Looking back on the news from 2008

Let’s count down some of our – and your – favourite stories from campus during 2008.

1. Things that go bump in the night
Western’s planetary sciences unit hit the spotlight in 2008 with a rare video capture of meteorites in the Ontario sky – and not once but twice. In particular, Western’s main website lit up with a huge surge of worldwide interest in early March after a fireball blazed a trail through the evening sky near Parry Sound. There were close to 20,000 hits on the news story and media release which featured links to the video. Then in late October the group scored another hit with video of a meteorite that landed north of Fergus, Ont.

Western astronomers’ meteor hunt
Cameras capture ‘fireball’ in the sky

2. The economic meltdown
The creeping U.S. housing malaise sneezed and suddenly, late in the year, the entire world caught a terrible cold. Even as employees watched pension balances slide with the deteriorating stock market, university administrators began grappling with the same problem magnified hundreds of times over. Slipping endowment funds could no longer funnel financial support into day-to-day spending. Tighten your belt was the message for departments.

Western responds to economic downturn
Western reviews capital project needs
Longstaffe cautiously optimistic about student aid
Western holds tight on undergrad enrolment

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Sustainability became the watchword across campus. While admittedly new to pushing sustainability into all aspects of campus life, there was no shortage of commitment. The extraordinary efforts in Hospitality Services (story below) have set a standard for everyone.

‘Greenies’ put spotlight on environment
Engineering among top sustainability programs
Huge push to ‘green’ USC operations
Our year of going ‘green’

Green building waste diverted from dump
Western graded C- in sustainability report

4. Grads make Western proud
With more than 10,000 web hits, our story about the six Western graduates featured nationally among this year’s Top 40 Under 40 apparently struck a nerve with our readers.