2023: The year as told through SAIT's top alumni and donor moments

collage of photos with 2023 overlayed

The SAIT community has moments of achievement, success and inspiration every day. Thanks to the incredible work and dedication from our alumni, donors and partners, 2023 had a lot of these days to celebrate.

SAIT graduates (and main campus) helped bring to life one of the most anticipated television shows of the year, significant milestones were reached between industry partners and SAIT, new donor-supported, future-focused programming and technology was unveiled, and we honoured Indigenous achievement at our first Indigenous Convocation Ceremony. All that in one year! 2023 was exceptional and we’ve got lots to look forward to in 2024.

Honouring alumni and their achievements

Convocations and honour ceremonies

Indigenous grad being honoured with blanket ceremony

Few moments at SAIT felt as celebratory as convocation. With welcoming over 6,000 new graduates to the SAIT Alumni Family in 2023 across not two, but three conferrals (Winter, Spring and Fall)!

As part of SAIT's path of truth and reconciliation, SAIT held its first of many ceremonies steeped in Indigenous cultures and traditions to honour our First Nations, Métis and Inuit graduates and their achievements. 

Elder Rod Scout with the Blackfoot Confederacy also received an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration for his long-standing connection with SAIT and Natoysopoyiis — SAIT's newly named Indigenous student resource centre. 

SAIT alumni “endure and thrive”

group photo of people backstage

At the beginning of 2023, the combined efforts of countless SAIT graduates from across disciplines were experienced as fans worldwide tuned in to watch the premier of HBO’s The Last of Us (TLOU) — a TV series set in a post-apocalyptic America, adapted from the action-adventure video game, and filmed on locations province-wide.

2023 SAIT Alumni Awards

In November, the 2023 SAIT Alumni Awards honoured five members of the SAIT community who are each an opportunity maker. They’ve turned tragedy into community, used AI to help protect the planet and built spaces to unite people. This year, two new awards — the International Impact Alumni Award and the Clarence Hollingworth Alumni Employee Award of Excellence — were presented to two graduates making a difference from across the Atlantic and right here on campus.

View more alumni achievements in our Spring (page 45) and Fall (pages 36, 37 and 39) issues of LINK magazine.

Partnerships and community

Students charge into the future with gift from RBC

Female automotive student working on car

A gift from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was made in March to support SAIT students in two ways: accelerating electric vehicle training readiness and pathways for youth entering the trades; to connect students with potential employers from various automotive fields. Read more to learn how SAIT and RBC’s partnership are helping to drive the future of industries forward

SAIT launches Canada’s first remotely-piloted aviation training centre

three women posing in front of heavy-lift, long-range drone

In early April, SAIT announced the launch of Canada’s first remotely-piloted aviation training centre — an expansion within SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS). Through academic partnerships, SAIT collaborated with manufacturers and aviation regulatory agencies to provide advanced training and certification for RPAS with pay load capacities of 25 kilograms or more.

At the heart of the training centre’s launch are three SAIT graduates whose careers are taking off as leaders in their industries in Canada. Stephanie Lapointe (BGIS ’17), Sara Ashoori (BGIS ’20) and Bryanna Paquette (Pro Remotely Piloted AC System ’21) were recognized as the first female flight instructors for heavy-lift, long-range drones in Canada.

$1M dream to support Métis students comes true at SAIT

close up of Métis sash

In 2019, a goal was made to raise $950,000 over 10 years to support Métis students' success. Within four years, the goal has been surpassed and indicates how important this initiative is in removing financial obstacles and improving the quality of life for Métis students and their families. Learn more about how contributions from the Rupertsland Institute and SAIT’s generous community will be felt far into the future and will support a vibrant and strong Métis Nation.

Spartan Control pushes SAIT programming forward faster

group of students

SAIT and Spartan Controls celebrated a renewed 10-year partnership and a $1.58 million gift in September. The investment will support accelerating instrumentation and automation programming within SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy and enhance innovative collaboration with the School for Advanced Digital Technology, further developing tomorrow’s industrial automation talent today to keep pace with industry on a global scale.

Art Smith Aero Centre receives new equipment for students

people standing in front of flight compartment and helicopter

As SAIT’s aviation programming offered through the School of Transportation continues to grow and expand its enrolment to meet industry needs, so has the need for equipment to enhance hands-on learning for students. In October, SAIT celebrated two gifts to the School of Transportation — a 1975 Bell 205 MSN 1682 Helicopter from Eagle Copters and a Jetstream 41 aircraft flight compartment from Marty Abbot, a former Royal Canadian Airforce pilot.

Empowering students for a brighter tomorrow on Giving Day

male students holding thank you signs

Giving Day at SAIT has always been about community. This year, the SAIT community — students, alumni, donors and employees — demonstrated the power of generosity to help create a future that is better, inclusive, innovative and full of community spirit for the next generation of students.  Inspired by this year’s theme to help a student grow, donor generosity smashed the target goal of $130,000 and raised more than $143,000!

Addressing student food security through campus collaboration

two women with purple tote bags

From food to housing to tuition, costs have increased everywhere. Often, the first area students will cut their already depleted budget further is food. In response, a food security pilot project created in partnership with SAIT, Saitsa (SAIT Students’ Association), and the Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation is creating a framework to integrate campus resources, raise awareness, and improve students' access to assistance. Learn more about the pilot project and the Ptarmigan Foundations gift to improve student food security. 

What we’re looking forward to

TD Insurance Meloche Monnex (TDIMM) and SAIT celebrate 30 years of partnership

graphic of two people and other items

For 30 years, TDIMM has been a long-time and proud champion of SAIT graduates.  From offering competitive rates on home, auto, travel and small business insurance to alumni-exclusive awards to sponsoring alumni-centric programs and events, the partnership has directly impacted the lives of SAIT graduates. Learn more about how this affinity partnership benefits alumni long after graduating from SAIT.

Campus Centre Redevelopment Project

Rendering of new SAIT Campus Centre

The vision for the new Campus Centre is set to be the cornerstone of campus life, bringing together services supporting student success and building community. The latest update (Nov. 2, 2023) gives us a peek at the preliminary renderings of the exterior design concept for the new Campus Centre building. 

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.