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REF NO.: 91

SUBJECT: Presidentís report Memorial University Z to A released
DATE: Dec. 10, 2009

Dr. Christopher W. Loomis, Memorial University’s president and vice-chancellor pro tempore, has officially released his 2009 annual report, titled Memorial University Z to A.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, Dr. Loomis met with Minister of Education Dr. Darin King to formally present him with a copy of the book. A preview version of the report was presented to the Board of Regents in November.

The 2009 report is a website and an 88-page pocket-sized booklet that includes highlights of the university's major achievements during the past year. Both the website and the highlights booklet contain the university's financial statements and an array of statistics on the province's only university, the largest post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.

This year's report has been issued under the conceptual theme of Z to A. As signified by the booklet's first entry – Z is for Zagger (“Those who make a sharp change of direction in a zig-zag course; intellectual adventurers”) –

 Memorial is a place comprised of individuals who “zag instead of zig.” The 26 stories are based on words that capture the Memorial experience and its successes, each beginning with a subsequent letter of the alphabet. This sequence literally articulates the 2008-09 Memorial year using a lexicon inspired by the events and accomplishments of Memorial’s faculty, staff and students.

"The minister of education was very impressed with the 2009 report, especially by its concept and the creative way in which it has presented the achievements of the Memorial community,” Dr. Loomis said. “It is a president's report unlike any other and it is one more example of how we distinguish ourselves from other universities. I am very proud to be associated with this report and extend my thanks and appreciation to the creative team in Marketing and Communications which helped develop it. I believe it will prove to be yet another success like the one achieved with last year’s Novel Ideas."

Some of Memorial's highlights from the past year featured in Memorial University Z to A include:

·         Yaffle: Memorial's fully searchable, research database is named after the traditional term for "an arm load." It’s an appropriate definition for the act of uploading digital information in the 21st century.

·         Venturers: As international title holders in Students in Free Enterprise competition, a group of Faculty of Business students are no strangers to global achievement. But it is the more than 32,000 volunteer hours and the $1.9 million contribution to the provincial economy that make Memorial's venturers true champions.

·         Ripple: The ripple effect of $6.5-million worth of funding to the Ocean Sciences Centre from the Canada Foundation for Innovation will not only be felt at the Logy Bay facility, but will continue to wash over the whole community. Amongst many other projects, the funding will help create a deep-seawater source for the study of deep-ocean life forms and the environment.

·         Interface: MUNlive, a proprietary real-time chat tool, developed from the simple desire to bring people together. It's a user-friendly interface that allows new and potential students from around the world explore Memorial from a distance.

·         Forte: Dr. Beverley Diamond, ethnomusicologist in the School of Music, remains the first and only Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in any musical discipline. While she’s still planning how to use the generous funding that comes with the fellowship, the results are sure to be fortissimo.

·         Antithesis:  The Faculty of Medicine's Dr. Guang Sun discovered 45 genes linked to weight gain. He based his research on the antithetical idea that instead of putting people on a diet, he would bulk them up. Sometimes, when you want to find out the best way down, you have to go up.

The university’s enrolments continue to climb and the student population is more than 17,000, while research funding at the university stands at just over $90 million.

"It is an exciting and rewarding time to be at the helm of this remarkable university," said Dr. Loomis. "The stories and developments that have unfolded here during the past year bode well for the future of this province. Memorial is ideally positioned to channel the vision and energy of those who study and work here."

The 2009 President's Report will be distributed to community and business groups, educational leaders and major donors, granting councils and other university supporters. Copies of the report's highlights brochure can be requested by calling (709) 737-8663 or e-mailing marcomm@mun.ca.

View the full report online at www.mun.ca/2009report.

 The report was produced in-house at Memorial by staff in the Division of Marketing and Communications and the Department of Computing and Communications.

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