Celebrating multi-year milestones

May 16, 2019 | Campus Life

The close to 100 faculty and staff members who filled the newly named Paul Byrne Hall in the Heart of the Robbins for the university’s Career Milestones event the evening of May 16 have witnessed firsthand many of the special moments MacEwan University has marked in its 48-year history.

Heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to everyone being recognized for 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of service, or their retirement.

Carolyn Graber is marking 35 years of service at MacEwan. Here is part of her story.


My first few months at MacEwan in 1983 were a whirlwind. I was working with Tommy Banks, who was the chair of the music program, madly clicking away on my electric typewriter, enrolling everyone and devising schedules for the students who would arrive in September.

Some people might wonder how on Earth someone could do the same job for 35 years, but it’s never really felt like the same job to me. Each year is evolutionary, and every student brings something new.

I have seen the budding romances, exam pressures and knockout performances which create our students' best days and their worst. It’s always an honour to just say hello or to listen if they’re stressed or having a challenging day. It’s also such a joy to watch them grow, and to play a small part in helping them navigate through the program.

MacEwan’s Department of Music is a creative hotbed which makes for such a vibrant workplace, and which produces many of the finest music professionals in Edmonton and beyond.

When I sit in the theatre or the recital hall watching the students’ faces and listening to their performances, I usually have to dab a few tears. These events transport me to when I first met those students at their entrance auditions, and how scared and anxious they seemed. It’s thrilling to see the results of their hard work and how happy they are when they’re presenting. Often, I’ll catch the look of pride on their loved ones’ faces and feel so proud “for” all of them.

When I think about these rich decades, it’s the relationships and connections with the students, staff and faculty that stand out. MacEwan has been a huge part of my life. There were good old days, and these are good new days. I’m blessed and grateful to have experienced so many of them, and hope to be here for many more.

– Carolyn Graber, University Advisor, Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

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