|Robert M. Campbell, Ph.D
President and Vice-Chancellor
Allow me this opportunity to welcome the Mount Allison community to the 2012-13 academic year. I hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy the glorious summer and to get refreshed and ready for another tremendous year at Mount Allison.
We are always excited to see students return in the fall, but especially delighted to greet our hundreds of new students. So, Class of 2016, welcome to Mount Allison!
In the thrill and rush of settling in, you probably have not yet thought about what it means to be an Allisonian. Let me begin to fill you in.
You are now part of a family, 20,000 strong, that will be part of who you are for the rest of your life. Whether they graduated six or sixty years ago, you are connected to each of those alumni through the shared experience of Mount Allison. Only another Allisonian will understand the welcoming quality of Jennings dining hall or how delicious a burger from Mel's can taste; or really appreciate what a pleasure it is to sun yourself by the Swan Pond while you pretend to study or the invigorating character of running or walking through the Tantramar marsh; or develop the fierce loyalty that you feel toward your residence and your classmates.
To all our students, new and returning, we have a wonderfully interesting year ahead.
Construction on our new $30-million Centre for the Arts is about to begin and will continue throughout the year. You will have the chance to watch the Centre — which is scheduled to open in September 2014 — take shape as the academic year progresses. Those of you in first and second year can look forward to taking Fine Arts and Drama classes and attending shows there in your final years at Mount Allison.
Another event to look forward to this year is the first edition of the Mansbridge Summit, which takes place October 26. The Summit will see Chancellor Peter Mansbridge on campus for the day hosting academic discussion and debate about the role of the Canadian public service in setting policy directions in Canada. A number of faculty, practitioners, journalists, and other prominent Canadians will offer their expertise during the event and students will be invited to take part in an exciting large-scale simulation, working through a case study focused on energy and the environment. It will be an excellent opportunity for students to test what they have learned in class and to gain insight from those working in the field.
Speaking of the field, I also encourage all of you to come out and support our Mounties as often and as loudly as possible. Between our varsity and club teams, there are several matches taking place every week. Get out your garnet and gold colours and take in a game of soccer, football, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, badminton, and more. There is not only University pride, but residence pride on the line. Several years ago we created the President's Spirit Award, which is presented annually to the residence whose support contributes most greatly to its assigned sports team. Over the past four years, Harper Hall and Edwards House have been trading the award back and forth, so there is lots of incentive for everyone else to try to best them this year.
And finally, 2012-13 is the Year of Public Service and Citizenship. The annual President's Speakers Series will bring a number of engaging and energetic speakers to campus to address this theme from all angles, from a human rights activist to someone who inspires others for a living, to two people who have spent their lives bringing stories of the vulnerable to the world — one through Amnesty International and the UN, the other as a journalist.
But it would be wrong, it seems, to focus on public service and citizenship only by listening to what others have to say about it. Mount Allison students are known for taking action and getting involved, for pouring time and energy into making their community — and the world — a better place to live in. We hope this year's theme will inspire even more of you to find your passion and determine how you can use it to serve your community.
The China-Canada Liberal Arts Forum. The Atlantic Conference on Student Mental Health on Campus. Theatre productions in Convocation Hall in Windsor Theatre Out of the Box. The Performing Arts Series in Brunton Hall. The Public Poetics conference. Will this be a jam-packed year? Indeed, it certainly will be!! But you will come to find that this is a pretty typical year here at Mount Allison. There is never a shortage of things to do or knowledge to gain. Whether this is your first year at Mount Allison or your last, we hope you complete the year successfully and leave us in the spring with far more in your mind, heart, and soul than you had in September.
Dr. Robert Campbell
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Allison University