Mount Royal University named prominent Calgary business leader Dawn Farrell as its first chancellor on Monday.
As the ceremonial head of the university, she will preside over formal occasions such as convocation and further connect Mount Royal with the community in order to serve a vibrant economy, environment and society, said the school in making the announcement.
“We were looking for an individual who had a distinguished reputation in their profession, a track record of community service and a passion for higher education. Dawn more than fit that bill,” said Mount Royal’s board chair Alex Pourbaix, president and chief executive officer of Cenovus Energy.
Farrell has been the president and chief executive officer of TransAlta Corporation since January 2010. With 30 years in the electricity industry, she has held senior management positions at TransAlta and BC Hydro and sits on the board of directors of The Chemours Company, the Conference Board of Canada and the Business Council of Canada, where she advocates for women in business, said Mount Royal.
It said her community service includes contributing to the United Way Calgary and Area and the Calgary Stampede, in addition to being a member of the Trilateral Commission — a non-governmental and policy-oriented forum that brings together global leaders in business, government and academia.
“I’ve seen such tremendous change over my career and the most positive and momentous outcomes were achieved when business, community, government and education worked together,” said Farrell. “When Mount Royal described the chancellor position as one that uses connections to contribute to a strong future for Calgarians and Albertans, I was on board.
“The faculty at Mount Royal take the time to turn students into citizens for our future. Students graduate from MRU ready to work and ready to be critical thinkers. Mount Royal educates, and it’s educated people that we need to run our economy.”
View a video of Dawn Farrell talking about her new role as chancellor.