University of Lethbridge

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University of Lethbridge
University of lethbridge logo.svg
MottoLatin: Fiat Lux
Motto in English
Let there be light
Established1967; 55 years ago (1967)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$73 million (2019)[1]
ChancellorCharles Weaselhead
PresidentMichael J. Mahon
ProvostErasmus Okine [2]
Academic staff
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1K 3M4

49°40′00″N 112°51′50″W / 49.66667°N 112.86389°W / 49.66667; -112.86389 (University of Lethbridge)Coordinates: 49°40′00″N 112°51′50″W / 49.66667°N 112.86389°W / 49.66667; -112.86389 (University of Lethbridge)
185 ha (1,850,000 m2)
ColoursBlue   and   Gold
Sporting affiliations
U Sports, CWUAA,
MascotLuxie — the pronghorn

The University of Lethbridge (also known as uLethbridge, uLeth, and U of L) is a public comprehensive and research higher education institution located in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, with a second campus in the city of Calgary, Alberta. It was founded in the liberal education tradition.


March in support of the University being located in west Lethbridge
University of Lethbridge - Circa 1972.

The University of Lethbridge welcomed 650 students when it first opened its doors in 1967. With the completion of University Hall in 1971, the University moved permanently to west Lethbridge with enrolment growing to over 1,200 students.[4] The current location of the University was chosen only after an intense community debate with the provincial government which wanted the University to be located in east Lethbridge. After the University's first convocation on May 18, 1968, more than 500 students, faculty and community members held a protest march in support of having the University located in west Lethbridge. Soon after, the government decided west Lethbridge would be the University's permanent location.[4]

University Hall was designed by the renowned architect Arthur Erickson and sits within the coulees above the Oldman River. University Hall was selected as one of four buildings to appear on a Canadian postage stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).[5]

Over the next half century, the student population has grown to 8,155 undergraduates and 640 graduate students as of 2019. The University now offers over 150 undergraduate degree programs in the Arts, Sciences, Management, Education, Heath Sciences and Fine Arts. Further, the University has added over 50 Masters and PhD programs.

On February 10th, 2022, the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association began its first ever legal strike action over issues such as working conditions, collegial governance, and equitable pay and benefits.[6] The strike concluded on March 23rd, with the Faculty Association voting 91% in favour of a new collective agreement with the University lasting through June 2024. [7]


Year 2000 to 2020

The University experienced tremendous growth in campus buildings during this period.



Also known as the LINC (Library Information Network Centre), was opened in 2001 after a 10-year fundraising campaign. It houses the library, numerous individual and group study spaces, and some of the best views on campus.

Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN)[edit]

The CCBN is home to Canada's first Department of Neuroscience, state-of-the-art labs, and has attracted world-class researchers, including: Dr. Bryan Kolb and Dr. Bruce McNaughton.[citation needed]

1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport & Wellness[edit]

The 1st Choice Savings Centre has become a hub of activity on campus and includes the following facilities:

1st Choice Savings Centre.
  • A triple gymnasium (2 hardwood floors and 1 synthetic surface), with retractable seating for 2000 spectators; suitable for hosting major sporting events as well as conferences and speaking engagements;
  • A 2,000 square foot main climbing wall;
  • A new expanded fitness centre along with a four-lane 200 metre indoor running track;
  • Multi-purpose studios for yoga, dance and fitness classes allow for more fitness programming for all ages; and,
  • Universal change rooms and expanded locker rooms with steam room.

Turcotte Hall[edit]

Opened in 2008, Turcotte Hall is home to the Faculty of Education, Counselling Services and the campus Physical Plant.[8]

Turcotte Hall - Faculty of Education.

Alberta Water and Environment Science Building[edit]

The Alberta Water and Environment Science Building (AWESB) was completed in 2008 and contains numerous sustainable features that helped it earn silver LEED certification. The AWESB houses many of the country's most accomplished water researchers and is home to the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments.[9]

Community Sports Stadium[edit]

The $12-million facility was constructed through a partnership between the City of Lethbridge and the University of Lethbridge, with additional funding provided by the Government of Alberta.[10] The Stadium includes:

  • One artificial grass, regulation size combination soccer/rugby/football field with lights;
  • One natural grass, regulation size soccer pitch;
  • A 400-metre, eight lane synthetic outdoor track; and,
  • Throwing areas, jumping pits and open spaces for various track and field events; grandstand stadium seating for 2000 spectator.[11]

Markin Hall[edit]

