Yesterday (January 18, 2023), Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) hosted Canadian icon Chris Hadfield as the 30th speaker of its prestigious Perspectives: Canada in the World speaker series. The sold-out event marked the first signature event celebrating RDP’s 60th Anniversary.

“Perspectives: Canada in the World provides us an opportunity to encourage dialogue within RDP and the community about current events and the world around us,” says Dr. Jeff Wigelsworth, History Instructor and Chair of RDP’s Perspectives: Canada in the World Organizing Committee. “Through Perspectives, Colonel Hadfield shared his unique experiences and expertise, sparking intellectual curiosity and complementing programming at Red Deer Polytechnic.”

Hadfield drew from his experience as a pilot, astronaut and as the First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station to explain how to best prepare for the unexpected and manage through complexity and change.

“Having the opportunity to listen to, and learn from, someone as highly regarded as Colonel Hadfield is inspiring,” says Jalynn Chilibeck Vice President External, Students’ Association of Red Deer Polytechnic. “It is not every day that we can meet someone who has gone to the most dangerous place that humans can reach, doing something that very few others have done. Colonel Hadfield is proof that following your dreams can lead to truly marvelous places and take you where no one has gone before."

Perspectives featured two sessions; an afternoon session, hosted specifically for Red Deer Polytechnic students, and an evening event for community members. The student session allows for RDP to provide its students with access to important and interesting discussions, led by Canadian experts. “It was a privilege to welcome Colonel Hadfield to Red Deer Polytechnic. What a remarkable opportunity for the students and communities we serve,” says Dr. Jonathon Penny, Dean of the School of Arts and Education.

“It was a fantastic way to kick off the celebration of RDP’s 60th Anniversary. Perspectives, like the other events that advance learning and deepen community connections, depends on the generosity of donors and the committed work, leadership and cooperation of faculty and staff. We are grateful to those that helped, and to all who came to hear the Colonel, for making it a success.”

Photo of Chris Hadfield at Red Deer Polytechnic. Image courtesy of Red Deer Polytechnic.