Lethbridge College is pleased to announce Knud Petersen, retired farmer and exceptional volunteer, as the Honorary Degree recipient for its convocation ceremonies. Petersen will be presented with his degree April 26.
Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO, praised Petersen’s record of work in the community in organizations including the Lethbridge Food Bank, the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA), environmental groups, sporting organizations and more.
“Knud has created so many opportunities for himself over the years, achieving success through his great ambition, hard work, and the wise act of channeling his passions to the subjects and projects that are dear to his heart” says Burns. “By sharing his strengths and investing his time and many talents, he has given back to the community he has called home for decades. Knud is a true role model to our students.”
Petersen says he is deeply humbled to have been chosen for the award and dedicates it to all of the people doing good work behind the scenes.
Petersen came to Canada from Denmark in 1965 and started working in Chin, southern Alberta, on the Perry family sugar beet and potato farm in 1969. Eventually, he bought some land and later became partners in the potato business with the Perrys. During those years, he also helped raise three daughters – Leslie, Nicole and Elizabeth, all of whom attended Lethbridge College and two of whom played on the Kodiaks’ women’s soccer team.
In 1994, when Nicole was a student at the college, Petersen and a friend, Alvin Tietz, volunteered to establish the college’s first women’s soccer team with moral support from the college’s athletic director, Tim Tollestrup. They helped finance the program the first few years along with sponsor Ron Sakamoto, a friend and multiple Canadian Country Music Award winner. During its first year, the team was undefeated and finished the season as national champions. When Petersen finished coaching, he started travelling. From 1997 to 2004, he played in World Fun Cup soccer tournaments and backpacked through South America, Australia and New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Central America, Europe and Africa – the trip he says “still remains the biggest and best experience of all.”
Petersen will be the thirteenth person to receive an honorary degree from Lethbridge College since the first presentation of one in 1986.