News and Events

On Campus: Random Act of History

March 18, 2015
Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in "On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

With the college’s 50th anniversary year coming fast we’re finding moments now and then to look back at the history of the college.

I’m finding a certain amount of fun in simply grabbing old yearbooks from the shelves in the Vera Bracken Library and getting a feel for what happened on campus in days gone by.

My first observation: we don’t do yearbooks anymore! My second observation: my department has signed out all the yearbooks so wait a few days if you want to take a look yourself.

At the moment I’m truly enjoying the cover art from the 1970 edition. Today, that design would be described as retro. In 1970, the shaped, flowing text design would have been right at the leading edge.

My favorite image in the book is on page 26. There’s a group called “The Poppy Family” on stage. One of the guitarists has a bushy afro. The female singer is wearing a mini skirt and though the image is in black and white, the vibrant patterns in the fabric had be matched by 70s color.

A quick flip to the 1982-83 edition highlights what has been recorded as, “A Unique Year.” It was Medicine Hat’s 100th birthday, and the college was celebrating the new trades building. And to quote the yearbook, “New friends are met and relationships soar.”

Things that remain the same form 1982: we still have an Education Undergrad Society, and the Visual Communications program still showcases student talent.

Things that are different: we don’t have a hockey team. But it is interesting to note that the hockey team was known as the Rattlers, while other teams were named the Antelopes and Kudos. A transition must have been underway.

Going back further in time, the 1966 edition of the year book carries a nice image, spread over two pages, showcasing the “campus.” What it shows, in fact, is an aerial image of Medicine Hat High School, the college’s home for a few years. Oh, we were also known as Medicine Hat Junior College back then.

I rather like the Dean’s Message. Neville O. Matthews wrote, “We are again reminded that buildings in themselves do not constitute an institution – for the buildings were here long before the College came into existence. But when young men and women came together and met with instructors in the spirit of inquiry to seek knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills, an institution of learning was born.”

What was created in 1966 still exists today.

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