There can be no greater honour than serving York’s dynamic and diverse community of students, staff, faculty and alumni as your new president and vice-chancellor. York University is fundamentally committed to equity and social justice, and to bringing our scholarly, research and creative activities to bear in addressing the world’s biggest challenges. During my 15 years at York, I have seen first-hand how our standing as a progressive, comprehensive research university is closely tied to our alumni community. You embody the best of the University and are our ambassadors locally, nationally and globally.
Many of you remain engaged with York following graduation, whether through mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, participating as guest speakers or panel members, or helping students better understand the myriad career paths available to them upon graduation. As alumni, you are an important gateway to the world, providing our students access to diverse experiential education opportunities through community-based learning, community service learning, internships and co-ops. And through your donations, both large and small, you provide vital support to advance our shared goals and aspirations for the future, ensuring the University’s continued development and growth.
It is a point of pride for me and for all of us at the University that the York family today includes more than 300,000 alumni living and working all over the world. One of my priorities is to strengthen and improve our connectedness with alumni. This includes building stronger lifelong relationships through the facilitation of social and professional networks, and by providing preferential access to on-campus expertise and facilities and negotiated benefits with third-party suppliers. Connectedness is also about creating and fostering dialogue, so that every voice is valued and heard. I look forward to hearing from you about your successes, and sharing with you the University’s achievements, initiatives and plans for the future. By staying connected, we will ensure that our alumni continue to shape York’s future, just as they have helped to define our past.
The challenges of today’s unsettled world remind us that openness and inclusion, rather than exclusivity, must be the emerging model of the 21st century. I look forward to opportunities in upcoming editions of The York University Magazine to speak to the themes that I believe will be essential to continuing to grow York’s reputation for excellence, engagement and impact. I hope to see you on campus or at alumni events, and I encourage you to connect with me on social media @YorkUPresident or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org