The York University Magazine

YorkU Fall 2014

The alumni magazine of York University

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YorkU Fall 2014 5 photography by gary beechey s we begin the new academic year, I wish to welcome warmly all new and returning members of the York U community to our Keele and Glendon campuses. The anticipation of new students, the enthusiasm of new faculty, and the renewed energy of staff, faculty and students returning from their summer break all mark the arrival of the fall term and an exciting academic year ahead. This is also an ideal time to reflect on the joyful conclusion we had to the 2013-14 academic year. At our Spring Convoca- tion in June, we celebrated the installation of York University's 13th chancellor, Gregory Sorbara, a loyal friend, champion and graduate of York who studied at Glendon College and Osgoode Hall Law School and is known for his longtime public service and advocacy of postsecondary education. We cheered on 6,281 graduates as they crossed the stage, honoured faculty and student award winners, and paid tribute to 12 honorary degree recipients – from Pierre Lassonde, the visionary founding donor of our new Lassonde School of Engineering, to Wade Davis, an award- winning author, ethnographer and explorer. In her address to graduates, American public health pioneer Rita Colwell captured the commitment to public service shared by each of these diversely talented and principled community leaders: "There are few things more gratifying in life," she said, "than helping others to help them- selves." As we launch the new academic year, we will continue to advance our aims in comprehensive excellence, pursue new educational opportunities for our students and conduct leading-edge research in all fields. Our research funding continues to increase, as do our research activities. Last year, in addition to recruiting eight new Canada Research Chairs and increasing our research agreements by more than 33 per cent, we launched CommunityBUILD, a York-led social entrepreneurship program in partnership with York's regional innovation centre VentureLAB, Seneca College and the United Way of York Region. As with many of our peer institutions, budget challenges have made us realize that we need to operate more efficiently on our campuses. As a result, last year we launched the Academic and Administrative Program Review process – a University-wide effort that will help us to conduct a structured assessment of York's programs and services to ensure that while our focus remains on our academic priorities, we are safeguarding our financial sustainability. I am proud of our staff for collabo- rating on this effort and for their vital contributions to advancing the excellence and aspirations of the University. Our brand campaign, "this is my time," continues to be a success, and it has been exciting to watch the progress on a number of building projects underway on campus, including a new home for our Lassonde School of Engineering, the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium and the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension – all of which will provide the 21st- century facilities and access needed for an outstanding teaching and research university. I look forward to welcoming our York alumni back to campus in September for our annual homecoming celebrations and working together as a campus community as we continue to strengthen, advance and celebrate our vision for York's future. Y A by mamdouh shoukri Mamdouh Shoukri is York's president and vice-chancellor A s w e l a u n c h t h e n e w a c a d e m i c y e a r, w e w i l l c o n t i n u e t o a d v a n c e o u r a i m s i n c o mp re h e n s i v e e xc e l l e n c e President

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