Receiving the largest personal gift ever to an Alberta college or technical institution is certainly a highlight from the 2010s for Olds College. As the new decade begins, Olds College is in the second year of a seven year strategic plan.
The past decade for Olds College included the local post-secondary institution's centennial celebrations in 2013.
That year Olds College also welcomed over 500 international guests to town for the 60th world plowing championships.
President Stuart Cullum says the decade started with the Community Learning Campus fully opening in 2010. He says it was a huge event and build for the community of Olds.
Cullum notes other important initiatives in the past decade include the opening of the Botanic Garden & Wetlands, the partnership with the Pomeroy Inn & Suities to bring a hotel - which serves as the home for Olds College's brewery - to the campus, as well as the opening of the Centennial Village student residence.
He adds, they also received the largest personal gift ever to an Alberta college or technical institution - that occurred when David P. Werklund and his partner Susan Norman contributed a $16 million dollar donation during the 2017 Growing the Legacy Gala.
Cullum believes the amount of partnerships and donations they have been able to secure, shows that Olds College is on the right path.
Meanwhile, he says technology will be the word of the next decade for Olds College.
Cullum says the local post-secondary institution will be focused on infusing technology in its programming.
In the current economic climate, Cullum believes it is important for Olds College to continue to foster its entrepreneurial and innovative approach.
Cullum notes that Olds College intends to continue to focus on growth as it moves into the next decade.
He says they are in the second year of a seven year strategic plan.
Cullum adds, they have an objective to increase full time enrolment by over 50 per cent in the next seven years.
He says Olds College is also on track to double applied research activity within that strategic plan as well.
Cullum discusses how they are dealing with the provincial budget cuts which were announced by the Alberta government this fall.
He says the 3rd running of Olds College's Homestead Feast is coming up on April 13th and another great partner will be recognized at that event.
UFA was recognized in 2019 and the year before it was Mountain View County.