The past year has been a celebratory one for York University. In August, the University received a prestigious $33.3 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), which will support the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program. CFREF ranked York among the top five universities in the world for its expertise in vision research, showcasing our leadership in the field. We are also having an impact outside the classroom: In November, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed York among the top five universities in the country for best preparation of students for the workplace – a rating that underscores the value of a York education and the positive perceptions of our graduates by employers.
Since we launched Impact: The Campaign for York University in April 2016, we have had an opportunity to spread the word about York’s excellence around the world, and to celebrate the impact our nearly 300,000 alumni are having both locally and globally. In this short period of time, our alumni community has raised more than $270 million of our $500 million goal through volunteer and philanthropic efforts. Your ongoing support is helping us to deliver truly game-changing learning environments for our students and faculty.
As I enter my final year as president, I find myself not only reflecting on the transformations that have taken place across campus over the past decade, but also looking ahead to the major developments still on the horizon. In addition to new community partnerships with Cinespace Film Studios and the Regent Park School of Music, we are preparing to host the 2017 North American Indigenous Games this summer at our York Lions Stadium – the first time the Games will be held in Ontario. Our Markham Centre campus is slated to open in 2020, bringing key economic and innovation priorities to the region. We can also look forward to the completion of two new subway stations on our Keele campus, scheduled to open in December as part of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension.
The future is bright for Canada’s progressive university, as we continue to engage our global community of alumni, friends and partners, and build on our heritage of academic and social innovation.