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SAIT honours students, industry with annual President's Awards

SAIT President and CEO, Dr. David Ross presented awards to partners, industry and students during the annual President's Dinner on March 7, 2019. The 2019 Cornersone Award recognizes Keith MacPhail, the namesake of SAIT's MacPhail School of Energy. The President's Partnership Award recognizes Brookfield Residential for their longtime suppor of SAIT and leadership in the construction industry. SAIT's Enactus Club received the 2019 President's Student Leadership Award and Sara Land, a student in SAIT's School of Business received the President's Medal for academic achievement.

Keith MacPhail, the namesake of SAIT's MacPhail School of Energy, received the Cornerstone Award at the annual President's Dinner on Thursday, March 7.

SAIT President and CEO, Dr. David Ross presented MacPhail (PT '81) with the award.

"Keith has made his mark on the energy industry locally, nationally and internationally. He is a member of both the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and Alberta Business Hall of Fame," said Dr. Ross. "And he laid the foundation for an undertaking that redefined SAIT, his alma mater. He helped us reimagine a new modern campus and a new home for our school of energy — the MacPhail School of Energy."  

A toast to partnerships

As chair of the cabinet for the Promising Futures campaign, MacPhail was instrumental in helping SAIT raise over $117 million to build SAIT's Trades and Technology Complex, the largest expansion in the campus's history.

"I am so proud to have been able to play a small role in the transformation and evolution of this institution," says MacPhail. "SAIT holds a very special place in my heart. Thank you very much for the prestigious award."

Former recipients of the award include two Calgary entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Clayton Carroll and John Aldred, and Dr. James C. Miller, the first principal of the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art which became SAIT.

Brookfield Residential received the President's Partnership Award for its longtime support of SAIT and its leadership in the construction industry.

Student leadership

Dr. Ross also presented awards to SAIT students including the President's Student Leadership Award to SAIT's Enactus club for its accomplishments on a number of entrepreneurial and environmental projects. And Sara Land, a student in SAIT's Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing program, received the President's Medal for her community spirit, volunteerism and academic achievement.


A lively auction-style fundraiser was held to raise support for two priority SAIT funds: the Culinary Competitions Fund and the SAIT Camps Bursary Fund.

A final total of $55,800 was raised, including $35,400 for the Culinary Competitions Fund and  $20,400 for the SAIT Camps Bursary Fund. 

Investing in the future

The 300 invited guests, including corporate and individual supporters, were treated to a gourmet meal prepared and served by Hospitality and Tourism students and their world-class chef instructors.

Dr. Ross brought the audience up to date on how SAIT is adapting applied education to radical changes in the workforce.

"Currently in Canada and around the world, there's an increasing need to provide access to traditional credential programs, but also innovative options for rapid skills training. Digital technologies are transforming teaching and learning practices with online educational resources and virtual reality provides flexible and immersive experiences for students."

Dr. Ross also pointed out that a gift to SAIT is an investment in the future.

"I want you to think of SAIT as your business partner — educating the employees you will hire, training them and providing applied research services that will help you innovate — and a trusted social investment for your philanthropic contributions."