{President's Report 2003}
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Year in Review | October

Memorial University held its annual fall convocation Oct 18. Along with the more than 600 graduate and undergraduate degrees awarded during two sessions of convocation, honorary degrees were awarded to Canadian broadcaster Bob Cole and historian Dr. Simon Schama.

Dr. Mohsen Daneshtalab, Pharmacy, forged links with a Japanese pharmaceutical company that will fund his laboratory for three years and supply a postdoctoral Japanese fellow to assist with research. Dr. Daneshtalab's research is on discovery of novel antifungal drugs, specifically effective against invasive fungal infections in HIV-infected patients. Collaboration with the Japanese company SS Pharmaceutical in Narita City began last year when Dr. Daneshtalab was in Japan attending the 18th International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry.

Roy Romanow, former premier of Saskatchewan and sole commissioner of the federal government's Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, delivered the John Kenneth Galbraith Lecture in Public Policy at Memorial's St. John's. On Oct. 23, Mr. Romanow delivered a lecture titled Governance, Accountability and Public Input: Building a Modern Health Care System. The John Kenneth Galbraith Lecture in Public Policy is an initiative of Memorial University's Public Policy Research Centre, the Office of the Dean of Arts and the Office of the President. Made possible through a generous donation from Dr. Galbraith, the annual lecture is intended to bring to Memorial University outstanding figures whose work reflects their commitment to excellence in scholarship and public affairs.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to Canada, paid a visit to Memorial's St. John's campus. While at Memorial, the ambassador met with Dr. Stuart Durrant's Russian students, and presented the Russian Ambassador's Award for Excellence in Russian Language and Literature to Krista Baker. He also presented the Russian Government Scholarship to students Danielle Crewe and Matthew Tite, who were off to study in Moscow for a year.

Memorial officially opened The Works recreation facilities at a ceremony Oct. 22. Officials from the university gathered with students, faculty, staff and guests at a ceremony on the presentation court of the new $13-million Field House, the centre-piece of The Works recreational complex, which includes the Aquarena, specialized facilities in the university's School of Human Kinetics and Recreation and outdoor sports pitches. Participating in the colourful opening ceremonies were President Dr. Axel Meisen, Premier Roger Grimes, Memorial officials including Chancellor John Crosbie and Board of Regents Chairman Edward Roberts and several varsity athletes. Also on hand for the opening were students, faculty and staff and a number of officials from the provincial government and the City of St. John's.

More than 220 people, alumni and friends, gathered at the Chateau Laurier on Oct. 24 for Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador 2002 - Ottawa, an evening of celebrating Memorial University and the province. Alumnus Everett Anstey, chair of Sun Microsystems of Canada and past-chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada, addressed the group on building a culture of innovation. Julie Bettney, provincial minister of tourism, shared stories of Newfoundland and Labrador's many successes, paying particular attention to the building of The Rooms, a world-class cultural centre under construction in St. John's. Memorial's president, Dr. Axel Meisen, set the stage for the night when he introduced a sample of Memorial's own innovations in oil and gas, international studies, recruitment and music.