Geology students hit the jackpot with donated texts

Alumnus shares ‘extremely beneficial’ book collection

Thousands of geology texts recently landed at Mount Royal University.

The content arrived as a recent donation courtesy of University alumnus Nick Pittman. According to instructional assistant Mike Clark, the collection is a goldmine of educational material.

“This looks to be extremely beneficial,” said Clark, who works in the Department of Earth Science. “There’s guaranteed to be one or two little gems that will help everyone.”

A University alumnus has helped MRU acquire thousands of geology texts for student use. Instructional Assistant Mike Clark (second from left), says the books are "a goldmine of educational material."

— Photo by, Jonathan Anderson

The donation came as a surprise to Clark who was gradually prepping throughout the summer months, as he generally does, for the start of another fall semester. "Out of nowhere," he says, three giant pallets complete with more than 90 boxes of material showed up at his office. The surprise donation comes courtesy of Imperial Oil relocating their downtown office to Quarry Park. Pittmann, a former employee of Imperial Oil, helped to facilitate the gift.

“It’s nice that former students are thinking about us,” Clark said. “Nick was a very good student, he enjoyed his time here and it was a pleasure to work with him.”

Clark said the University has been taking book donations since 1992 and has been building a departmental library ever since. The recent donation of modern, up-to-date academic materials, including government publications and books on petroleum engineering, will be a welcome addition to the University’s new library slated to open in 2017.

“They will already have a pre-built geology section,” Clark said. “Then you have to start looking towards the future. So instead of taking basic geology, you start taking more sophisticated publications to help bring up the research … it looks very promising.”

Clark insists this extremely generous and thoughtful alumni donation not only helps the library but students in and out of the classroom.

“It means that we get extra field guides and other publications that we wouldn’t necessarily have that will help the students with their projects.” Said Clark, alluding to the fact that much of this coveted information can’t be found online yet.

“Some of the field guides don’t show up online. So if they go out to the field and we can give them a copy.”

Clark and his Mount Royal colleagues are extremely grateful for the recent donation, especially seeing as the entire campus benefits from the generosity of University alumni.

“We’ve had a lot of alumni come back and help us over the years,” Clark said. “Alumni really makes the department go round — it helps.”

— Jonathan Anderson, August, 2015