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President Barnard: Welcome to the U of M

September 4, 2018 — 
David Barnard stands in ARTLab. photo by Mike Latschislaw

David Barnard

The following is a message from University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor David T. Barnard:


Tansi, welcome to the University of Manitoba.

As we welcome new students and faculty to our academic family—to our Bison pride—we reflect on how the diversity of our community is a great strength, as each of us infuses our own ideas and perspectives into our core activities of learning, discovery and engagement.

My hope for each of you is that our campuses feel like safe and inclusive homes that foster free discussion and free speech. Our engaged students, professors and administrators diligently work to cultivate an environment where you’re respected. To this end, we are committed to providing the supports you need to receive an outstanding education and experience at the U of M, and so I encourage you to watch the Online Orientation videos, which provide important information about the U of M’s stance on an array of important issues.

For over 140 years we have created a space where great talents can thrive. So, to our more than 29,000 new and returning students, I encourage you to embrace the opportunities presented before you. Sign-up for an extracurricular club, investigate undergraduate research opportunities, partake in an international student exchange program, cheer on your Bison teams, speak with your professors during their office hours. Our devoted faculty members, researchers and educators are some of the best in the world and they want to share their knowledge with you. Embrace this. Challenge yourself. Fulfill your potential.

As you embark on this journey of boundless discovery, you are stepping into leadership roles. Your time to address the challenges and advance the progress on issues that matter most to you begins now.

It may seem daunting, but by being accepted into this academic community you have already proven yourself worthy of the required toil and resulting rewards. You are up for the task. And for now, here is a small but meaningful act of leadership you can perform: help a new student. This year, during Orientation, you will not see the usual team of volunteers wearing yellow shirts meeting and greeting students. So if you see someone who looks lost, help them find the place they seek. Simple acts will help us sustain the welcoming, respectful community we have nurtured.

And a few weeks from now, starting Sept. 24, our campus will welcome alumni from all over the world back for Homecoming 2018. I encourage you to try and connect with them and learn from them at any of events our faculties are planning.

The University of Manitoba is your springboard into global society. I wish you all the best as you embark upon your exciting journey of defining who you are before you go forth and make your marks on the world.


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