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UM campus in the fall.

Welcome to the University of Manitoba!

Welcome Day message from President Michael Benarroch

September 8, 2020 — 

My welcome today to all of you is all the warmer and more spirited because it comes in a time of such great uncertainty and transformation.

Just as I am new to this position, and honoured to have taken it on, all of us are new to the world post-COVID-19 — and many of you are new to the university, whether as first year students, new faculty or staff, or even first-time visitors to the campus.

In the swirl and urgency of these unprecedented times, my commitment to you is that we who are here to support you will find creative ways to embrace you into this community and to enable you to achieve your academic and professional dreams. While day to day activities have changed for all of us and these pressures can sometimes appear overwhelming, there are supports in place to help us navigate through them successfully, and you can access this information on the UM COVID-19 webpage.

We don’t need to compromise our values and ideals as we face these new challenges; we simply need to dig deeper within them to inspire fortitude and positivity as we adjust to our new realities. And nothing prevents us from doing so in ways that will in many cases improve your engagement with our university.

We’ll utilize technology to open up new connections for you. We’ll work with partners to create new opportunities. We’ll work together in ways we likely never have before.

And we’ll always make sure to make your safety a priority.

There’s a lot before us. As always, at the core: learning, discovery and engagement. Inevitably: challenges, issues and missteps. And, thankfully, just as inevitably: opportunities, friendships and successes. Through it all we will benefit from our collective goodwill, and by operating in a spirit of transparency and accountability.

We’ll make this work, even while we have little idea how long it may last. And in the process not only will we attain our personal and institutional goals, but we will also contribute to this province’s wellbeing, especially as it strives to manage the pandemic. Our research and community work will help save lives at the front lines of the disease and will help mitigate its social and economic impacts. Our students, who are embracing a new mode of learning, will emerge from their programs with enhanced abilities to innovate, adapt and respond to unforeseen challenges.

Ultimately, I’m confident that, as Manitoba’s only research-intensive post-secondary institution, we will live up to our responsibilities and serve as a model of flexibility and innovation for our province.

Welcome to the University of Manitoba!




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