Thank you Simon Fraser University for 10 engaging years

August 18, 2020

It’s been ten years since I became president of Simon Fraser University. Now, as my term in office draws to a close, I feel a mixture of emotions that includes a sense of gratification at what we have achieved, sadness at leaving a role and people I have come to love and, most of all, appreciation for having been given the privilege of serving the university community in this capacity.

We’ve come a long way over the past decade and we have accomplished a lot together. The short video essay I have attached below tells part of that story, and how our commitment to engagement animates our vision and gives purpose to our accomplishments.

I have played my part in moving us forward, but the real credit for our progress belongs to you – our talented staff, gifted students and accomplished faculty. One of the major reasons I sought the presidency ten years ago was my belief, based on what I knew and what I learned through further enquiry, that the SFU community was characterized by a unique combination of openness, creativity and passion that enabled the institution to take risks and do things differently than its traditional counterparts.

I have not been disappointed. As president, my main role has been to nurture and harness these qualities to create the conditions under which the institution could enlarge its contributions and enhance its reputation. However the actual changes that have come about, more often than not, have been initiated by others, and none of what we have achieved would have been possible without the dedication and support of this remarkable community.        

So thank you all. The opportunity I have enjoyed to serve with you, work for you and learn from you has been a highlight of my life, and the sense of joy and shared accomplishment that I have gained in the process is something I will treasure forever more. As I have said before, while I may be leaving the presidency, my heart will always be with SFU.