In the 1960s, Cora Hastings was considering a job at the newly established University of Lethbridge and wrote to her parents about the position. In the midst of the political turmoil in the United States at the time, her father offered some straightforward advice: "Go to Canada and make your home there."
Originally from Mercer, Penn., Hastings made the move north to accept a position in the U of L library, then located on the Lethbridge Junior College campus. Although hired as a librarian, Hastings' devotion to being, and prior experience as, a teacher were soon called upon, and she began delivering the school librarian courses then being offered throughout southern Alberta.
Hastings, who recently passed away, worked at the University for nearly 20 years and, heeding her father's advice, made the U of L her home. Deeply connected to the institution and always looking to the future, Hastings made a planned gift to the U of L in her will, demonstrating her passion for the University.
"Her commitment to and engagement with the University of Lethbridge never waned," says colleague and longtime friend Barbara Huston, who worked with Hastings in the Faculty of Education's Curriculum Laboratory.
Hastings was the first co-ordinator of the curriculum lab, a special collection of materials and resources to support teacher education courses, and was instrumental in securing administration through the Faculty of Education.
"Suffice it to say, her insight and conviction that Faculty administration would best serve everyone's interests won the day," says Huston, who took over as co-ordinator when Hastings retired. "The lab exists as a demonstration of her tenacity, persistence and sheer doggedness in getting it just right."
Benefitting from Hastings' foresight and passion, the curriculum lab continues to serve students, faculty and community users and has achieved a reputation as the best curriculum laboratory in Western Canada.
Hastings' commitment has inspired a lasting legacy – one that remembers a librarian who made herself at home at the U of L, and one that will benefit the University well into the future.
As a result of her bequest, Cora Hastings joins the Fiat Lux Legacy Society, a group of donors who have left a legacy gift or are planning a legacy gift that will benefit the University of Lethbridge in the future. For more information, visit www.ulethbridge/giving or call 403-329-2582.
This article first appeared in the Legend. For a look at the March issue of the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.