One of the most interesting parts of my first year as President and Vice-Chancellor has been encouraging discussion around value and values. I have been incredibly impressed by the level of engagement from so many members of our community.
The 2015–2016 academic year saw the re-invigoration of our Latin motto Age Quod Agis meaning ‘do what you do.’ This has become a rallying cry for the entire campus and a call to action that unites us across academic disciplines, varied backgrounds, and broad perspectives.
I applaud the leadership by SMUSA in working with faculty and staff to redefine Welcome Week and develop activities that extend throughout the entire academic year. In July, I was honoured to speak at the annual meeting of lieutenant-governors and territorial commissioners. Presided over by the Governor General, this meeting focused on the ways in which provinces are responding to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I highlighted how Saint Mary’s is making progress on the recommendations from the Commission, the Universities Canada guidelines on Aborignal education, and our own internal task force on Aborignal education. On our campus, advancements include changes to our ceremonial practices, the dedication of space specifically for Indigenous students, research agreements with local First Nations, and progress on the establishment of advisory committees.
I am reminded daily that we are a scholarly community engaged in the pursuit of learning, seeking to advance knowledge, and transform the world for the better. None
of this would be possible without the Saint Mary’s community and our friends and supporters. Please accept my sincerest gratitude for a great first year and for the continued success of Saint Mary’s University.