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Sparking innovation

“To be an entrepreneur, you have to be open-minded and willing to take a risk,” says local business leader and University of Lethbridge alumnus Bruce McKillop (BASc (BA) ’70). “But — you have to be smart. You have to be inquisitive. You have to think things through. And you have to be able to execute on your idea.” 

After spending the last four decades in business in Lethbridge, you could say that being an entrepreneur is in Bruce’s blood. His father, Charles (Bud) McKillop, was the founder of McKillop Insurance & Registry. Bruce’s daughter (and fellow U of L alumnus) Sonya McKillop (BMgt ’01) followed in their footsteps and is currently at the company’s helm as president, making McKillop Insurance & Registry a third-generation family business.

Having set his roots in Lethbridge, Bruce says supporting local initiatives is one way he gives back to the community that helped him along the way. When the U of L launched AGILITY last spring, Bruce was one of the first to step forward and show his support for the program and his alma mater.

“Lethbridge wouldn’t be the same without the university,” he says. “Both the university and the college keep the community young, and I truly believe we will change the world through education.” 

A new university-wide initiative, AGILITY has been designed to nurture and support innovation and entrepreneurism among U of L students on both the Lethbridge and Calgary campuses. 

Through AGILITY, students will learn about innovative thinking and developing ideas from renowned faculty and leaders in the business and social innovation community. They will have the opportunity to work in a cross-disciplinary environment and have the space, tools and mentorship to bring their ideas to life.

“That’s the beauty of AGILITY,” he says. “Students will learn about entrepreneurism and risk-taking in a supportive environment that is strongly grounded in liberal education, and when they graduate, they will be ahead of the game.” 

Bruce says his liberal education gave him the skills he needed to succeed in business, and is quick to add that supporting AGILITY and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, “is a no-brainer.”

“There are unlimited possibilities,” he says. “This is the beginning of something significant for our university.” 

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