On Wednesday, I also had the opportunity to attend the Killam Trusts luncheon, where the university both honoured this year’s recipients of Killam awards and recognized the work of the Trustees. This annual event is another that I consider a priority. Being one of only five Canadian research institutions that are the beneficiaries of the Killam bequest, the U of A has the tremendous privilege and responsibility of awarding a rare and significant set of research awards to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members. With the recent retirement of David Schindler, we celebrated the selection of a new Killam Memorial Chair in science or engineering. Yingfei Yi has been named Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. My congratulations to Yingfei, along with all of the 2014 winners—and my thanks to the members of the awards committees for giving their time and insight to the selection of these outstanding Killam recipients.
I also met this week with the new deputy minister of enterprise and advanced education, Marcia Nelson. Through our conversation, I was pleased and reassured to know that we will continue to work well with the ministry. Meetings between U of A administration and the ministry occur on a regular basis. Next week, we will be involved in the Campus Alberta Strategic Directions Committee, which is the quarterly meeting of board chairs and presidents, or their representatives.
This morning, Mayor Don Iveson and I sat down together to discuss one of our common goals to develop a strategic approach to enhancing Edmonton’s role as the hub for the north.
On the schedule for next week is Sustainability Awareness Week, which serves the dual purpose of raising awareness about both sustainability issues and efforts by staff and students to reduce the environmental footprint of our campuses. Earlier this fall, the U of A’s Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (a unit within Facilities and Operations) released its first Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory Report and GHG Emissions Reduction Plan, which contain multiple strategies and plans for reducing emissions to a level 17 per cent below that of 2005 by the year 2020.
I’d like to conclude my bulletin this week by sending my condolences to the family of Bill Kent, a great alumnus (Engineering 1931) and friend of the U of A. Our oldest alumnus, Bill passed away earlier this week at the remarkable age of 106. I had the privilege of seeing Bill each year during Alumni Weekend, where he was a faithful attendee until this past September. The great pride he took in being an alumnus of the Faculty of Engineering and the U of A gave me a lift every year. He once told me how thrilled he was to have met all twelve U of A presidents, including our first president Henry Marshall Tory. His spirit and joy for life will be missed.
Until next week,