Happy holidays

Dec. 12, 2013

As the holiday break approaches, I would like to offer you my warmest wishes for a relaxing, joyful and safe time with your family and friends.  I hope the holidays will be a time of celebration of all the good things in your lives, and a time to look forward to the year ahead.

I will certainly reflect on my first semester at McGill. It has been an extraordinary time for me. I appreciate the warm and generous hospitality you have extended to me. I am privileged to join a community that has shown strength, commitment and pride during a particularly challenging year. I hope that you take a moment to feel proud about what you achieved in 2013. There is a simple reason why McGill remains such a vibrant and exciting university: its community. Thank you from the entire senior administration team for your hard work, your passion for doing what you do, and for the care you show every day.

Facing tough times and good times alike with the same positive spirit is very much part of the culture of McGill, and of Montréal.  I remember a wonderful moment last winter. Close to a half-metre of snow had fallen on the city, breaking a 41-year-old record.  It was beautiful, but it was hard to trudge through all that beauty. Nevertheless, people were laughing and helping each other.  In some places, people would have called that a terrible day. Here, it was a great day. It was a day to embrace the beauty and power of nature, and to know that we will make it through, no matter what falls on us, and we will do it together and with joy. I remember thinking “This is Montréal.”

Happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy new year,

Suzanne Fortier
Principal and Vice-chancellor, McGill University

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