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Home About SAIT News & Events Celebrate 100 years with SAIT

Celebrate 100 years with SAIT

To call them humble beginnings is an understatement. Just 11 students walked through the doors on Oct. 16, 1916, greeted by seven instructors ready to teach them about auto mechanics and metalworking.

Back then, we were called PITA — the Provincial Institute for Technology and Art — and from the first day, hands-on, action-based learning was at the core of instruction. It is still what sets the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) apart today.

Growth was swift for the institute. Within two weeks, 370 students were enrolled. Soon, PITA was retraining so many soldiers returning from the First World War that civilian instruction was suspended for two years. In 1918, PITA also became a hospital facility for a short time to treat victims of the worldwide influenza pandemic.

Read more about our fascinating past.

A group photograph taken in 1918 in front of the Colonel Walker School of students of the Tractor and Automotive Class at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art.

A group photograph taken in 1918 in front of the Colonel Walker School of students of the Tractor and Automotive Class at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art.

Celebrating history, preparing for the future

Fast-forward through decades of innovative education and the launching of great careers. Now we find ourselves on the eve of our 100th birthday, proud of the past and anticipating what is to come. SAIT President and CEO, Dr. David Ross, is eager to usher in our new century of education.

"I feel tremendous pride to be at SAIT at this important time," says Ross.

"We are absolutely celebrating our past, but even more importantly, we're welcoming our future. SAIT is a post-secondary that steps up to meet the changing needs of the economy. A place where students receive the education, skills and tools they need to be successful. Where we provide outstanding facilities, learning tools and engaged instructors. That will continue to be the case as we embark on the next 100 years."

Ross adds that the entire Calgary community is encouraged to attend the birthday celebration on Sunday, Oct. 16.

"Come celebrate this special day with us."

Saturday, Oct. 15

The birthday celebration weekend kicks off Saturday with Alumni Day. This is a chance for all graduates of the past to come back home for a pre-centennial party that honours them. After all, SAIT views its alumni as its greatest accomplishment.

4 pm Family-friendly tailgating. You'll find carnival activities, games and face painting.
6 pm Head to the SAIT arena and show your Trojan pride: SAIT takes on NAIT Ooks for Alberta ice supremacy.
7 pm Alumni reunion mixer — listen to dueling pianos and catch up with old friends as you reminisce about your time at SAIT.

Sunday, Oct. 16

Everyone is invited to the main event that celebrates precisely 100 years of learning.

Noon The day kicks off with a barbecue lunch for the first 2,500 guests
1 - 4 pm Family fun zone, campus tours, speaker series, 100 Years of Wings and Wheels - a car, truck and helicopter show
1:30 pm Time capsule unveiling
2 pm Meet SAIT's oldest alumni - 101-year-old Clarence Hollingworth 
3 pm Cake cutting - the giant birthday cake will feed 2,500
6 pm Performance by Dan Mangan, Juno award-winning artist 
7 pm Stampede Showband
7:16 pm Or, 19:16 - fireworks finale, set to music

RSVP to SAIT's centennial celebrations

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