UAlberta elects new chancellor

(Edmonton) The University of Alberta Senate has elected Ralph B. Young, CEO of Melcor Developments, as its next chancellor, for a four-year term effective June 13. Young succeeds current chancellor Linda Hughes.

“I am honoured to be elected as chancellor of the University of Alberta. The university is one of the essential building blocks of a successful and productive society. It must speak to the needs of Albertans and provide vision and leadership in achieving its aspirations,” said Young.

“My commitment to education has been the most significant area of my life beyond my family and career. The U of A has been one of the most significant contributors to my life and my family’s life. I have a passion for the fundamental importance of education and as chancellor I am committed to uphold and enhance the mission of our university for the betterment of all of its stakeholders.”

As noted by one of Young’s nominators, “The University of Alberta and Ralph have parallel commitments to excellence in education, individual growth and development, dedication to the community, high standards of conduct, and openness to diverse and dynamic cultures and experiences. These will be strong attributes in his ability to chair the Senate to realize its mandate of community engagement and inquiry.”

According to U of A President Indira Samarasekera, “Ralph Young personifies the University of Alberta promise of uplifting the whole people through knowledge. He is a pillar of the community, and his knowledge of and passion for the university will make him a powerful advocate. I am delighted at his election and look forward to working with him in my role as vice-chancellor.”

Young’s involvement with and support of the U of A has both breadth and depth, beginning in his MBA days as a teaching assistant and president of the MBA Association. He has served the university in many capacities since:

  • Alumni Council School of Business representative
  • Board of Governors Alumni Council representative
  • University Senate Alumni Council representative
  • Donor related to business and Canadian history interests
  • School of Business: Alumni Association, Faculty Advisory Council, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, Alberta Business Family Institute, Business Advisory Council
  • President of the Alumni Association

A native of Saskatoon who has lived in Edmonton with his wife, Gay, since 1969 for all but two years, Young is a longtime active supporter of several local and regional organizations and causes beyond the U of A. He has served on the boards of directors or key committees for arts, health, sport, civic, professional, church and education organizations. Among them are the Edmonton Symphony Society, Citadel Theatre, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, Edmonton Eskimos, APEGA, Chamber of Commerce, Grant MacEwan, NAIT, and TELUS Community Board.

The chancellor serves as the honorary head of the university, chairs the university Senate, serves as a member of the board of governors, represents the university at all ceremonial occasions and presides over convocation to confer all degrees. The chancellor is a volunteer and acts as a liaison with the community. The Senate is an independent, 62-member advisory body of community leaders that examines, fosters and celebrates the achievements and excellence of the university.

Young earned his MBA from the University of Alberta (1973), BSc in civil engineering from University of Saskatchewan (1967) and executive training from Queen’s University (1996).

Lieutenant Governor Donald S. Ethell will install Young as chancellor at the 3 p.m. convocation ceremony June 13 in the Northern Jubilee Auditorium. In keeping with tradition, Young will give the keynote address as the newly installed chancellor.