Grateful that Dr. Keith Dobson calls our university home

This evening I presided over the 2015 ‘Lecture of a Lifetime’ at the University of Calgary. Dr. Keith Dobson, an internationally recognized researcher in clinical psychology, was our man of the hour.

This annual campus event was originally inspired by Dr. Randy Pausch’s ‘Last Lecture’ at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. Soon after Professor Pausch delivered his widely publicized lecture, the Senate from our university launched its own ‘Lecture of a Lifetime’ with the purpose of honouring well-loved teachers and mentors.

It’s a rather daunting task for an honoree to pull together this kind of lecture. The content of the lecture is expected to be more about life’s lessons, rather than about an academic topic. We ask honorees to open their hearts and share insights, stories and lessons from their distinguished careers; to share what they’ve learned about the value of teaching.

Members from across all communities came together this evening to hear from one of our university’s brightest minds and most inspiring souls. Keith Dobson delivered a superb lecture. He shared his life journey. He shared his perspective on the causes and treatments of depression. He told stories how his collaborative work with organizations like the Mental Health Commission of Canada have made our community a better place – a place where people living with mental illness can thrive.

As I left the Rozsa Centre tonight, I felt grateful that Dr. Keith Dobson calls our university home. He has enhanced the quality of our campus life by helping students develop resiliency. There is still much work to do to reduce the stigma towards mental illness and to advocate for workplace mental health and wellness.

Thank you to my fellow Senators for championing this flagship lecture – an event that has now become woven into the institutional fabric of the University of Calgary.

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