President Shoukri Joins Glendon in Celebrating Significant New Government Funding
Good news is best when it is shared. Accordingly, Glendon principal Kenneth McRoberts invited the entire Glendon community on Friday, February 29th to join in celebrating the great news: the Ontario government has committed $20 million to capital investment in the Glendon campus to enable the creation of a Centre of Excellence for French-Language and Bilingual Education.
Right: McRoberts thanks Glendon
The formal announcement was made at Glendon on Wednesday, February 27th with no fewer than 3 government ministers on hand, as well Sheila Embleton, York VP academic, former York president Lorna Marsden, and a host of Glendon professors, students and administrators (see the February 28th issue of Y File for the full report).
The Friday lunchtime celebration had all the hallmarks of the warm, close-knit community which is Glendon. Everyone gathered for dessert and coffee in the dining hall, festooned with balloons and flags, eager to hear details of just what this means for the campus and its members.
Everyone came to Friday's celebration
York president Mamdouh Shoukri, who was out of the country when the Wednesday announcement was made, joined principal McRoberts in addressing the community. “Glendon is an area of great strength and great potential”, said Shoukri, “the only bilingual campus in Southern Ontario. This implies significant responsibilities and poses the question of how [Glendon] can align itself with the future needs of our country.” Shoukri remarked on the tremendous pressure on the GTA for growth, with many candidates for bilingual education. In response, this campus must assure that the infrastructure, resources and faculty are available to provide a first-class education.
Left: McRoberts and Shoukri discuss
“As a bilingual campus in a country with 2 official languages, Glendon is perfectly positioned for many exciting projects”, added Shoukri. “With these new funds, it could become the home of a national-level think tank and a centre for training the country’s leaders.” But the current infrastructure is clearly inadequate for these possibilities; it needs to be upgraded and expanded.
And this is where the new funds will make all the difference. They are targeted for the improvement and expansion of Glendon’s facilities, to respond to the plan of the new Centre for Excellence. Once the “bricks and mortar” part of the project is completed –- the new programs will also necessitate an increase to the faculty complement.
Right: President Shoukri praises Glendon
“Having a fully developed plan for the Centre of Excellence and the new School of Public Affairs was instrumental in obtaining these funds”, said Shoukri. “With these plans, we were able to convince the Ontario government to give us the funds.” Shoukri praised principal McRoberts and [then] president Lorna Marsden for being so well-prepared, and for the strength of their commitment to this project.
Speaking eloquently in French and English, principal McRoberts thanked every member of the Glendon community for doing their best. He commented that, just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that this could happen at Glendon. “We have made such progress only because everybody has done their part, faculty and staff, to move Glendon forward. Now with Glendon confirmed in its mission by both the Ontario Government and York University, we can imagine even greater accomplishments to come.”
Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny
Published on March 4, 2008