Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, delivered the universitys annual report to the community in an address to the Rotary Club of St. Johns today at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.
Dr. Kachanoski had originally been scheduled to speak at Rotary early last month but inclement weather postponed his engagement. And the past six weeks were so jam-packed with activities and announcements for Memorial, the new president was compelled to significantly revamp his original presentation.
So much has happened in the intervening weeks, the president told his audience. It really is a window into the accelerated pace of growth that we are experiencing at Memorial these days and I would argue in the city and the province, too.
He highlighted a long list of major activities, announcements and accomplishments for the university that include investments in the ocean engineering, research and marine simulation centres, funding to construct the new Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Centre, a scholarship and endowment program from the Hebron project aimed at women and students with disabilities, creation of a new NSERC-Altius research chair and the completion of his new leadership team through appointment of vice-presidents to oversee the academic activities at Memorial and the Grenfell campus in Corner Brook.
Recent announcements involving federal, provincial and industry partners have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in investments to support and recognize talented faculty, staff and students, and the importance of their work to the social, scientific, economic and cultural development of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada, the president told Rotary.
It was Dr. Kachanoskis first time addressing Rotary, and he acknowledged the long-standing tradition of reporting to the community about Memorials people, programs and progress over the past year.
When you live with this university in your own backyard, its easy to forget that world class applies to the home team, said Dr. Kachanoski, who was Bently Research Chair in Soil Conservation and a former vice-president of research at the University of Alberta in Edmonton prior to coming to Memorial. There is so much to be proud of in the quality of our graduates, the quality of our faculty and staff, and in the quality of the work we do
we are leaders in many areas.
He pointed to SIFE Memorials recent first place wins at the 2011 regional competition in Halifax, where the team won all three topic championships; the Memorial Sea Hawks recent top-place finish in Canadian Intercollegiate Sport competition; and medal presentations to student volunteers.
Dr. Kachanoski also highlighted the release of Memorials latest annual report, Wish You Were Here, Presidents Report Highlights 2010. He described the report as a travelogue in postcards that illustrates the reach that Memorial faculty, staff and students have at home and around the globe.
The president thanked provincial and federal government partners for supporting and investing in Memorials growth and success over the past number of years.
Its a strong indicator of the confidence they have in Memorial University, and in the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A complete copy of Dr. Kachanoskis speech will be posted to www.mun.ca/president/ by end of day Thursday, March 24.