the Park, now fondly known as Big Bob’s BBQ. The event has raised nearly $110,000 over the years in support of TVP.

The outdoor courtyard where the event is held was named for Stu Gauthier. President David Docherty announced today that the Board of Governors has approved naming the MRU pond the Charlton Pond in Bob Charlton’s honour. It is one of the most beautiful locations on campus, home to generations of Canada geese, and it is fitting that is right beside the Gauthier Courtyard.

Bob passed away on April 22. MC Gord Gillies of Global Television joked that the beautiful weather – as well as the recent winning streak by Bob’s beloved Toronto Blue Jays – could possibly be attributed to Bob’s influence. A Bob and Crystal Charlton memorial scholarship has also been established at MRU and is accepting donations.

Event and prize sponsors included:

  • MRSA – Mount Royal Staff Association & Delta Hotels
    Weekend at Kananaskis Hotel – won by Dave Wanigas
  • MRFA – Mount Royal Faculty Association
    $100 Costco gift certificate – won by Muneerah Dattadeen
    $400 Costco gift certificate – won by Brenda Black
  • Calgary Correctional Centre/SAIT carpentry program
    Patio set – won by Stephanie Stone
  • BookStore gift basket – early bird prize
    Won by Janel Olinger
  • Jack Astor’s
    Food and beverage
  • Chartwell’s
    Food services

Entertainment was provided by the Calgary Fire Department’s Cappy Smart Band and the Calgary Fiddlers.

Bob Charlton’s son Dave and daughter Judy were on hand to thank the crowd for honouring their father’s legacy. They both had worked in custodial at MRU alongside Stu Gauthier.

In addition to MRU staff and faculty, former TVP students turned out for Big Bob’s BBQ, including Carol Galbraith, who was part of the first TVP graduating class in 1980. She has recently retired after working 31 years at a day care centre and was accompanied by her husband of 23 years.

458 tickets were sold for this year’s event.

Check out our Facebook album for more Big Bob’s BBQ photos.

by Karen McCarthy 

MRU Student Wins Award for Payroll Certification

Samantha Lau, left, receives her award from Steven Van Alstine, Vice-President, Education at the CPA
Samantha Lau (left) receives her Bronze Certification Award, along with the Silver Certification Award recipient, from Steven Van Alstine, Vice-President, Education at the CPA (right).

Samantha Lau, a student in the Canadian Payroll Association’s certification programs at Mount Royal University, is the recipient of the Canadian Payroll Association’s 2013 Bronze Certification Award for outstanding academic achievement for the Prairie Region.

The award was given to her at the Canadian Payroll Association’s Certification Recognition Event held in Calgary on March 28, 2014.

Congratulations, Samantha! You make us proud.

The winner's circle.
The winner’s circle at the CPA Certification Recognition Event. Samantha Lau is in the centre of the back row.

Check out more event photos on the CPA’s website.

by Karen McCarthy 

The Best Teacher is Experience

RGH_blog_600x450Today is another beautiful day in Calgary. Looking out at the mountains still covered in spring snow brings feelings of nostalgia about how far Continuing Education Faculty has come since moving into the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning (RMCCL).

The Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning is shared with the Faculty’s Events and Conference Services team. The Events team has been in the building since it was opened in September 2006 and has a wealth of stories to share. They have grown from a small staff to a broad and dedicated team of event professionals. They host a wide range of events all year round, from business meetings to conferences, fundraisers and galas.

Recently they blogged about their experiences growing in the events industry and all they have learned over the years. See their featured post in the Canadian University and College Conference Organizers Association blog and get 11 tips for becoming a better event organizer – no experience needed.

Things I Would Tell My Younger Self – CUCCOA blog – by Andrea Hennel, Chelsea Rule & Jennifer Brading of MRU Events & Conference Services

by Michael Poon

Land Business is the Family Business

Jenelle Belland
Jenelle Belland

In celebration of the 2014 CAPLA Conference, we are profiling some of the first graduates of our Petroleum Land Business program.

“Oil and gas is rooted throughout my family,” says Jenelle Belland. “They worked in mineral and surface land.”

Jenelle is a graduate of MRU’s Petroleum Land Administration program. She was eager to continue her industry education with the Petroleum Land Business when it launched. She completed it in December 2013.

“I started working in land at Quicksilver last September,” she says. “I was almost finished with the program and they supported me through the final two courses.”

Jenelle is from Okotoks. When she finished high school her mother mentioned the MRU Petroleum Land Administration program as something to do “just for now”. Jenelle completed the certificate in 2010 and has been working in the field ever since, starting as a summer intern. She is now Surface Land Administrator with Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc., a mid-sized natural gas company.

Jenelle was able to work in mineral and surface land throughout her program, which gave her an opportunity to gain practical experience with both junior and larger companies. “My work experience complemented everything I was learning in the classroom, and I found that I really enjoy working directly with landowners and various stakeholders,” she says.

“Currently I am working in a surface position, but the MRU program has not limited me to that. My educational background has expanded as well as enhanced my knowledge in different areas of the oil and gas industry, such as mineral land,” she notes.

“I like the fact that I work in an industry that is always changing and growing; you never stop learning,” Jenelle says.

by Karen McCarthy

MRU Honours Bob Charlton’s Legacy

Big Bob hones his BBQ skills
Big Bob hones his BBQ skills

The Mount Royal community lost a dear friend and tireless supporter when “Big Bob” Charlton passed away at the Foothills Hospital on April 22 at the age of 79.

Bob was the head of Security at Mount Royal for many years following his military service, but was perhaps best known for his volunteer work after retirement. In addition to his dedication for over 30 years to the Transitional Vocational Program (TVP) for developmentally disabled adults, Big Bob helped out with the MRU United Way Campaign, the Students’ Association, International Education, Cougar Athletics and many more.

A memorial service for Bob Charlton was held at MRU on May 4, with many from the Mount Royal community and beyond gathering to say farewell to a true friend.

“Bob would often be seen ‘holding court’ at Tim Horton’s and regaling us with his many stories,” the President’s Office noted. “We will truly miss Bob’s big smile and hearty laugh.”

“Bob always was willing to help both the program and individual students who needed support — financially or otherwise,” said Craig Baskett, Program Administrator of the Transitional Vocational Program. “When Bob was working with our students he didn’t put up with much goofing around but was always quick with a compliment as well. As we walk around our area we can see many instructional tools that we have as a direct result of his fundraising efforts.”

Here are some of the ways that Bob Charlton supported the TVP:

  • Big Bob’s BBQ, an annual spring picnic for staff and faculty, is in its 32nd year and has raised close to $90,000 for TVP.
  • In 1987, Bob Charlton and Stu Gaulthier began a bottle recycling program with proceeds going to support the program.
  • Every Christmas Bob worked directly with TVP students during the Season of Caring project — collecting donations or food and household goods for MRU students in need — to help them develop valuable employability skills.
  • Bob came to TVP graduation brunches, wearning his regimental blazer, to express his support of the students as they took the next step in their lives.

Bob Charlton served in the Canadian military for 25 years and retired a Warrant Officer. Bob was decorated with the Special Service Medal and Bar, Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, International Commission for Supervision and Control Indo-China (ICSC) and Canadian Forces’ Decoration (CD) and Bar. He served in Vietnam as a Canadian Peace Keeper.

Donations may be made to the Mount Royal University Bob and Christel Charlton Memorial Scholarship.

Bob’s legacy will continue. Big Bob’s BBQ will take place rain or shine on Tuesday, May 27. Bob’s many contributions will be honoured at the event, but we can never really adequately say thank you. He will be missed.

by Karen McCarthy

Big Bob's BBQ 2014