News and notes


Lethbridge College kicks off a celebration of its 60th anniversary

Lethbridge College kicked off a 60-week celebration of its 60th anniversary on Nov. 1 by announcing its Possibilities are Endless campaign exceeded its goal by more than 10 per cent, raising $27.8 million in private donations for college building projects, student awards and new programming. The campaign is the largest in the college’s history and one of the largest ever undertaken in southern Alberta.

“We couldn’t be prouder of every single person involved in this campaign, or more thankful to the community that supported us to not only meet, but exceed, this ambitious target,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “This was a true community effort that has already paid benefits for the college and its students, and will continue to do so well into the future.”

Lethbridge College embarked on its most ambitious fundraising campaign nearly a decade ago, with the plan to raise a total of $103 million – including at least $25 million from private donations –to support the following innovative and essential college initiatives:

  • renewing the college’s aging trades and technologies facilities
  • supporting the environmentally-innovative Kodiak House residence
  • reimagining the college’s library and learning space
  • increasing access to student awards
  • focusing on emerging priorities in programming excellence

During the course of the campaign, which went public in 2013, these five priorities have served as long-term economic drivers for the community, promoted industry partnerships and helped to develop a skilled workforce.

“Our campaign co-chairs – Keith Dys and Glenn Varzari – were admittedly skeptical about our $25 million target initially,” says Joyanne Mitchell, manager, Development and Alumni Relations. “But once they committed, their positivity led a tireless effort from the entire campaign cabinet that resulted in this unprecedented level of public support for the college.”

College staff, students, donors, community partners and alumni gathered in Centre Core for the anniversary kickoff and announcement, – which came with balloons spilling into the room and cake cut by the college’s longest-serving staff members. Speakers focused on the college’s proud beginning as Canada’s first publicly-funded community college in 1957 and the people and partnerships who have made the college what it is today.

As the college celebrates its vision of leading and transforming education in Alberta during these 60 weeks, it will pay tribute to the visionary founders who in 1957 created Canada’s first publicly-funded community college. During this anniversary year, the college will also celebrate its residency on traditional Blackfoot territory, its commitment to Indigenous education and its work to improve its practices to better serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. Finally, as part of the anniversary year, the college will celebrate its role in and contributions to the community.

More information on the college’s 60th anniversary can be found at


Deltec Power provides a spark to college with $200,000 gift

Deltec Power and Control Systems Ltd. announced in September a $200,000 gift to benefit skilled trades and technologies training at Lethbridge College. A long-time industry leader, Deltec is once again showing the way, becoming the first electrical contractor to financially support the college’s new trades and technologies facility.

“We see this as an investment in the current and future tradespeople needed in southern Alberta and throughout our province,” says Al deBoer, co-owner and president of Deltec Power. “As a local, family-owned business, we are proud to be part of the Possibilities are Endless campaign as we feel it is important to assist the next wave of apprentices in learning their trade.”

The gift will lead to the creation of the Deltec Power Electrical Lab, a state-of-the-art learning environment that will be located in phase two of Lethbridge College’s trades and technologies facility. Electrician Apprenticeship training is one of five programs that will move into the second phase of the facility, which is scheduled to open in August 2017.

A Lethbridge-based company, Deltec Power opened in 1994 and is co-owned by three members of the deBoer family – brothers Al and Dave, and Al’s wife, Gina. Al deBoer took part of his electrical apprenticeship training at the college, and completed his training at SAIT before the college offered the full four-year apprenticeship program. Dave deBoer took all of his electrician training at Lethbridge College, graduating in 1991. Their company is now one of the largest electrical contracting businesses in the city, employing approximately 50 journeymen and apprentice electricians, while also operating an office in Calgary. The company prides itself on providing high-quality commercial and industrial service across western Canada.

“The new, state-of-the-art facility at the college will provide our employees with the required advanced technical training,” says deBoer. “Couple that with our internal, on-the-job training, and we will be able to continue to turn out highly skilled tradespeople in our company.”

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