Calgary

University of Calgary students and staff petition to rename hall after much-loved barista

Students and staff at the University of Calgary want to honour the memory of a campus barista who spent the last decade serving them coffee and smiles.

From Baron’s Court to Annette’s Corner after late manager of Brew & Blendz

Annette Schmirler died on Oct. 14. She had been working as a barista at the University of Calgary for the last decade. (change.org)

Students and staff at the University of Calgary want to honour the memory of a campus barista who spent the last decade serving them coffee and smiles.

Annette Schmirler, the manager of the Brew & Blendz coffee shop in the kinesiology building, died suddenly on Oct. 14.

"International students would say that she was the first kind person that they met. Other students would say they were having a bad day and they would skip by all the other coffee shops and make it all the way across campus to get a little touch of Annette," said Dominique MacDonald the aquatics manager on campus.

"People that wouldn't go for coffee for a year would go back and she would remember their name and their favourite order. It was shocking. She just had that talent."

Brew & Blendz is located in Baron's Court, after Baron Pierre de Coubertin — the founder of the International Olympic Committee. Now more than 900 people have signed an online petition to change the name of the hall to Annette's Corner.

"With the university we have a recognition program for staff and faculty, students get recognized but sometimes, our contracted employees or the vendors they don't fit in any of those moulds," MacDonald told the Calgary Eyeopener.

Wake held on campus

Shortly after Schmirler's death, an informal wake was held next to the coffee shop so that all of her customers could pay their respects.  

Brew & Blendz set up a table with Schmirler's photo, a condolences book, flowers and her favourite blend of coffee.

A wake was held on Oct. 18 for the late manager and barista at Brew & Blendz coffee shop in the kinesiology department of the University of Calgary. (Dominique MacDonald)

Students and staff also put touching testimonials on the walls of the hall using Post-it notes.

MacDonald, who spoke to Penny Werthner, the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, was told that the university is "supportive" of doing something for the late barista.

"So that's really exciting. I mean, it just give me goosebumps that there will be some sort of memorial there. We just don't know what it is yet."


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener