Return to your roots, without leaving home.
That’s the intention of the new USask Calgary office space, named the USask Calgary Hub, which will provide a space unlike any other for USask alumni based in Calgary to reacquaint, reminisce, and reignite their love of USask.
Calgary has always been a hub of activity for USask alumni. It’s home to the second largest number of USask alumni, second only to Saskatoon. Roughly 10,000 alumni live in the Calgary area.
Dr. Debra Pozega Osburn (PhD), vice-president of University Relations, has led the project since its inception, noting that a physical space in the Calgary area has been a priority for many years. With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, USask has postponed the Hub’s official public opening, but it will provide Calgary alumni with ample opportunities when it is safe to do so.
“Calgary alumni are leaders in business and industry. They are in the nonprofit sector. They are in government. They are in social services. They are leaders in their communities. We really wanted to ensure that we are present for those alumni,” says Pozega Osburn.
The USask Calgary Hub is intended to be that connection to USask alumni who live in Calgary; by staying connected to those who have been engaged with USask ever since graduation and reconnecting with those who have lost touch.
“The space is really predicated on how creative we can be. There's a lot we can do and accomplish here,” says Pozega Osburn.
The physical space is located in the heart of downtown and has meeting rooms, gathering areas and professional offices, which will be used to deliver a variety of event and educational opportunities.
Pozega Osburn notes that all alumni are invited to stop by if they are looking to conduct business or simply want to sit down and get some work done. It will also be used as gathering space for alumni host events and for USask staff to conduct business, both with alumni stakeholders, corporations and agencies.
Pozega Osburn says that USask is breaking the mold when it comes to innovative work in water security, sustainable food development, access to health care and infection disease research. Being present in community spaces is important, she says, because it is another way to show the community USask is present and working hard to address the issues that matter to its community.
“That’s why we need to be sure that we are intensely outwardly facing and that we’re present where people need us to be present,” says Pozega Osburn. “This innovative space allows us to be present for our alumni and for many others.”
It’s a sentiment that Tracey Jungwirth (BSc’92) agrees with. The USask Alumni Advisory Board member has called Calgary home since 1993, moving west directly after receiving her USask degree. A committed member of the USask Ore Gangue group, Jungwirth notes she has always viewed Calgary as a place for USask alumni to unite away from home.
“Every time I attend a USask alumni event in Calgary, it is always well attended. Calgary alumni love to participate in USask events,” said Jungwirth.
As a Calgary resident, she looks forward to using the new USask space in its many different facets, including making connections that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
“With this visible presence, USask may be able to connect with some they haven’t been able to before,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity for more interaction between the leadership at USask and the Calgary alumni. It’s a facility that’s set up not only for a formal event, but to be a relaxed environment as well.”
Deidre Horn (BCOMM) is another Calgary-based member of the USask Alumni Advisory Board and she echoes this outlook. The enthusiastic Huskie fan says she was impressed by the space, which is just a stone’s throw away from her house, when she was given a tour in October.
“I walked in and saw a big TV on the wall and thought ‘Huskie Games!’” she laughs.
Since she left USask with her degree and built a career in Calgary, Horn has made it a point of getting involved, including being active with the Calgary chapter of USask Alumni as vice president of the events planning committee. She says this event space is the perfect addition for the group looking to extend their options for Calgary alumni.
“As an alumna, it makes me happy to have it here and I can think of a million events that can bring people there. It’s a more purposeful way to connect,” she says.
If you have any questions regarding the new Calgary Hub, please contact USask at email@example.com.