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It is with mixed feelings that I send you my final message as president of The University of Winnipeg. These last six years have been the most rewarding of my career and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president.
We have accomplished so much together and UWinnipeg is stronger and more resilient. I am especially proud of how we have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic as a community by focusing on supporting students and ensuring academic excellence. I am filled with optimism about the future and I know that UWinnipeg will play an incredibly important role in the post-pandemic recovery.
I will carry the memories of each convocation. As I shook the hands of each graduate, I knew that I was looking at future leaders who will go on to make an impact locally and globally. Our graduates go on to become leading contributors and experts in their field. UWinnipeg alumni are writers and storytellers, researchers, educators, artists, accountants, athletic therapists, doctors, politicians, public servants, and business owners, among many other occupations. Manitoba, Canada and the world need more UWinnipeg graduates, who will tackle the difficult problems we face in new ways, because they gained a solid foundation of knowledge and discipline, learning from our talented and dedicated faculty. UWinnipeg is a place of reconciliation, access, and opportunity and our graduates carry forward the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The work of our faculty is far-reaching and extends well beyond the classroom. Some of my favourite moments were attending book launches and special academic events to share research findings. I enjoyed celebrating your many achievements, honors and recognitions, which are evidence of your hard work and scholarship. I was continually inspired and impressed and I know that there is much more to come. The culture of excellence and collaboration that defines UWinnipeg lives in our faculty.
I have developed a deep respect for our dedicated staff, who continually rise above whatever challenge has emerged to deliver the very best results. UWinnipeg staff are the “silent heroes” who support student success, make sure that the technology is in place to support learning and knowledge mobilization, that our financial and human relations systems function well, and that the reports that demonstrate our accountability are accurate and well-written. I am very grateful for your responsiveness, diligence and never-ending commitment.
Our Board of Regents, Indigenous Advisory Circle and Foundation Board and Alumni Association are comprised of volunteers who give their time because they care about UWinnipeg, our ideals and our graduates. They are selfless, talented and our biggest supporters. Chancellor Bob Silver, Board Chairs Eric Johnstone, Albina Moran and Rohith Mascarenhas, Indigenous Advisory Circle Chair Diane Roussin, and Foundation Board Chair Sandy Riley have provided leadership of the highest order and I deeply appreciate their contributions. There are many other affiliated groups and entities who are a vibrant part of UWinnipeg that enrich the lives of our students and community members.
This is not goodbye, but rather see you later. I will continue to watch UWinnipeg closely and I know that individually and collectively, you will shape the future of Manitoba for the better. Believe in your work and the positive impact that you create. I will cherish the relationships that have had such a deep and lasting impact on me and I will always think of UWinnipeg as family.
President and Vice-Chancellor