Faculty and staff celebrated for their years of service
The 1970s and 80s were filled with change for the college that would eventually become MacEwan University, and many of the people being celebrated at the Career Milestones event on May 17 were there to see it all happen firsthand.
This week, we are celebrating 87 faculty and staff members being recognized for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45 years of service, or their retirement. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to each of them.
Rossana Bonanni is marking 40 years of service. Here is part of her story.
I came to Canada from Italy with my husband in 1972. When you come from a different country, you have to learn a new language, a new culture and everything. I started working at MacEwan in March 1977 when my kids were small. I thought I wouldn’t stay too long – maybe a couple of years – but I’ve been here ever since.
I loved it back when Dr. MacEwan was alive, and he used to come every year. I even have a picture with him. He was amazing. He would talk about making the place better than it was when you found it. Kind of like how this school has grown and changed over the years. Education was important to him. It’s important to me too.
In 1981 I decided to take some English classes. I would get up in the morning at 6, get my kids ready for school, get myself to class at 9, come home at 2 to get the kids from school, prepare supper and then go back to MacEwan again to work. I did that for three years. Eventually I finished my English classes, but it was busy with my family and working full time so didn’t go any further. Looking back, I wish I had continued my education.
So my theory with my sons was that if I couldn’t finish my school, then my kids would. I always said there was no way I would let them slack off. Now my oldest son is a commercial banker, my second son is a computer programmer and my youngest son is a doctor. I’m very happy that they finished their education and are doing so well.
I’m part of the team that takes care of the facilities at MacEwan, and I maintain Buildings 5 and 6. I like working in a school. I like that it’s busy and I get to see people every day. Sometimes if I miss a day of work, people ask me where I was. Other times, students talk to me and then make a point of stopping to say hello on their way to class. That feels good.
I’m happy to be here. I’m not ready to retire, for now.
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.