Dr. Allan P. Markin has been a long-standing benefactor and friend to St. Mary’s University, its leaders and its students.
As a successful entrepreneur and businessman, Dr. Markin understood the challenges involved in the development phase of any new institution and the critical role of long-term supporters in achieving goals. To that end, Dr. Markin provided not only significant financial contributions but also the genuine commitment to realizing the vision over the long-haul. Dr. Markin’s support is visible in every significant phase of St. Mary’s development. It was through his support in 1996 that St. Mary’s was able to hire its first University President, Dr. David Lawless. And it was through Dr. Markin’s ongoing commitment that the university was able to hire its first full-time faculty members in 1997 and pursue accreditation of its programs. At the same time, he established a college investment fund to provide a fiscal foundation from which St. Mary’s could sustain operations and begin long-term planning.
Given Dr. Markin’s widely acknowledged passion for social justice and community service, it is not surprising that his “vision” for the university also included the provision of scholarships for struggling students, setting the scene for the development of what is now a robust scholarship and bursary program. Dr. Markin was also instrumental in assisting the university to acquire its current 35-acre campus site, providing a permanent home for St. Mary’s to establish a thriving campus. At every stage of development, Dr. Markin has been a driving force for St. Mary’s promotion of the value of a liberal arts education, an enthusiasm that attracted many other supporters to the St. Mary’s cause.
His philanthropy and personal involvement in the broader community are well known throughout the province of Alberta. It would be difficult to find a citizen of Calgary or indeed Alberta who has not directly benefited from Dr. Markin’s charitable support. Although diversified, his main humanitarian objective is to enhance education and health. In his own words, “I was born to help others.”
There are many post-secondary institutions indebted to his vision. He funded Markin Hall, the Management and Health Sciences building at the University of Lethbridge, the Markin Chair in Health and Society at the University of Calgary, the Markin-Flanigan Distinguished Writer in Residence Program at the University of Calgary, the Allan P. Markin/Canadian Natural Resources Limited Natural Resources Engineering Facility at the University of Alberta and the Oil Sands Graduate Research Award at Northern Lights College. He has received Honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the University of Calgary (1998), the University of Alberta (2002), the University of Lethbridge (2006) and St. Francis Xavier University (2009). As demonstrated by his exceptional giving history, Dr. Markin’s sustained commitment has provided the fiscal foundation that allowed St. Mary’s to establish itself as a highly reputable liberal arts and sciences post-secondary institution, and it is his continued support that has allowed the institution to grow and flourish. The students, faculty, staff and Board of Governors of St. Mary’s University thank Dr. Markin for being a tireless supporter of education.