On May 14, the main floor space in MacEwan University’s Robbins Health Learning Centre was dedicated in honour of Dr. Paul Byrne.
The newly named Paul Byrne Hall in the Heart of the Robbins recognizes the president emeritus’s many contributions to MacEwan, and makes way for the former Paul Byrne Hall (on the westernmost side of the Robbins Health Learning Centre) to become the home for a new home for kihêw waciston, the university’s Indigenous centre.
“Dr. Byrne served as president of MacEwan for nearly 15 years – from 1996 to 2011 – so I know he appreciates and understands the growth and change that come with a young and evolving post-secondary institution,” says Dr. Deborah Saucier, the university’s current president. “We are grateful for Dr. Byrne’s openness to us finding a new way to honour his dedication to MacEwan, and we are thrilled to acknowledge his many contributions with a space that includes the word ‘heart’ in its name.”
Dr. Paul Byrne speaks to guests at a gathering on May 14 to rename the main floor space in the Robbins Health Learning Centre in his honour.
About Paul Byrne
Dr. Byrne first came to MacEwan in 1977 and over the following 12 years was chair of the Communications program, director of the Cromdale Campus and dean of business. Respected by his colleagues, he was also well-known for his personable nature, and his belief in and respect for people, their abilities and their potential.
In late 1996, Dr. Byrne returned to MacEwan as president and in the nearly 15 years that followed, he oversaw an incredible amount of growth at the institution. MacEwan’s operating budget more than tripled, its student body grew from 6,390 students to 11,260 students, and its campus expanded (MacEwan Residence and the Robbins Health Learning Centre were both built during that time). The institution also received degree-granting status and began its transition to a university.
Even as MacEwan grew at an unprecedented rate, Dr. Byrne’s commitment to and focus on students never wavered. He believed MacEwan’s special culture came from working together for the success of students – that the very soul of this institution is rooted in faculty and staff coming together with the best interests of the students at heart.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.