Inspiring Events

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe:

My wife Barbara and I invite all members of the University community to our annual Open House on Sunday, December 9th, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.  Last year, over 450 people came for a portion or all of the afternoon.  This is a wonderful tradition and a great opportunity to socialize with colleagues and students, as well as with Board members, alumni and other members of the Greater Sudbury community.  Please RSVP by calling 705-673-6577 or by email at lul-rsvp@laurentian.ca by December 5th.  Please bring indoor footwear. A babysitting service is available, as well as a shuttle service from the York Street and Bell Park (off Elizabeth) city parking lots.

I want to thank the 250 people who attended the “LU Rendez-Vous” to celebrate 84 colleagues on November 21st.   We celebrated a combined 2,101 years of service among those who completed 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years, as well as recent or upcoming retirees. We received a lot of positive feedback about this year’s event and want to acknowledge members of the organizing committee, Silvie Allard, Bernard Beaulieu, Suzanne Chartrand, France Girard, Julie Lacroix and Marie-Lynne Michaud for their hard work, as well as the many people who supported them from various departments.  I would also like to thank the wonderful jazz ensemble and Café Piaf artists who made it a memorable event. Pictures from the event, as well as the video of testimonials from honorees, can be viewed here.

It was also a pleasure for me to join colleagues to celebrate the book launches of Alain Beaulieu (“Gilles Deleuze et ses contemporains”) and Réal Filion (“Foucault and the Indefinite Work of Freedom”) that same afternoon at La Fromagerie Elgin.

On Thursday November 22nd, another well attended Laurentian Soapbox was held in the building housing the School of Education, the Department of Music and the School of Rural and Northern Health.  This month’s edition had an international theme, with insightful presentations from Dr. Jorge Virchez (Geography), Dr. Gerardo Ulibarri (Chemistry), Melissa Keeping  (Laurentian International) and student Matt Rabey.

That Friday, an emotional sunrise ceremony presided over by Chief Steven Miller from the Whitefish Lake First Nation took place on the site of the School of Architecture, across the street from La Fromagerie.  The ceremony was attended by over 50 people from all parts of the University and of the external community, very early in the morning. I was moved once again by the First Nations’ traditions, the symbolism of the ceremony, but most importantly by the diversity of the gathering which illustrated well the genesis and the future benefits of Laurentian School of Architecture.

On Tuesday November 27th, I had the pleasure of opening the NELHIN/Laurentian University Seniors Falls Prevention Forum with my colleague Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).  The forum was held at the new United Steelworkers Hall. Congratulations to Dr. John Lewko for his leadership in organizing this joint workshop attended by 180 people.

I have also heard from colleagues how very enthusiastic they are about the announcement from a few weeks ago, appointing the Silver Birch String Quartet as the String Quartet-in-Residence at Laurentian.

Finally, the annual Aramark luncheon to benefit Laurentian’s United Way Campaign will be held on Wednesday, December 12th in the Great Hall. I look forward to seeing you there!  If you haven’t yet considered making a gift or pledge towards the $42,500 campaign goal, I encourage you to do so now!  We are currently at 60% of our goal, with three weeks left to the campaign.  Donors who make a pledge by December 7th will qualify for a draw for free parking and a dinner at Verdicchio’s.

These events – and I could have highlighted many more – have one thing a common: they are inspiring.

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter: you can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or you can join the 4,700 people who follow me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank You, Miigwech.

Thank You to our Administrative Professionals

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

This week, in many departments of our university community, colleagues celebrated Administrative Professionals Week.

Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.  They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.

Therefore, I want to seize this opportunity to thank all our administrative professionals for the important work they do on a daily basis to support our faculty and students.

If Laurentian is achieving this year the highest increase in first choice applications among Ontario universities from secondary school student and non-secondary school students alike, if the Globe and Mail reports on most indicators that student satisfaction at Laurentian is either above the average of similar-sized Canadian universities or has improved, if a proportion of Laurentian students greater than the provincial average now report that if they had to start over, they would return to Laurentian, it’s in part because of the dedication and commitment of our administrative professionals.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  If you haven’t had a chance lately, I invite you to thank today administrative professionals who make your work or learning easier as faculty, staff or students.

For my part, I thank Diane Massicotte, Silvie Allard, Roxane Marois and France Girard who have made my life much easier since I have joined the university.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the 15 recent or upcoming retirees who were honored earlier this week by the university community for their combined 422 years of service.  Thank you to Claudette Allard, Brian Bigelow, Flo Carrière, Donald Dennie, Gaétan Gervais, David Goforth, Gerry Labelle, Dougal McCreath, Raymond Pong, Joyce Poulin, Jean Séguin, Pierre Simoni, Mercedes Steedman, Frank Stradiotto and Bob Wilson.  Each of you has made Laurentian a better university through your teaching, research, community service or administrative support.

As usual, I welcome comments and questions on the topics discussed in my blog postings, or any other matter that may be of concern to you. My email is: dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca
You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Dominic Giroux