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Thank you from the Principal

A message from Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University

When adversity knocks, McGill rolls up its sleeves and gets down to work. So it was this week, when a City of Montreal water main opened up and unleashed a massive flood on our downtown campus late Monday afternoon.

I write to thank all those who sprang into action to limit damage and to keep people safe, as well as those who then began the arduous, round-the-clock work to assess buildings and damage, start the mopping up where possible to ensure our programs were running to the best of our ability, and, to begin the process of getting the University back to normal. Those who rescheduled dozens of classes on short notice also deserve our applause.Overall, we did our level best to help everyone who needed it.

There are many stories of dedicated effort, but let me mention two: the Engineering students and faculty who slapped together a makeshift dike to divert water away from the entrance to McConnell Engineering and, meanwhile, in the costume shop in the basement of the Arts Building, dressing rooms and costume storage rooms were flooded. There was some damage to costumes and props, but staff moved quickly to get most costumes out of harm’s way,then turned their attention to cleaning up the mess.

I also want to thank all of you affected by this incident, who had to adjust around disrupted classes, closed out office space, or because your agenda for the week was abruptly changed. You coped with patience and co-operation, pitching in to work extra time and to help colleagues and students deal with difficulties.

Some of you work in offices that will be out of service for a significant period of time. Teams are working hard to get these spaces back on line as quickly as possible and to do their best to make sure you are comfortable in your temporary work and study spaces.

The McGill community responded to this disaster with speed, efficiency and calm professionalism of which we can all be very proud.

Warm regards,

Prof. Heather Munroe-Blum