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Mount Royal University was founded by Alberta provincial charter by the Arthur Sifton government on December 16, 1910 and officially opened on September 8, 1911. Originally "Mount Royal College", the institution was the brainchild of Calgary Reverend George Kirby (1873-1949) who sought an opportunity for higher education for the benefit of young people from rural homes in the area. The provincial charter as presented in the legislature by R. B. Bennett was titled "Bill 48, An Act respecting the Calgary College", however Premier Sifton, Kirby and others agreed not to use Calgary for the name of the new college.
Mount Royal became a post-secondary institution in 1931 as Mount Royal Junior College (MRC) offering transfer courses to the University of Alberta and later to the University of Calgary. In 1972 Mount Royal moved from several buildings in downtown Calgary to a new campus in Lincoln Park on land previously used as an air force base. A war memorial honour roll is dedicated to Mount Royal alumni who have volunteered for active service in the Canadian Forces.
Mount Royal University was granted university status in 2009 by the provincial government. The university currently offers 12 degrees and 32 majors with an average class size of 29 students.
In 2017, Mount Royal University was awarded the Ashoka Changemaker Campus designation joining 44 universities which are leading higher education in the area of social innovation and changemaking.
Faculty of Arts
Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies
English, Languages, and Cultures
Sociology and Anthropology
Bissett School of Business
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Supply Chain Management
School of Communication Studies
Broadcast Media Studies
Faculty of Health, Community and Education
Child Studies and Social Work
Health and Physical Education
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Science and Technology
Chemistry and Physics
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Mathematics and Computing
Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension
Institute for Community Prosperity
Institute for Environmental Sustainability
Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Centre for Community Disaster Research
Centre for Child Well-Being
Trico Changemakers Studio
Performing Arts Centre
In July 2015, the $90.5 million Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts (TCPA) was officially opened, accommodating the growing Mount Royal Conservatory, which is a musical conservatoire in operation since 1910 that serves up to 10,000 Calgarians annually. In addition to 43 soundproof rehearsal studios and 6 ensemble suites, the TCPA also houses the 787-seat Bella Concert Hall (opened August 26, 2015), which was designed by Pfeiffer Partners Architects in cooperation with Sahuri + Partners who used a "contemporary interpretation of the rural barn on the expansive prairie of Alberta" in their design. The Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts is named after the family name of businessman, philanthropist, and Calgarian Don Taylor who donated $21-million to the project. Additionally, the namesake of the Bella Concert Hall is Mary Belle Taylor, Don Taylor's mother, who was affectionately known as 'Bella.'  In addition to its design, the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts is notable for being a LEED Gold certified building and for being highly accessible for users with diverse physical abilities. While built with the needs of the Mount Royal Conservatory in mind, the TCPA and its various spaces are considered a community resource.
Mount Royal University officially opened the Riddell Library and Learning Centre on September 7, 2017 replacing the previous library which opened in 1972. The Riddell Library is named after Calgary businessman Clay Riddell who contributed a sizeable donation to the project. The $100 million dollar facility features more than 16,000-square-metres of space, 34 study rooms, 1,700 seats, access to 3D printing, and even a cafe.
Mount Royal University from across the pond
The Mount Royal University athletic nickname is the Cougars. The Cougars made the transition to the top level of amateur athletics in Canada in 2012 - 2013, moving to the Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) sport conferences. The University supports eight teams competing in men's and women's basketball, hockey, soccer and volleyball.
Notable alumni of the university include:
Doris Anderson (1939); powerful force for change and women's rights as editor of Chatelaine magazine from 1957 to 1977. She continued her advocacy efforts as Chair of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and President of Fair Vote Canada.
Paul Brandt (Nursing, 1992); most awarded male country musician in Canadian history. He was a pediatric nurse in 1996 when the release of his first single My Heart Has a History, propelled him to international musical success.
Chris Gailus (Journalism, 1989); Emmy award-winning news anchor. After leaving Calgary in 2000, he worked in Dallas and then New York before joining the Global BC team in Vancouver as weekend anchor.
Norman Kwong (Commercial, 1949); former CFL player and was installed as Alberta's 15th Lieutenant Governor on Jan. 20, 2005. He was the first person of Chinese heritage to serve in either profession.