Happy Birthday Morris Flewwelling!
Today, we’re proud to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of Red Deer College’s dearest friends.
Morris Flewwelling exemplifies the spirit of lifelong learning and the commitment to community that are the bedrock of our institution’s values. In his career, he has done groundbreaking work to benefit generations of Central Albertans including founding Ellis Bird Farm, which is the largest conservation effort in North America for native birds. He also founded the first alternative school in Alberta, a junior high program designed to teach academics and life skills to students who were struggling in traditional classroom settings.
Morris’s deep ties to our region and community are evident in another of his great passions: heritage preservation. In 1978, he became Red Deer’s Director of Museums, overseeing the construction of the new building for the Red Deer and District Museum. This facility, which we now know as the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, or MAG, is a cherished community resource and has been home to displays of works by our very own Visual Arts students.
These are just some of the things that Morris helped to build in our community, before retiring in 1995. At that time, Morris was elected to Red Deer City Council and became Mayor in 2004. Accomplishments during his time in municipal governance and as a lifelong volunteer in the community include founding the Red Deer Leadership Centre, as well as the Red Deer and District Community Foundation. The many awards and acknowledgements he has received include Red Deer’s Citizen of the Year (1982), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Alberta Order of Excellence (2014), along with being named to the Order of Canada (1997). Among these accolades, Morris Flewwelling also received RDC’s first ever Honourary Degree in 2014. Also in 2014, Morris had the honour of being adopted into a Cree family and was given the name Asiniw-waci Kihiew, meaning Mountain Eagle.
In all of these roles, Morris has supported RDC and emphasized our value in community development. He helped to establish RDC’s nationally recognized Permanent Art Collection. He chaired the Building and Planning Committee for the RDC Arts Centre and, about 30 years later, became Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. What a remarkable difference Morris’s commitment and passion have meant for generations of Central Albertans!
On his 80th birthday, we want to say thank you to Morris Flewwelling for his tireless commitment to community building, inspiring optimism, visionary leadership and generous, enduring support for RDC students.