Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray installed as Saint Mary’s University’s 34th President
Dr. Robert Summerby -Murray was formally installed as Saint Mary’s 34th President and Vice-Chancellor on Friday afternoon. The installation was part of the Santamarian ceremony, welcoming new students into the Saint Mary’s community.
Vice-President Academic and Research, Dr. David Gauthier, presided over the ceremony, which began with welcoming remarks from Dr. Isabelle Knockwood, Mi’kmaq elder, Saint Mary’s alumna and the recipient of an honorary degree from Saint Mary’s.
Dr. Knockwood made note of the work of the Task Force report on Aboriginal students and the important strategies within to enhance the learning experiences of Aboriginal Santamarians. She closed her remarks with “Tan tesijik nokmaq,” which means we are related to all that is.
University Chaplain, Fr. Robert Arsenault delivered a reflection during the ceremony and Vice-President Academic SMUSA, Rachel MacDonald, delivered an address on the university motto, Age Quod Agis. The aboriginal community’s involvement in the ceremony continued during the signing of the register which was performed by alumnus Jarvis Googoo.
The formal installation was conducted by John Fitzpatrick, Chair, and Karen Oldfield, Vice-Chair, of the Board of Governors.
In his installation address Dr. Summerby-Murray affirmed a commitment to Santamarian values, which are captured in the university motto Age Quod Agis, which means ‘do what you do.’
“It is a call for dedication, a focus on duty and perseverance, a statement of process,” President Summerby-Murray said. “It is a call for us to act in the world, to shoulder responsibility, to champion social justice, environmental justice and ethical values.”
President Summerby-Murray also outlined his four priorities that will form the basis of his vision for Saint Mary’s during his presidency. These four priorities position the university as: student and learner centred, concerned for a just and civil society, committed to financial sustainability and as Canada’s International University.
“This is vision for action in my presidency,” he said. “ It will need your input and engagement in the months ahead.”