SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

May 06, 2016 12:30 ET

New leadership adventure education fund launched at the Haskayne School of Business with $3 million gift

Hal Kvisle's gift to the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business will expand adventure education opportunities for students

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - May 06, 2016) - The wildly popular leadership adventure education programs at Haskayne that bring students to the spectacular wilderness of the Canadian Rockies as they learn about what it really takes to be a leader, have received a major boost from a Calgary business leader.

Thanks to a $3 million gift from Hal Kvisle (MBA'82), the school is announcing the creation of the Hal Kvisle Leadership Adventure Education Fund. It will support transformational personal leadership development and experiential learning opportunities for students through adventure education and experiential learning.

The fund will allow Haskayne's Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL) to expand and broaden its spectrum of leadership education opportunities. Demand for current opportunities such as the Haskayne Wilderness Retreat, Haskayne Leadership Expedition and Leadership Challenge Weekend is growing rapidly and new funding will allow greater enrolment in these programs and development of new opportunities.

"Adventure education provides truly transformational leadership opportunities for Haskayne students and we are incredibly thankful for this generous gift that will help give students the skills they need in advanced leadership," said Dean Jim Dewald.

"Hal has demonstrated a passion for conservation and leadership education that aligns with our focus at Haskayne to educate the leaders of tomorrow. To make such a large gift during difficult economic times is remarkable and I believe a testament to the strong value of our educational programing," said Dewald.

The gift is Haskayne's first major donation since the official launch of the university's Energize: the Campaign for Eyes High fundraising campaign last week and it is the largest gift ever to Haskayne by one of our alumni. A portion of the gift will be endowed to provide long-term funding.

From 2001 to 2010, Kvisle was president and CEO of TransCanada and its predecessor company, and after his retirement served as CEO of Talisman Energy from 2012 to 2015. Throughout his distinguished career, and as a board member of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Kvisle has had a passion for conservation and is known for being an environmental advocate who has sought to change perceptions that corporate leaders do not care about the environmental consequences of conducting business.

"Many young people do not have the opportunity to immerse themselves in high-impact operating situations," said Kvisle. "Adventure Leadership provides an important alternative, a very real environment for confronting and resolving complex situations."

"It is inspiring to see the positive impact on the leadership capacity for students who participate in these programs. I am very grateful for the opportunity to help students at this stage of their leadership journey," said Kvisle.

Adventure education programming has grown in popularity over the last decade, as there is increasing recognition that the skills and knowledge of advanced leaders aren't just learned in a classroom. The programs help students learn the less tangible, but no less important, set of personal qualities that shape leaders.

"The overwhelming response from students who have participated in these programs is not only positive; many describe the experience as life-changing," said Jennifer Krahn, CCAL's director. "I am thrilled that so many more graduate and undergraduate students will benefit from these programs thanks to this generous gift," she said.

CCAL offers a spectrum of transformational leadership opportunities to inform, engage, integrate and transform students' leadership capacity. Some of these programs include:

  • The Haskayne Leadership Expedition: a unique field course offered in conjunction with Outward Bound Canada in the Rocky Mountains that uses a five-day mountain expedition to help students cultivate the practical skills and qualities they will need to thrive as leaders in the modern business world.
  • The Haskayne Wilderness Retreat: A one-week intensive field course in Kananaskis that develops leadership capabilities in the context of sustainable development engaging indigenous elders and deep reflective learning with an overnight wilderness solo.
  • The Haskayne Leadership Challenge Weekend: a weekend field experience designed to help students practice the real-world competencies, attitudes and self-awareness skills required by advanced lea ders and effective teams.
  • The Haskayne Leadership Experiences:a series of experiential leadership development experiences outside the classroom. One type is the Leadership dojo offering that uses a somatic coaching approach drawn from traditional Japanese martial arts to help students explore and embody principles of advanced leadership.

The fund will help expand current programs and deliver new programs as they are developed. 

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at

About the Haskayne School of Business

The Haskayne School of Business was founded at the University of Calgary in 1967, and was named in honour of Richard F. Haskayne, OC, AOE, FCA, in 2002. The business school has approximately 3,400 full- and part-time students enrolled in bachelor's, master's, doctorate and executive education programs, and stays connected with its more than 22,000 alumni in 80 countries worldwide.

The vision of the Haskayne School of Business is to be an internationally recognized centre of excellence for business education, research and community outreach, with a special emphasis on the distinct elements that define Calgary and Alberta: energy, entrepreneurship and ethical leadership.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @haskayneschool

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