President's Report 2007

Highlights

Husky Energy increases support

President Axel Meisen and Dr. John C.S. Lau

Husky Energy committed an additional half-a-million dollars to Memorial's Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research, which it established with a $2-million donation in 2003. Dr. John C.S. Lau, president and chief executive officer of Husky Energy, joined President Axel Meisen of Memorial University on April 24 to announce details of the additional support. In June 2003, Husky Energy donated $2 million to create an endowment to establish the Husky Energy Chair, the first endowed research chair at Memorial.


  • Dr. Ronald Rompkey, who teaches in the English department, was awarded the Ordre National du Mérite. This Order of Chivalry is awarded by the president of the French Republic to French nationals for distinguished civil and military achievements, and to foreigners for service to France and the Francophonie. The honour recognizes Dr. Rompkey's contribution to the francophone community of Newfoundland and Labrador - work that has significantly raised the profile of that small but important group.
  • This past year Memorial signed a memorandum of understanding with Bournemouth University in the U.K. The MOU reaffirms a commitment to building partnerships with the school located on the south coast of England. Bournemouth has one of its two campuses in the city of Poole, an area with strong ties to the province. The MOU was established to help build a collaborative relationship between the two universities, recognizing the historic 400-year-old connection between this province and that region of England.
  • Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette visited the St. John's campus last fall to deliver the F. W. Angel Memorial Lecture. Ms. Payette's topic for the event was Space Exploration - An Astronaut's Perspective. Montréal born Julie Payette is the eighth Canadian and the second Canadian woman in space. The Angel Lecture is sponsored by the faculty of Engineering and Applied.
  • Three prominent writers were honoured during Memorial's fall convocation ceremonies at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre last October, where more than 500 students received degrees. Ingeborg Marshall, Anne Hart and Dr. Alison Feder were awarded honorary degrees. As well, two renowned researchers - Dr. Roy West and Dr. Kevin Keough - were awarded the designation professor emeritus.
  • ACE Memorial, a group of young entrepreneurs on campus, represented Canada in the SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) World Cup and advanced to the semi-final round. Fifteen members of the ACE Memorial team travelled to Paris, France, in September to compete against teams from 48 other countries. More than 1,000 people attended the competition hosted by SIFE, a global non-profit organization that mobilizes university students to create economic opportunity for others while discovering their own potential.
  • Dr. Noreen Golfman, associate dean of Graduate Studies and professor of English at Memorial, assumed the presidency of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences in November. The federation represents over 50,000 researchers, practitioners and graduate students.
  • The curtain rose on a new chapter of one of Memorial's most popular performances facilities. The D. F. Cook Recital Hall, located in the School of Music, received $450,000 in renovations - everything from new seats, carpet, lighting and sound system and stage floor. A re-dedication ceremony was held last September. The venue has been in constant use since opening in 1985.
  • Memorial University presented honorary degrees to nine outstanding Canadians during spring convocation. Chris Brookes, documentary radio broadcaster, was honoured during convocation at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. Honorary degree recipients at the St. John's campus included Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, soldier and humanitarian; writer Wayne Johnston; Moyra Buchan, advocate for people with mental illnesses; Dr. Jack Clark, long time director of C-CORE; Barbara Hopkins, founding president of the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador; Miller Ayre, businessman and publisher of the Telegram; Bruce Cockburn, singer, songwriter and humanitarian; and Hayley Wickenheiser, captain of the Canadian national women's hockey team.
  • Officials from Memorial University and Honeywell announced a $13.2-million energy savings and facility renewal project last September. The work, focuses on eight buildings on the St. John's campus, includes new lighting and heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) equipment; improvements to mechanical systems; and upgrades to building automation systems. The project is expected to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 15 per cent or 7,300 tonnes per year. That's equivalent to removing 1,150 cars from the road, according to Environment Canada.
  • Memorial University received favourable grades in the 2006 edition of the Globe and Mail's University Report Card. Grouped among Canada's medium-sized universities, Memorial received its highest grade, an A, in a number of categories including overall quality of education, overall university atmosphere, academic reputation, reputation of university among employers, and quality/availability of technology on campus just to name a few. A's were also given in areas such as personal safety/security, library services, and the ease of course registration process. The Globe and Mail report card also recognized Dr. TA Loeffler, a professor in Memorial's School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, in its Class Acts feature story.
  • Memorial marked Remembrance Day this past year with a ceremony at the Reid Theatre. The event included highlights from a documentary filmed in France marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The DVD, produced by Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT), is titled The Return of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment: The Battle of Beaumont-Hamel Remembered.
  • A fifth-year Memorial University student completing a joint honours degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry was named the province's latest Rhodes Scholar last November. Luke Pike, 22, a native of Grand Bank on the province's Burin Peninsula, graduated from Memorial in May 2007 with his bachelor of science degree. He is now studying molecular medicine at Oxford University where he'll complete a graduate degree in medical oncology.
  • Memorial's faculty of Education hosted The National Aboriginal Student Services Association executive fall meeting on the St. John's campus last December. This countrywide organization is dedicated to ensuring the concerns of aboriginal students across Canada are heard by post-secondary institutions.
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland unveiled an unorthodox approach to its new student recruitment advertising campaign. The campaign's concept - Rant like Rick - is based on rant component of The Rick Mercer Report. The two TV ads feature a male and a female each "ranting" about some of the things that influence how prospective students choose a university. The three winners, Melissa Hoskins from St. John's, Brandon Copeland from Wolfville, N.S., and Stefanie Peters from Sydney, N.S., were introduced at a special Rant like Rick ceremony last May.
  • This past year the Memorial women's basketball team had a spring like no other in its history. The team won the Atlantic women's championship, hosted the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women's basketball championships for the first time, and finished the season winning its first national medal before a jam-packed crowd in the Field House in St. John's. The Women's Sea-Hawks took bronze with a 75-60 victory over one of its closest rivals, the Dalhousie Tigers.