New fund honouring former provost Carl Amrhein will help Aboriginal students

New student fund will enhance Aboriginal teaching and learning experiences, and increase culturally based programs.


Former provost and vice-president (academic) Carl Amrhein was celebrated for his numerous contributions to the U of A over 12 years at Edmonton’s Hotel Macdonald Wednesday night. This tribute video was screened in his honour.

(Edmonton) A new fund has been established at the University of Alberta to provide more scholarships, bursaries and awards for Aboriginal students. It will also enhance Aboriginal teaching and learning experiences and enable more programming to support the traditional and spiritual aspects of Aboriginal life.

The Carl Amrhein Aboriginal Student Fund—which has already raised more than $500,000—was announced Wednesday at an event to celebrate Amrhein’s contributions to the U of A as provost and vice-president (academic) over the past 12 years, during which he was a passionate advocate, consultant, counsellor and friend to the Aboriginal community.

“For me, (Aboriginal engagement) is the place where we have come very far, but it’s also the place where we have an enormous distance yet to go,” says Amrhein. “Alberta and Canada will be successful if, and only if, we can provide a safe, respectful and honourable welcoming place for Aboriginal learners.”

More than 1,000 Aboriginal students from across the country attend the U of A, which offers 34 different awards, scholarships and bursaries to Aboriginal students.

Amrhein is currently serving as chief administrator of Alberta Health Services until the end of June under Health Minister Stephen Mandel. He then plans to continue a “blended career” doing research for the Conference Board of Canada, teaching and doing research for the U of A’s Faculty of Science and continuing some work with the Alberta government.

“I will remain a professor at the University of Alberta,” he announced in a letter to the U of A community late last year.