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Three types of people you meet at U of M, according to alumni

October 9, 2018 — 

It’s not just about getting your paper, but finding your people. That’s what our alumni community told us when we asked about the most meaningful relationships they made at the U of M, for our Alumni Answers series. From finding your soulmate to finding your squad, here are the relationships our alumni say transformed their education. (Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.)


I was a teenager working in my dad’s electronics store when Dr. Harvey Weisman [BSc/52, MSc/55, PhD/70] came in with issues with his VCR or something. He didn’t tell me he was a professor at the medical school, but started quizzing me on physiology. He invited me to come down to his office, and I had lunch with him. The following summer I worked in his research lab at the U of M, and the rest is history. To this day we have lunch at least once a week.
~ Lorrie K. [BSc/86, MSc/88, PhD/92]

I planned to be a teacher from my very first day of Grade 1 in a one room country school. I immersed myself in extra studies and activities including committee involvement with the Manitoba Teachers’ Society where I met professor John Wiens [BA/70, BEd/72, MEd/82], a true gentleman who offered encouragement to build creativity, vision and the confidence to never give up.

As I journeyed through my masters program at U of M, entrenched in thesis research as well as being principal at George Fitton School, the largest K-6 facility in Brandon, I launched into proving a need for a masters program in Brandon.

With John Wiens’ position, support and encouragement, a BU committee was formed to which I was appointed and a Masters of Education came into existence at Brandon University. For the years that John Wiens served students at the University of Manitoba I am confident that there are thousands of students to whom he gave wings, such as he gave to me. As I treasure my own Masters of Education, I hear the voice of Dr. John Wiens, an icon in Manitoba’s history.
~ Pat B. [MEd/93]


Hands down it would be the amazing people that made up the Greek system. Upon entering my first-year psychology class (and quickly realizing there was a very slim chance I would make any lifelong connections in a 150-person auditorium) I decided to check out the student groups on campus. I discovered my niche, my home, my sisters and my best friends in Alpha Gamma Delta. We volunteered on and off campus, we ate lunch together, studied together and graduated together. Nothing is better than scanning a sea of hundreds of Arts graduates, many of whom I never even shared a class, to find a sister in the crowd to celebrate with. The celebrating still continues after university with bridesmaid selections, milestone birthdays and legacy baby showers. I wouldn’t still be as engaged as I am without these ladies.
~Lasha G. [BA/08, CertHRM/16] Lasha with her extended Alpha Gamma Delta alumni community at the group's 85th anniversary celebrations.

Lasha with her extended Alpha Gamma Delta alumni community at the group's 85th anniversary celebrations.


Being a member of Bisons football helped shape me into both the man and football player I am today. I’m proud to have graduated from the U of M Kin Rec faculty, and was privileged to have done so with an abundance of extraordinary people. Many of those people I now consider my closest friends, and many of my former teammates are brothers for life.

As a football team you experience success together and deal with adversities and failures. One thing I learnt through my time at the University of Manitoba – whether it was in the classroom or on the field – it’s not about your attitude when things are going well; it’s about your character and perseverance when times get tough that make you who you are. As a football team, the above culminated into my most fond experience while wearing Bison brown and gold – capturing the 2014 Canada West Championship with my brothers – The Hardy Cup! We were points shy from making it to the Vanier Cup in 2014, but the memories we created, the bonds we formed and legacy we built, will surely last forever.
~DJ L. [BRMCD/15]


I met and married my husband! It was first year calculus class, both of us new to engineering… and the rest is history!
~ Dawn NM. [BSc(CompE)/02]

I made far too many meaningful relationships to mention specifics, but if I had to try I would say: the opportunity to attend post-secondary education was offered by the Bison Football Program; my closest circle of friends was afforded to me by my time in Residence at the U of M; a meaningful and fulfilling career path was forged through my degree program; and through a sequence of events related to all of the above, I met my beautiful and loving wife (Faculty of Music, Class of 2015). We now both happily reside in Winnipeg having come to the U of M from out of province.
~ RJ S. [BRMCD/14]


Alumni Answers is our way of building community with our alumni by sharing memories, ideas, and opinions with one another. Every month, we pose a new question with an opportunity to learn, laugh, and ponder together.

Next month, we’re asking: Who has been a mentor to you? To send in your answer, click here, or email alumni_answers [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

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