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A file image shows Convocation at the University of Manitoba.

President Barnard offers encouragement, challenges graduands to ‘shape the world’

'We seek answers to the questions that are most pressing to society'

June 5, 2018 — 

In his address to graduands at Spring Convocation, Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, offered encouragement and challenged them to make a difference in their world.


When we share the story of this university across the country and around the world, and here in our home city and province, we keep coming back to the qualities that make us unique.

We tell people about the Manitoba environment and landscape, and how they nurture drive, determination and vision.

Where you are shapes who you are, we believe, and here in Manitoba, at the centre of Canada and North America, amid the broad prairies and our wide horizons, we shape innovators.

We shape people who dare to gaze far into the distance, to take chances, to build something new.

Many of those people are here with us today, seated behind me, and in front of me. You push forward the frontiers of knowledge. You seek out ways to make this a better world.

And that’s what makes a research-intensive university like the University of Manitoba so valuable to this community and to the world. Through our vast and varied research efforts, we seek answers to the questions that are most pressing to society.

The power of research and innovation at the University of Manitoba can be demonstrated through many, many stories and examples of hard work and determination.

All of you are a part of that, whether you have been graduate students working closely with professor advisors, or undergraduate students mastering your chosen fields of study. All of you are a part of this University that breeds innovation, that values research and scholarship and creative work, that changes the world.

The University of Manitoba is a research-intensive university. The drive for discovery is fundamental to who we are and how we operate. Your learning takes place in the classroom, but also in the laboratory, and in the field. Here you are prepared for a personally rewarding professional career but you are also positioned to open up new worlds for others to benefit from.

You are challenged to innovate.

And your innovations, ultimately, improve our health care system, protect our environment, maximize our farm yields, invigorate our cities, expand our businesses, challenge our sense of self and community, and make our lives simpler, and richer.

Manitoba shapes innovators.

You are those innovators now. You have shaped us, the University of Manitoba, through your enthusiasms, your expectations, your dreams.

Now you will shape the world.

During Dr. Barnard’s Convocation address to students, a short video highlighting graduate students’ innovation was shown. Watch it here:

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