Message from the President: March 7, 2017

We are only a few days into March and this month has already brought many successes and celebrations to Saint Mary's University. I wanted to share some of these successes with you directly as they are inspirational and reflect the excellence and commitment of ‘doing what you do’. Faculty, staff and students all played a role in enabling and supporting these achievements and I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate as a community.

I encourage you to follow the University on social media if you don't already -- it is a great way to stay connected and experience this great news in all its immediacy. I have included our social media links at the end of this message. Now, to the great news stories of the past few days:

  • On March 2nd, Saint Mary’s welcomed Member of Parliament for Halifax, Andy Fillmore for a very important announcement of $480,000 from the Government of Canada for the OPtions (overcoming poverty) Youth Program based in the Business Development Centre of the Sobey School of Business.
  • This past weekend, three groups of students from the Saint Mary's MSc in Computing & Data Analytics (MScCDA) program took the Provincial Open Data Challenge by storm, garnering 1st prize, 3rd prize, and the People's Choice Award.
  • Also this past weekend, from the Faculty of Arts, a group of Saint Mary’s students went to Mount Allison University for the 19th Atlantic Canada Japanese Language Speech Contest. After a number of great speeches on topics from finding happiness through noran to gender expression, two Saint Mary’s students will be heading to Vancouver for the national contest at the University of British Columbia.
  • We are also very proud of the efforts of our Huskies varsity athletics teams over the past several days. The Saint Mary's Huskies Women's Volleyball team hosted and took home 3rd place in the 2017 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship. The Men’s Basketball team defeated UNB to advance to the Subway AUS Basketball Championships and lost a closely contested final on Sunday afternoon by only three points. The Women’s Basketball team made it to the semi-finals of the Subway AUS Basketball Championships Saturday afternoon, and lost another close match by only six points. And the Women’s Hockey team had a win and a loss this past weekend and plays the decisive Game 3 against St. Francis Xavier tonight at Alumni Arena, Tuesday, March 7th, to decide the Subway AUS Women's Hockey Champions.
  • On campus last Friday, we hosted the SMU Research Expo where the exceptional research of our faculty, undergraduate and graduate students was showcased and celebrated. An abiding message from the Research Expo now circulating on social media is that ‘Saint Mary’s is a great place to do research’!
  • As a final note, this week marks the launch of the Saint Mary's United Way Campaign.  I hosted a pizza lunch yesterday and we were joined by Sara Napier, a proud Saint Mary's alumna and President & CEO of United Way Halifax. Our United Way activities continue throughout the week. Thank you to our many volunteers and donors who take our Santamarian spirit to the community in partnership with the United Way.

These are only a few of the accomplishments of the past week -- and it is representative of the excellence and achievement that happens throughout the year. Congratulations to all of our students, faculty and staff who made this past week so exceptional and who continue this excellence in the weeks and months ahead.

Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray
President and Vice-Chancellor