Trading room

Named after Dr. Alan Markin in recognition of his generous financial support of the building, Markin Hall is home to the Dhillon School of Business and the Faculty of Health Sciences.[12] The building includes the Centre for Financial Market Research and Teaching (“Trading Room”) which provides direct connections to global trading markets, giving students hands-on experience with equities trading and risk management. Also has the Simulation Health Centre, which has patient simulators for the Health Sciences students. Students can engage in clinical practice on life like mannequins which can simulate body functions in a realistic setting set up to imitate a hospital.[13]

Science Commons[edit]

The most recent development at the University of Lethbridge is the "Destination Project", the first phase of which was a new $280M 38,500 square metres (414,000 sq ft) science and academic building, known as Science Commons. This facility, officially opened in September 2019,[14] features laboratory and teaching facilities, as well as "outreach" and "maker" spaces. The Science Commons houses over 100 faculty researchers in physics, astronomy, chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences, neuroscience, and psychology.[citation needed][15] In 2018, it was shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival[16]


The president of the University of Lethbridge, Mike Mahon, is in his second term and has led the institution since July 1, 2010. Mahon, who previously held the role of the dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, is also the chair of the Board of Universities Canada.


The University of Lethbridge offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees in four faculties and three schools, as described below.

The university is accredited under Alberta's Post-Secondary Learning Act[17] and is considered a "comprehensive academic and research university" (CARU), which means offer a range of academic and professional programs that generally lead to undergraduate and graduate level credentials, and have a strong research focus.[18]

Aboriginal student programs[edit]

The University of Lethbridge provides special first-year bridging programs for Aboriginal students. The University of Lethbridge's Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program with Red Crow Community College was developed in partnership with specific Aboriginal communities to meet specific needs within Aboriginal communities.[19]


The University of Lethbridge is a research-intensive university, named "Research University of the Year" in the undergraduate category in 2012, and consistently ranks highly in terms of TriCouncil funding, especially in the sciences, but increasingly in all fields of scholarly inquiry.[20] It is home to 60 research chairs, 8 Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, and 2 Order of Canada recipients.

The university is home to 15 centres and institutes, which transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, including the Alberta Gambling Research Institute (AGRI), Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI), Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC), Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN), Canadian Centre for Research in Advanced Fluorine Technologies (C-CRAFT), Centre for the Study of Scholarly Communication (CSSC), Centre for Culture and Community (CCC), Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT), Centre for Socially Responsible Marketing (CSRM), Health Services Quality Institute (HSQI), Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS), Institute for Space Imaging Science (ISIS), Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy, Small Business Institute (SBI), and Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE).

The university's infrastructure in the sciences and information technology is accessible to undergraduate students and the university is a provincial leader in terms of undergraduate involvement in publishable and translational faculty research and innovation.

Faculties and Schools[edit]

Students' Union building at University of Lethbridge

The University of Lethbridge offers over 150 degree programs. It has seven faculties and schools that administer its bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

  • Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dhillon School of Business
  • School of Graduate Studies
  • School of Liberal Education

The Faculty of Arts and Science offers nine pre-professional programs in dentistry, journalism, law, medicine, nutrition and food sciences, optometry, social work, and veterinary medicine, as well as an engineering transfer program, through which students take their first year at the University of Lethbridge before completing their degrees at the University of Alberta or the University of Saskatchewan.

The Agility program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched at the university in 2015. This program encourages transdisciplinary innovation, including social innovation, and will soon include a large makerspace in the new science and academic building to complement existing, specialized makerspaces. The university also partners with the Tecconnect centre for entrepreneurship and innovation (Economic Development Lethbridge), Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA), and other organizations to encourage the production of spinoffs and collaboration with industry.[citation needed]


University rankings
Global rankings
Times World[21]1200+
U.S News & World Report Global[22]1569
Canadian rankings
Times National[21]32
U.S News & World Report National[22]36
Maclean's Undergrad[23]6
Maclean's Reputation[24]37

The University of Lethbridge was ranked sixth in Canada in the primarily undergraduate university category for Maclean's 2022 university rankings.[23]


The university is represented in U Sports by the Lethbridge Pronghorns, formerly known as the Chinooks. They have men's and women's teams in basketball, judo, rugby union (women only), soccer, swimming, and track and field. The university formerly had men’s and women’s teams in volleyball (the men's team was cut in 1988, followed by the women in the early 1990s) and ice hockey (the men’s and women’s teams were simultaneously cut in April 2020),[25] the latter of whom played off-campus at the Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre owned by the City of Lethbridge.[26] The Pronghorns have won national championships in men's hockey (1994) and women's rugby (2007, 2008, 2009).[27] The university has an intramurals program.

