Bacchus event celebrates 50 years of BAdmin degree at the University of Regina

By External Relations Posted: March 19, 2019 8:00 a.m.

"Bringing Bacchus Back" celebration at Innovation Place
"Bringing Bacchus Back" celebration at Innovation Place Photos: U of R External Relations

In the spring of 1969, Brian Leipert BA’69, BAdmin’69 was president of the Administration Society and member of the first graduating class of the newly formed Faculty of Administration at the University of Saskatchewan Regina Campus. Along with his 27 classmates, Leipert was one of the first to graduate with a Bachelor of Administration degree (BAdmin) from the U of R. 

Jim Powell BAdmin’70, Brian
Leipert BA’69 BAdmin’69,
Gordon Clark BAdmin’69

“I spent an extra year at University to get my BAdmin waiting for the fourth year to be developed,” recalled Leipert from his office at Leipert Financial Group in Regina. “I got my Bachelor of Arts in Economics and then completed my BAdmin soon after, so I obtained two degrees.” 

Being enrolled in a pioneering University program took additional effort on the part of the students, noted Leipert. 

“The BAdmin program was brand new. As students, some of us were asked to sit on the planning committee to help develop the curriculum. There was nothing parallel to it at any comparable university at the time. We had to completely design the structure of the program from the ground up.” 

In the early days of what is now the main campus of the University of Regina, there were far fewer students and facilities. 

“In the late ‘60s there were these two new, white buildings on the U of R campus and that’s it,” said Leipert. “For the first year or two of the BAdmin program, classes were split between the old campus on College Avenue and the new campus. Then in fourth year, we ended up taking all of our classes at the new campus.” 

And with the new campus came a new sense of community and camaraderie for the program’s first graduating class. 

“It was a small University at the time but we had real school spirit,” recalled Leipert. “The Faculty of Administration participated in intramural sports against the faculties of Education and Engineering and others.” 

But in those years, the biggest event on the new campus was Bacchus. For one week every February, the winter carnival (and long-standing tradition of the business faculty) included events like sleigh rides and the now-legendary Keg-a-Rama.

“Bacchus festival involved competitions like log rolling, a curling bonspiel, barrel rolling races, and various competitive events between students in the different faculties. I think it probably started that first year when we were fully on the new campus for classes. We also had the pub crawl where teams would race from 5 or 6 different pubs in Regina, imbibing as they went. Then we had a huge dance at Bacchus festival. We came in togas!” recounted Leipert. 

The spirit of Bacchus was alive and well at Innovation Place for the recent Bringing Bacchus Back

Brian Leipert BA’69,

celebration. Current and former faculty and staff, along with friends and alumni, attended the evening soirée which included appetizers, mingling, an acoustic performance by Dr. Jack Semple, a wine and chip pairing, and an interview with Dean Gina Grandy about the future of the Hill School of Business. “This event is an ideal way to bring together alumni, both BAdmin and BBA graduates, from across the decades. Alumni from the first class in 1969 through to 2018 are present to celebrate,” expressed Grandy. “We also unveiled the Hill Alumni pin so that alumni can proudly show off their connection with the School and the University of Regina. We see this as just the beginning of our alumni engagement strategy, so alumni should stay tuned for more to come.”

Former president of the Administration Students’ Society, Terry L. Allen BAdmin’85 and President of Pivotal Capital Advisory in Calgary was emcee for the evening and shared fond recollections of her time on campus.Executive Director of University Governance and University Secretary, Glenys Sylvestre BAdmin’94, brought a message on behalf of the University president and also spoke to the 50th anniversary of the BAdmin program. 

“While tonight’s celebration differs from the first Bacchus, what remains unchanged is that it is wonderful to be able to reconnect with colleagues and former faculty members and students and to celebrate what the Hill School of Business has become over the last 50 years,” said Sylvestre to the crowd.