Letter from the President of Saint Mary’s University

By Maroon & White | fall 2018

Crisp autumn air signals the start of a new academic year. During Welcome Weeks, this year’s 1600 incoming students – and future alumni – were welcomed into our community and introduced to both academic opportunities and the many support systems on campus.

The Santamarian Ceremony, held in September, reinforces the values of Saint Mary’s: academic excellence, our intentional approach to intercultural learning and a respectful campus, our encouragement of resilience, community engagement, and the search for ethical wisdom. These values are seen on a daily basis but also at signature events such as Homecoming. I was delighted to see so many of you attending – you are an active demonstration of the depth and breadth of the Santamarian community.

We also celebrated a special philanthropic investment at the Santamarian Ceremony with the announcement of a $1.2 million gift from the Estate of Patrick Power, after whom our library is named. On hand for the announcement were estate trustees and valued members of the Saint Mary’s family: Arthur Donahoe (Class of ’59, LLD’08); Ellen Feehan (Class of ’75 and ’78); and Sheila Donahoe (Associate Alumnae Award recipient ’18). This gift brings the Estate’s investment in Saint Mary’s students to more than $4 million, an incredible legacy for which we are immensely grateful.

I am very proud to share with you Saint Mary’s success in attracting experienced and energetic leaders who share our commitment to excellence and innovation. We recently welcomed Dr. Harjeet Bhabra as the new Dean of the Sobey School of Business, Suzanne van den Hoogen BA’91 as University Librarian, Jillian Gibson as Director of Philanthropy, and Dennis Gillis MBA’09 as Director of Facilities Management.

Community is also a key theme of the Dauphinee Centre, our new arena. The values of community engagement are seen in the generosity and vision of the Bob Dauphinee Estate and donors Glen and Nancy Holmes. The centre will make a significant contribution not only to varsity athletics but to the wellness of our entire community, with 50% of its usage capacity dedicated to community groups.

Thank you for all you do to advance the values of Saint Mary’s University; you are our strongest ambassadors. There are exciting days ahead, and I look forward to sharing even more examples of our leadership in research and teaching, entrepreneurship, global connectedness, and community engagement. Age quod agis.


Robert Summerby-Murray

President and Vice-Chancellor, Saint Mary’s University

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