Wider Horizons

The college community was saddened by the death of Val Matteotti, a pioneering Lethbridge farmer and inspirational Val Flora Matteottiphilanthropist. Matteotti, age 101, passed away on Oct. 17, in Lethbridge.

“Lethbridge College’s community mourns the passing of Val,” says President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “He is an example of how a person with a dream – with a pioneering spirit – can come to a new place and leave a legacy that will endure for generations. Our thoughts are with his family during this sad time.”

After immigrating to Canada from Italy at the age of 10, Matteotti devoted years of hard work to farming, eventually buying his own spread that would grow into one of the most successful farming and ranching businesses in southern Alberta. At his side was his wife and partner, Flora, whom he married in Italy in 1948. After working the land together for more than 40 years, they sold their last farm and began investing in real estate throughout southern Alberta.

Shortly after that sale, the Matteottis made their first gift to Lethbridge College and have been generous supporters ever since. A major gift from the Matteottis made in 1989 allowed the college to complete the construction of a gymnasium, which includes three full basketball courts and seats almost 1,000. In 2000, the Matteottis gave another major gift to the college that kicked off the TEC2000 Campaign and allowed for the creation of the Flora Matteotti Centre for Teaching and Learning.

In addition, the Matteottis’ provided financial gifts and assistance that made it possible for thousands of young people to access athletics and education. The college is fortunate to have had the Matteottis’ annual support at events such as the Clayton Allan Wine Auction, the golf tournament and the Kodiaks Banquet. Both Val and Flora have been inducted into the Lethbridge College Hall of Fame.

The Matteottis said over the years that they favour supporting the causes of sports, health and education because these all require discipline and dedication. The technology wing that the Matteottis helped create was ahead of its time and illustrates their visionary philanthropy. It is the place where students are learning how to be the workforce of the future.

The gymnasium the Matteottis helped build is the place where tens of thousands of students and community members come each year, whether to watch the Kodiaks in action, to take part in the annual Career Conference, or to walk across the stage and become Lethbridge College graduates.

“Val Matteotti made so much possible for the students and athletes at Lethbridge College and throughout the province and country,” says Dr. Burns. “He was a remarkable man – a true pioneer and an important partner of Lethbridge College.”

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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