Strong belief in education
Each year thousands of students at the U of M benefit from a range of scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, and athletic awards. And now, thanks to the vision and generosity of the late Keith Caldwell [BSc/48, MSc/50], students and faculty in the Department of Geological Sciences will benefit from the addition of a new and rather unique student prize: the Sally and Keith Caldwell Teaching Assistant Award.
Designed to support the appointment of Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the Department of Geological Sciences, Caldwell’s unique gift will play a critical role in ensuring faculty have appropriate support, graduate and undergraduate students have an outstanding learning experience, and the TAs themselves have the opportunity to develop the skills and leadership abilities that are essential for professional success.
A highly successful geological sciences alum himself, Caldwell earned a B.Sc. from the U of M in 1948, and a M.Sc. in 1950. His passion for geology then led to a 40-year career with Canadian Gulf Oil, and an additional 16 years serving on the boards of 10 small- to intermediate-sized oil and gas firms before he retired in 2006, at age 80.
Caldwell always believed strongly in education, and never needed much incentive to give to his alma mater. Even after relocating to Alberta, where he met his wife Sally and together they raised their family, he never forgot his Manitoba roots and continued to give to the U of M, making more than 23 gifts over the years.
But it wasn’t until Dean Norman Halden joined him for lunch in Calgary in 2009 that a seed was planted for his greatest gift to the university yet. Five years later, Halden received a call from Caldwell somewhat out of the blue. Now in his 80s, Caldwell had decided to honour his late wife Sally and recognize his connection to the U of M by making a substantial donation to the Department of Geological Sciences. In very little time, the Sally and Keith Caldwell Teaching Assistant Fund was created.
To be considered for a Teaching Assistant Award, applicants must demonstrate passion and ability in their field of study and in the sub-discipline being taught. They must be high-achieving, outgoing, helpful, and invested in the teaching enterprise.
Although Keith Caldwell passed away early in 2015, before he could see the impact of his gift, these qualities are reflective of how he lived his life, and there’s no doubt he would have been proud of those who received the award.