Welcome to the winter session at York University. We have just completed an incredibly successful fall term and I am looking forward to what 2012 will bring.
I am very excited about the newly renovated Osgoode Hall Law School, one of the many highlights of 2011. The transformation of this 43-year-old building was made possible with $25 million in federal and provincial funding and generous donations from the Building Osgoode Campaign. The financial support allowed us to redesign and renovate almost 200,000 square feet of advanced learning and research space.
Also in September, four York professors: Pat Armstrong, Isabella Bakker, Rishma Dunlop and Bernard Lightman, were named as Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences.
And I hosted a Town Hall where I shared the vision for the University.
In October, we received a $25-million transformative donation from Pierre Lassonde, chairman of the Franco-Nevada Corporation, for an expanded engineering school. This is in addition to the $50 million we received from the provincial government in June. The project, one of the largest expansions in the University’s history, will redefine engineering for the 21st century.
And York University Professor Haideh Moghissi was awarded the prestigious Trudeau Fellowship prize from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
In November, York University was a sea of red and white as students, faculty and staff celebrated Spirit Day. It was a great day as members of our community showed the world how great York is by wearing red, white and York gear.
York University Professor Debra Pepler, an internationally respected expert on bullying, will lead a $1.6-million initiative announced by the Networks of Centres of Excellence on bullying prevention.
Six outstanding alumni were celebrated for their contributions and achievements at the annual Bryden Alumni Awards gala.
And we finished November with a successful United Way campaign, which saw the University increase the number of donors by almost 80 per cent.
Finally, in December, HSBC Bank Canada donated $1 million to support undergraduate students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. The gift is the single largest corporate endowment supporting environmental studies awards in Canada.
If you would like to learn more about our many successes from this past year, please read my annual report, which can be found on my website.
We had a great fall term, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring. I hope to see you around our campuses.