President Barnard’s message on National Volunteer Week
The following is a message from U of M President David Barnard:
Colleagues, students, alumni, and friends – I encourage us all to take time over the next few days to reflect on the value of voluntarism in our lives and our communities.
It’s National Volunteer Week, and as Canada celebrates 150 years of nationhood, we can take pride in a robust tradition of volunteering that is one of the binding traits of our diverse population. Nationally, locally and within our University of Manitoba community, volunteering is central to our identity. When the need has come, we have demonstrated as a community our ability to rise to the challenge and to give of ourselves with humility.
All of us can attest to the power and beauty of giving and receiving the gifts that can make a difference in people’s lives. Within our unique community, these gifts are often ones of time, expertise and imagination. I see students working with communities on issues like bullying and homelessness; professors illuminating pressing issues in the media; staff working as mentors; and alumni and friends coming together to make a difference in our broader community.
As a university, we benefit directly from the volunteer spirit. I thank the members of our Board of Governors, who give freely of their time and attention to help guide this institution in the responsible pursuit of its mission; and our Chancellor, Harvey Secter, whose wisdom and enthusiasm help ensure the University of Manitoba continues to live up to and exceed the achievements of its 140-year history.
I want to take this opportunity to celebrate everyone who partakes in the circle of volunteering. Not just those who make an impact within the University community, but all those whose volunteering uplifts our city and province.
In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, I would like to remind everyone of the many and varied opportunities for voluntarism during the 2017 Canada Summer Games, taking place in Winnipeg from July 28 through to August 13. Our Fort Garry Campus will host the track and field and volleyball competitions, as well as the closing ceremony; and will serve as the athlete village for competitors, their coaches, and staff. Whether formally volunteering or simply sharing a friendly smile with our visitors, the members of our community will, I am sure, help make the games a success.
No matter what form voluntarism takes, it makes our communities better places to live for all of us. The impact is near and far because, as a university, the communities we touch are here in our backyard but also around the world.
Thank you, and have a great week.