The Short List

Your Guide to UCalgary Alumni Events and Programs


Helen Sunderland, BMus’87, MBA’92

Editor’s Note: The Short List is a new monthly column dedicated to the events we hope will raise the roof. Each column will be penned by a UCalgary Alumni champion whose eclectic interests will be reflected in their piece. We launch our first Short List with a column by our UCalgary Alumni Association president and chair: Helen Sunderland.

Helen Sunderland, BMus'87, MBA'92

Helen Sunderland

Welcome to 2020 and to the UCalgary Alumni Association (UCAA) sparkling new board page! I’m Helen Sunderland, your president and chair of the board of directors. You may have seen my article in UCalgary Alumni magazine last fall, where I spoke of my background and my passion for giving back to our alma mater. 

This is the first installment of UCAA board members’ top picks to appear in this monthly newsletter. It’s a chance for you to get to know us better and an opportunity for us to share what’s on our minds and what the Alumni Association has been doing.

As I shared in my magazine column, I’m a double alumna from UCalgary, holding both an undergraduate degree in music and an MBA. Even though I’ve spent most of my career in the software industry, I still have a great passion for the arts. I especially enjoy the winter season in Calgary for arts activities — whether it’s live theatre, opera, dance, symphonic or choral concerts, art exhibits — and now is precisely the time to get out and see what’s going on in the UCalgary community and beyond.

I’m personally planning on attending a number of arts events in Calgary over the next few months and, in particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the Calgary Philharmonic concert on Friday, March 6 (also on Saturday, March 7). Our very own distinguished alumna, Dr. Kelly-Marie Murphy, who also happens to be a classmate of mine, has been commissioned to write a new orchestral piece that will be performed by the CPO that weekend. Save the date for March 6 and stay tuned for a casual alumni event to celebrate at the CPO with other UCalgary alumni.

Dinos' men's hockey

Photo by David Moll

And, of course, there are many sporting activities that I intend to attend. Kick off 2020 by cheering on our UCalgary Dinos at the Crowchild Classic, the annual women’s and men’s hockey showdown with crosstown rival Mount Royal University — on at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 30. I’ve attended a number of times in the past and this event always a provides a good time with a spirited rivalry between the schools — I highly recommend it.

And, why not come out two days later for the inaugural “Alumni Battle of Alberta?” Support the Dino’s Women and Men’s Basketball teams against rivals, the University of Alberta Pandas and Golden Bears, on Feb. 1 and enjoy an exclusive alumni ticket offer for the whole family.

Let’s not forget our careers! I’m also planning to attend the Grow Your Career Conference on Feb. 1 (lots going on with the basketball battle on the same day)! This is an opportunity to take a Saturday for yourself and your career. There will be multiple speakers to inspire you, whether you’re just starting out, looking for a career change, or thinking about refreshing what you’re already doing. 

With so much going on in Calgary, on and off campus, there is no shortage of activities to participate in. I’m hoping to see you out at these events. Please come and introduce yourself!

Wishing you a marvelous start to a new year and a new decade.