Disgruntled to distinguished

By Patrick Boyle

Some of the University of Calgary’s most distinguished academics gathered to welcome Preston Manning, the founder of the Reform Party of Canada, to his position as Distinguished Visitor at the U of C.

Manning assumed the mantle of Distinguished Visitor on Mon., Feb. 11, during a reception at the Rosza Centre. As a Distinguished Visitor, the former leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will spend three months per year on campus meeting with students through lectures, classroom visits and interactions with graduate students studying public policy.

"We are delighted to have Mr. Manning join us at the U of C as a distinguished visitor," said President Dr. Harvey Weingarten. "Today’s events are the result of a collaborative effort between the Faculty of Social Sciences, Information Resources, and the Faculty of Communication and Culture. This is the kind of cross-disciplinary teamwork necessary to enhance scholarship at the U of C."

Monday’s events also served to recognize the Reform Party’s donation of its documents to the U of C archives. The papers, which will be readily available to any interested students, promise to spark new and exciting research in various fields including Canadian Studies and Communications.

"The Information Resources family is happy to accept these archives," said Dr. Frits Pannekoek, IR Director. "We hope that this will trigger the donation of other such records and attract new individuals who wish to study the materials. Certainly, the documents will by increasingly used by scholars and students for generations to come. As the saying goes, archives are forever."

Manning expressed delight with the appointment and demonstrated a genuine interest in the use of the Reform Party documents to expand the horizons of the academic community.

He emphasized the donation would not have been possible without the work of Reform Party volunteer Erna MacDonald and her commitment to the ordered preservation of party documents.

Clearly pleased to have the opportunity to work with academic and anxious to delve into the arena of political theory, Manning expressed an interest in addressing several issues which became important to him during his time in politics.

"I am deeply honoured by this appointment and I am looking forward to seeking answers to a number of questions," said Manning. "Firstly, what needs to be done to revitalize democracy in Canada? Secondly, how can we optimize the interface between Canadian politicians and the scientific community?"

Manning will deliver a series of three public lectures per year. Dates and topics have not yet been determined.

The Reform Party archives will be fully indexed and available by April 2002 on the 12th floor of MacKimmie Library Tower.

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