University of Guelph 50th Anniversary Video


White and dark. High, low and in between. Each note struck separately in its own
place and moment in time. Groups of notes combining in a unified
purpose. The individual differences creating the
whole. The pieces forming the piece. The notes combine to fill the hall as the faces of this place have
sought to enhance the world. One by one, individuals together making
a multitude. I am the face of the University of Guelph. The University of Guelph’s origins are born of a desire to enhance Canadian society by making better and more efficient use
of the land and its animals. This original aspiration was extended
through the formidable influence of social reformer Adelaide
Hoodless who brought concern for improving the
lives of women and children by providing them with enhanced
educational opportunities. Forty years after her death, her own
McDonald Institute combined with the Ontario Veterinary
College and the Ontario Agricultural College to form the University of Guelph in 1964. Her fervently held belief in engagement and in the importance of teaching people
to care about their neighborhoods and their environment remain the
cornerstone of the institution. As we celebrate our first 50 years the University of Guelph has been
recognized as the world’s most caring University That caring is her legacy and our future. We’ve been volunteering here for
probably more than fifty years. My dad gave Pat a scholarship cheque for a
thousand dollars from the OAC alumni foundation when
she graduated from high school. So out of the blue he phoned one night and said you don’t know me but my father gave you a thousand dollars would you like to go
for coffee? Our first date was in 1961. We graduated in 1964 and we got married that same year.
And we’ve been involved here in one way or another ever since. If you talk to alumni going back to the very first graduates,
they’ll tend to emphasize their volunteerism, their involvement in the community.
That’s what distinguishes this University from all the others. Since its inception Guelph has always
been focused on what’s real. People are always asking me about the
University of Guelph and why it seems to be different than many other institutions that they
know of. I always respond by saying that in a sense you don’t know where you’re
going if you don’t know where you’ve been and this institution knows where its been and knows its roots and has hung onto those roots and the spirit
that goes with that for many, many years.
As each new college was founded the emphasis was insistently external
rather than simply theoretical. No matter how abstract a field of study
at the University of Guelph there was always a lifeline to questions
of how does this fit into the larger picture? How does it benefit the world? We’re helping animals return to their
normal active lives after injury or surgery through innovative rehabilitation
techniques that may also lead to better health care for humans. We’re using tobacco plants to make
antibodies that fight cancer. Through this first year seminar we’re helping students think through some
pretty serious ethical and political issues.
We’ve been teaching troubled kids to improvise music. When kids are given a new language they’re
given a new way to look at themselves and at the world they live in.
I’m working on the DNA barcode project what an awesome place to walk into every
morning. We’ve been working on ways to help
disabled people get on with their lives using robotics.
I’m in the business program and like everything else here at the
University of Guelph we put her own spin on it. Here there’s a real emphasis on social
and ethical responsibility, a commitment to neighbourhoods,
to sustainability and to making this a better planet.
When I got back from studying in the Caribbean I couldn’t believe how many of us have
been away, and to how many incredible places. Last year Guelph
students took classes in 34 countries and a bunch of us
volunteered in developing nations. We’ve got students studying here
from 83 countries and graduates from Guelph, they’re in 144 countries from Antigua to Zimbabwe. The University of Guelph is a moving changing experience. Its grown from strong stable roots into
the remarkable institution we see today. And we know it’s always defind itself
as more than a teaching university and more than just a research institution
because of course it’s both. In 2002 with our partners at Humber
College in Toronto we created the University of Guelph-Humber which today has more than 3,500 students and combined with the 22,000 on the main
campus and students at its three regional
campuses across Ontario there are more than 27,000 University of Guelph students enrolled across the province. Each of whom is
committed in one way or another to changing lives and improving life. And
of course the University in turn is committed to the success of each and
every student. From The BetterPlanet Project to Project Serve, I don’t know of another
Canadian University that places such a value on serving
others. There’s a tradition here of making a
difference in the community. The Gryphons field
23 varsity teams and we send competitors to nearly
every Olympics but even among non-athletes here there’s a
real focus on healthy living and keeping fit. Students choose the University of Guelph
because they share the Canadian ideal of a rich social fabric woven together
with strands from every imaginable origin and of every
conceivable colour. We’re an intricate web of engaged thinkers and doers.
The intricacy the intimacy about linkage is what
creates the multifaceted face of this University. Starting with Adelaide Hoodless and
flowing through our history our humanity is what connects us. The consistency. The inevitability of
this connects communities back to the land. It is what draws students from such
diverse backgrounds and unites them. It has made us, over the past 50 years a University with truly global reach. This is the only university in the world
that could get me to mars I am the face
I am the face
I am the face
I am the face I am the face of the University of Guelph,
and we’ve made commitments we intend to keep. The University of Guelph is uniquely
positioned to address the biggest challenges facing our planet. The faces of this place will enhance the world.

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