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REF NO.: 22
SUBJECT: This November, Celebrate Memorial!
DATE: Oct. 22,2002
This November, Celebrate Memorial! From Nov. 1-16, Memorial will host a series of celebration activities designed to affirm the university's strong ties with the community of Newfoundland and Labrador. Celebrate Memorial's two-week schedule is chock full of events for members of the university community and the public. With lectures, awards ceremonies and public events at both the St. John's and the Grenfell College campuses, the celebration is designed so that there is something for everyone.
Celebrate Memorial began in 1999, the 50th anniversary of Memorial as a degree- granting institution. The success of that anniversary led to the continuing of the celebrations, recognizing that there are numerous reasons for Memorial to celebrate as a community each year.
The Celebrate Memorial plans for 2002 were unveiled during the official opening of the Field House, the new $13-million 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.
Celebrate Memorial activities are focused around the special time each year that Memorial holds its Ceremony of Remembrance. Victoria Collins, director of University Relations, recognizes the significance of this time of the year. "November is a special time for Memorial, especially considering the origin of the university as a war memorial," she said. "By holding Celebrate Memorial in conjunction with the remembrance ceremony, its importance is highlighted."
Dr. Lilly Walker, dean of Student Affairs and Services and chair of the celebration committee, agrees that this event is an important one.
"Students value a sense of ritual, a connection to history, " she said. "Events like this one make people feel like they belong. This celebration, in part, acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of students in a visible way. It also brings in the community to participate in the celebration."
Key activities for this year's celebrations include an open house at the Field House, public lectures, a teleconference, and alumni, student and employee awards events. There will also be a student leader forum, kitchen parties and a volunteer fair.
This year's theme, Connecting to the Community, is particularly salient, according to Ms. Collins. "It underlies everything we do at Memorial," she said. "The university's mission statement identifies its commitment to service to the general public and we take our commitment to the community very seriously," she said. "Because Memorial is the only university in Newfoundland and Labrador, this role is especially critical. As such, this year's theme - Connecting to Community - is indeed an apt one."
For the purposes of the celebration, the term community is being interpreted on many levels. In its immediate sense, it is hoped that people living near Memorial's campuses in St. John's and Corner Brook will come by, attend the various events being held, and find out what the university has to offer.
Memorial connects to its communities in a number of ways. Memorial professors often work in the community, conducting research, giving lectures and publishing, thereby collecting and disseminating information to and for the public. Memorial alumni, now over 45,000 strong, are one of the university's greatest community connections and also an important community unto itself. Outstanding faculty and alumni will be honoured during Celebrate Memorial.
Students also provide invaluable links to community. The second annual Student Leader Forum will not only acknowledge outstanding students, but also invest in further training for these students. "Leaders forge new pathways, coalesce and excite people," Dr. Walker noted. Sir Wilfred Grenfell College will also hold an advising day, where students at the college will have the opportunity to explore future studies and careers.
"In the end, when we speak of Memorial University, we are talking about a community of students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni that is integrated into the larger community," says John Kearsey, director of Memorial's Office of Alumni Affairs and Development. "We are all linked together through our personal, professional and philanthropic efforts to build a stronger community that is informed by our past and prepared for the future, whatever challenges it may bring."
A full calendar of events is available at www.mun.ca/celebrate.
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