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President’s Perspective

Starting the new year by celebrating student success

January 17, 2013 — 
President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard

President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard

The University of Manitoba is home to outstanding students, some of whom are recognized in special ways but many of whom we meet in our day to day experience at the University.

Many of you may have already heard that Thomas Toles has been named the University of Manitoba’s 97th Rhodes Scholar, the most of any university in Western Canada. That announcement was made in late November. All of our faculties and departments are contributing to a culture of excellence. Our most recent Rhodes Scholars represent the breadth of our academic disciplines including arts, science and engineering.

We were also proud of the success which has been achieved by graduate students Amy Scott and Harlyn Silverstein who in 2012 were recipients of Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.

Christiane Fischer, Laura Poppel, Mathew Stewart, Melina Djulancic and Rebecca Kunzman will be joining five of our faculty at the G20 Youth Forum April 17-21 that will bring together over 1,500 student leaders and academics in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This conference provides exciting opportunities for these student leaders. They will participate in discussions and build relationships that will shape the rest of their lives and ultimately change our world.

In addition, two first-year students set themselves apart before they started attending classes here this fall. Kimia Sheikholeslami and Alexa McAdam were selected among the 977 Canadian nominees to receive the first-ever Schulich Leader Scholarships.

The Schulich Leader Scholarships program recognizes students from across Canada who demonstrate excellence in academics and/or community leadership and who plan to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics, during their undergraduate years of study at university.

Finally, I want to recognize two other groups of outstanding students at the University of Manitoba. While I would like to acknowledge each by name, there are far too many to do so.

In September, I attended a reception celebrating more than 400 President’s Scholars. I was moved by the level of intelligence and social commitment of these young people.

In order to be a President’s Scholar, a student must enter the University of Manitoba with a minimum average of 95 per cent. In order to retain this distinction, an individual must achieve a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

I also want to recognize our 1,043 University 1 Honour Roll students. These are University 1 students who have an average of 3.5 or better. This is one of the largest honour roll classes in our university’s history.

Past behaviour is often the best predictor of future behaviour so I look forward to even more success in the future.

Throughout our university’s history, many outstanding people have had their lives transformed by their experience at the University of Manitoba. Their success requires the commitment of family, faculty, staff, alumni as well as our community and government partners.

The students we are celebrating today are not only continuing that tradition of excellence, they are taking us to new and exciting places.   It is a privilege for us to work together in the same community of scholars with these students.



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