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"Here, on the threshold of becoming the 16th Principal of McGill University, I am filled with the deepest admiration for what has taken place in these chambers and on these grounds -- for the history of human achievement that constitutes McGill."
Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, on the occasion of her Installation, March 10, 2003.
"When asked by McGill's Search Committee for possible nominations for principal, I said confidently that Heather was the most qualified Canadian alive not already serving as a university president to assume the principalship at McGill. "
"She will bring fresh eyes to old issues; she will bring new ambition to overcome old barriers; she will lift spirits and inspire all those she works with; and she will give of herself more than she asks of anyone around her. And so now, at long last, she comes home to Montreal and McGill where she belongs. "
"We give her away reluctantly today. Your gain is our loss. But the gain is not just McGill's: it is higher education's gain and it is Canada's gain. Excerpts from a luncheon toast by J. Robert S. Prichard, ex-President of the University of Toronto, who has graciously endured living "with the regrettable fact that McGill is five years older than Toronto." "
Excerpts from a luncheon toast by J. Robert S. Prichard, ex-President of the University of Toronto, who has graciously endured living "with the regrettable fact that McGill is five years older than Totonro."
"Universities fuel our social, cultural and economic institutions and they help design the shape of our communities. Universities promote the free exchange of ideas and encourage open and meaningful debate. The health of democratic society, our society, depends on that debate and exchange. Universities wrestle with our most difficult problems, and formulate solutions to dilemmas across the spectrum of human activity: Who controls the media? How do we sustain a life-giving environment? What is the role of the free market? How can we cure cancer? "
"I believe that there can be no greater happiness than to be called upon to serve a cause for which you care passionately, and into which you can pour all of your energy and any talent you may possess. This is my lucky fate. But it is not only mine. It is the fate of all who serve universities."
"Year after year, McGill's students and faculty excel, and contribute, and succeed disproportionately to our size and our resources. If we were prize-fighters, it would be said that we "punch above our weight." Our astonishingly bright students win more national awards, international awards, and Rhodes scholarships than any other university in this country."
"We are armed with the most powerful weapons in the history of civilization ó creative human intelligence, wonderful partners, special communities, the inspirational beauty that surrounds us, and spirits that reach higher and higher, ever upwards. "
"On this day, with each of you as a witness, I commit myself to McGill. Every person here, and the many more that you represent, are important to this great university, and to me."
"En ce jour, nous célébrons l'esprit exceptionnel de notre université. C'est aujourd'hui, que nous amorçons ensemble un nouveau chapitre dans l'histoire de McGill."
Excerpts from Munroe-Blum's speech at the Installation Ceremony.
"To do your job well as principal, you only need to be: a politician, fundraiser, budget cutter, salary raiser, spiritual confessor, professor, negotiator, diplomat, parental substitute, guardian of public safety, provider of wholesome and tasty dormitory meals, dedicated researcher, conserver of age-old values, politically correct and hip leader, director of athletics, witty spokesperson in the press, expert on all things, humble servant, charismatic leader, eloquent speaker in both official languages and at least one dead language, sophisticated host, example of physical fitness, literary critic, scientist, historian, arbiter of musical taste, expert on waste disposal, investment guru, friend of the municipal, provincial, and federal governments, towering public figure and, of course, just one of the gang."
Excerpt from the Installation greeting of Robert J. Birgeneau, President of the University of Toronto, on behalf of the Association of American Universities.