Augustana Campus bids a fond farewell to its longtime dean

(Camrose) On April 26, the Augustana Campus community said goodbye to retiring dean Roger Epp.

Senior university administration, representatives from municipal and provincial governments and residents from the city of Camrose gathered to celebrate the professor of 21 years and leader of the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus for the past eight. Epp’s term as dean expires June 30; he will turn to a new career in the political science department on the U of A’s North Campus.

“I was privileged to lead the campus through a period of tremendous change,” said Epp, “but none of this is a solo act.”

Augustana Student Association president Sam Whittleton hosted the Spring Soiree event, which included several of Epp’s colleagues in university and government, who offered their thanks for his leadership. U of A Board of Governors Chair Brian Heidecker stated that Augustana is leading the way—with tremendous momentum—into the future, thanks in part to Epp’s leadership.

University Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Carl Amrhein spoke at length about Epp’s achievements and his impact on the institutions and communities around him. In recognition for his work and commitment, Amrhein announced, the University of Alberta named the new Forum boardroom, “The Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room.” A painting created by his wife, Rhonda Harder-Epp, will hang inside.

Camrose Mayor Marshall Chalmers and Bill Elliot, mayor of Wetaskiwin—who convened a regular city council meeting early so that his entire council could attend the farewell—thanked Epp for his tireless advocacy. Hobbema resident and former student Bruce Cutknife brought a gift from the Maskwachees Cultural College: a blanket, named “Big Medicine,” in thanks of Epp’s efforts in reaching out to the Aboriginal community. Yvonne Becker thanked Epp on behalf of her colleagues at Augustana Campus for his unusual levels of skillfulness and selflessness, and for creating and sharing a vision that encompassed everyone as participants. “You didn’t just build buildings,” she said; “you made them home for us.”

“Under his leadership,” said Marc Arnal, dean of Campus Saint-Jean, “the campus has grown in so many ways and had a transformative effect on the university as a whole.”