I Was There: A Century of Alumni Stories about the University of Alberta, 1906–2006
In the words of author Ellen Schoeck: I Was There is for anyone who loves the University of Alberta. It is a simple book of stories from alumni. They will tell you why they decided to come to university, what everyday was like for them, and where their degrees took them after graduation. You will also hear stories told by a handful of professors who were at the U of A in the early days. These first professors were pioneers in education who came from revered and established universities to take a chance on a university that only had a name - the University of Alberta. They came west to a university that had no students, staff or buildings. All that existed was a piece of paper, an act of the Legislature, passed on May 9, 1906, called the University Act. But it was people - students, faculty and staff - who brought that piece of legislation to life. This is a documentary account of their stories - stories that pluck the University's history down from the bookshelf, and make it live all over again. 1908 and you'll be with her as she fails English, her major, twice, under the scrutiny of the inspiring but unrelenting taskmaster, Dr. Broadus. Then, in 1927, you will be tossed off the roof of Athabasca Hall with Hugh Morrison (BA '30) during freshman initiation. Three decades later, long-time U of A Registrar Brian Silzer (BSc '69, Dip(Ed) '71, MEd '78) will describe what happened after he and his buddies dropped a bowling ball from the roof of their undergraduate residence, St. Stephen's College. Along the way you will meet teachers, actors, a famous pilot, physicists, researchers, military personnel, journalists, politicians, linguists, diplomats, public servants, a spy, engineers, and playwrights. You'll even meet a ghost or two.
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