Alumni Newsletter September 2016

50th Anniversary Celebration

Western Economics Celebrates 50 Years - Join us at our 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Welcome to the 50th Anniversary Special Edition of our Alumni Newsletter. We are excited to be celebrating 50 years of Economics at Western and to invite you to our Anniversary Celebration in October.

We will be celebrating our Anniversary throughout 2016-17 starting with an Anniversary Celebration on October 28 and 29. The main event will be a Gala Dinner on the evening of Saturday, October 29. We are pleased to be presenting Professor Jim MacGee in an armchair discussion with Doug Porter (MA '84) and David Andolfatto (PhD '94). Porter is the Chief Economist at BMO and Andolfatto is a Vice-President at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The evening promises to be filled with interesting conversations surrounding issues like Brexit, the impending US election and the turbulence in the Vancouver housing market.

At the dinner, we will also honor those who have contributed to the success of Western Economics over the years. We are delighted to welcome back founding Chair Grant Reuber, who will tell us how, as Head of Economics and Sociology in the mid 1960s, he was instrumental in separating the unit into two departments. We will also hear from former Chair and Provost Clark Leith, who with Reuber’s help as Dean, headed the Department during an international hiring spree that brought research stars like David Laidler, Michael Parkin and John Whalley to Western in the mid-1970s. Finally, as current Chair, I will complete the rest of the story, including the current state of the Department and its future.

In addition to the Gala Dinner, there is a slate of dynamic speakers and a panel discussion during the day on the 29th that you will not want to miss. In the morning and early afternoon, we are welcoming back three former faculty members: Preston McAfee will discuss firm pricing for fun and profit; Peter Howitt (MA '69) will consider the role of creative destruction in the economy; and Tom Courchene will discuss how public policy relates to social, environmental, and intergenerational issues.

Late afternoon, a panel of former alumni will converse on Lessons Learned from the 2008 Financial Crisis. The panelists include Professor Angela Redish (MA '75, PhD '82), Professor Enrique Mendoza (MA '86, PhD '89) and Professor Tiff Macklem (MA '84, PhD '89). Redish, currently Provost and Vice President pro tem at UBC, is an economic historian who has studied the 2008 crisis in light of previous economic crises. Her work provides an interesting perspective not found in the popular media. Mendoza brings an international perspective on the crisis as the Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Macklem, currently Dean of U of T Rotman Business School, who at the time of the crisis was Canada’s Senior Deputy Minister at the Bank of Canada, sat at the table when key decisions were made about how central banks around the world would react to the crisis. He brings a unique hands-on perspective about the management of such events.

In addition to the Saturday events, we will be hosting an academic conference on Friday with nine alumni presenting papers and over 30 alumni, graduate students and former faculty presenting posters. Everyone attending on Friday can look forward to dinner at the Department’s favourite watering hole, the Grad Bar.

Finally, on Friday, Western will be honoring two leaders in the Department. Both David Laidler and Michael Parkin will be receiving Western honorary degrees (LL.D.) at the afternoon convocation ceremony. You can read about Laidler’s and Parkin’s impact on the Department here.

We hope you will be able to join us for all or part of our Anniversary Celebration. You can register for the events here. You can also help ensure that the traditions and excellence of Western Economics continue for another 50 years by contributing to our 50th Anniversary Project.

Be sure to check out the rest of the newsletter for articles on Laidler and Parkin and Wonnacott that honor our past, and articles on our new Chair in Central Banking and three new faculty that look to the future. In addition, check out the interesting article on an often overlooked career path for our graduates as we profile some of our alumni who have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs.

And always remember – Western supplies what the world demands.

See you in October!

Audra Bowlus
Professor and Chair

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