The home gymnasium for the Pronghorns is the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport & Wellness which includes three full-size basketball courts, an indoor track field, a rock-climbing wall, and an exercise room. The construction was finished in 2006 and is open to the public on a membership basis.

An outdoor stadium in the southern campus opened in fall 2009. It is the home of the Pronghorns soccer teams and the women's rugby team.

Art gallery [edit]

The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery has one of the largest collections in Canada of 19th and 20th-century Canadian, American and European art, with over 13,000 pieces including drawing, print making, painting, photography, sculpture and installation.

The previous director, Jeffrey Spalding, spearheaded this nationally renowned art collection. Josephine Mills was appointed director/curator of the Art Gallery in 2001 and maintains a strong exhibition, publication, and research program.

The collection quickly outgrew available archiving and storage space, so a new building was completed in 1999 to house large works. Additional renovations were made in 2000 and 2003 to update a study area for the collection and an incoming/ outgoing art handling area.

In 2006, a comprehensive registration database was made available online of the University of Lethbridge collections.

Lineage and establishment[edit]

East-facing view of University Hall taken prior to the construction of the Science Commons building
Chancellor Term start Term end
Louis S. Turcotte 1968 1972
James Oshiro 1972 1975
Van E. Christou 1975 1979
Islay M. Arnold 1979 1983
William S. Russell 1983 1987
Keith V. Robin 1987 1991
Ingrid M. Speaker 1991 1995
Robert Hironaka 1995 1999
Jim Horsman 1999 2003
Shirley DeBow 2003 2007
Richard Davidson 2007 2011
Shirley McClellan 2011 2015
Janice Varzari 2015 2019
Charles Weaselhead 2019
President Term start Term end
Russell J. Leskiw (acting) 1967 1967
Sam Smith 1967 1972
William E. Beckel 1972 1979
John H. Woods 1979 1986
Gerald S. Kenyon (acting) 1986 1987
Howard E. Tennant 1987 2000
William H. Cade 2000 2010
Michael J. Mahon 2010 2023


Coat of arms of University of Lethbridge
University of Lethbridge Escutcheon.png
Granted 20 January 2012
Issuant from a circlet of wild roses, a closed book proper lying flat bound Azure its spine to the dexter resting thereon an open book proper bound Azure its sinister page surmounted by an eagle’s feather Proper.
Azure a sun in splendour Or within an orle Argent.
Dexter a pronghorn buck, sinister a mule deer doe, each holding a miner’s lamp and standing on a grassy base set with coulees, a rock and rough fescue Proper.
Fiat Lux

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Lethbridge Annual Report 2018-2019" (PDF). University of Lethbridge. 2018–2019.
  2. ^ "Provost and Vice-President (Academic): Erasmus Okine". University of Lethbridge. 2020.
  3. ^ a b "ulethbridge quick facts". University of Lethbridge. 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "History of U of L | University of Lethbridge". Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  5. ^ "University Hall Today | University of Lethbridge". Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  6. ^ "Negotiations Breakdown Between ULFA and University of Lethbridge Board of Governors – Strike Announcement – University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA)". Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  7. ^ "University of Lethbridge Faculty Strike Ends, Classes to Resume". Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  8. ^ "Celebrating Turcotte Hall | UNews". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  9. ^ "Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  10. ^ "University opens Community Sports Stadium |UNews". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  11. ^ "Community Sports Stadium | Sport & Recreation". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  12. ^ "Markin Hall". Celebrating 50 Years at the University of Lethbridge. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  13. ^ "Dhillon School of Business | University of Lethbridge". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  14. ^ "Big Bang Weekend: Science Building Grand Opening | University of Lethbridge". www.uleth. ca. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  15. ^ "ULeth Building Directory".
  16. ^ "Education-Future-Project". Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  17. ^ Government of Alberta (February 1, 2019). "Post-secondary learning act". Statutes of Alberta, 2003: Chapter P-19.5 – via Alberta Queen's Printer.
  18. ^ "Types of publicly-funded institutions". Government of Alberta. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "The University of Winnipeg" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  20. ^ "Research Universities of the Year 2012" (PDF). Research InfoSource. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  21. ^ a b "World University Rankings 2022". Times Higher Education. TES Global. 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Best Global Universities in Canada". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Canada's best Primarily Undergraduate universities: Rankings 2022". Maclean's. Rogers Media. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  24. ^ "Canada's best universities by reputation: Rankings 2022". Maclean's. Rogers Media. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Pronghorns players react after elimination of U of L hockey programs: 'People are devastated'". Global News. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  26. ^ "Nicholas Sheran Arena". City of Lethbridge, The. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  27. ^ "Championships - Women's Rugby". U Sports. Retrieved April 12, 2019.

External links[edit]