Campus is a better place because of people such as Jane O'Dea

As I approach the final weeks of my tenure as President of the University of Lethbridge, it's hard not to reflect on my 10 years here in southern Alberta and more specifically, on the many remarkable people I have met over that time.

Dr. Jane O'Dea is one of those people and it is both ironic and fitting that we would begin our positions on the same day, 10 years ago, and will now be leaving these positions on the same day at the end of June.

As the new Dean of the Faculty of Education, Jane had already been at the University for 10 years when she began her role. I was coming in from the outside and was fortunate to have Jane, among others, as a valuable resource to help learn about the U of L community.

Jane was very generous in her time to me early on, and I remember fondly accompanying her on my first visit to the Blood Reserve and Red Crow Community College. That was just the beginning of the Niitsitapi Teacher Education program, one that she supported, built and encouraged her colleagues to work on diligently.

Congratulations Madam Dean on all that you were able to accomplish during your term, and I know we will continue to see great things from you in the future.

The spring is a time for congratulations as we honour the many people who make the U of L such an exceptional place to work and study. Dr. Leah Fowler, this year's Distinguished Teacher, is to be commended for her wonderful work in the Faculty of Education, as is
Dr. Dave Morris, the Ingrid Speaker Medal recipient.

Dr. Fowler will be honoured at Spring Convocation while Dr. Morris will be recognized at the fall event.

I also want to make particular mention of the President's Award winners, Cal Toth from the Curriculum Re-Development Centre, Kim Fowler from Housing Services and the Major Building Construction Team from Facilities. This team is led by Brian Sullivan and includes Bill Hudgins, Jason Baranec, John Federkeil, Will Tietz, Dan Sullivan, Jim Vanderzee, Rick Baceda and Al Mueller. I am satisfied especially that these awards have recognized such a distinguished group over the years.

Now that the Michael Nolan campaign has concluded, I want to say a special thank you to Vice-President Advancement Chris Horbachewski for initiating what was the most satisfying fundraising experience with which I have ever been associated. It was a wonderful success, both in terms of money raised for student scholarships and the great amount of fun we had with the project.

I was very happy that a student, Joshua Og, won Michael Nolan, and I've heard that he has been putting the car to good use since he took ownership. My only advice to him, other than to enjoy the car and treat it well, was to never change its name.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Farewell Fiesta in May, where I can
express my gratitude personally to all of you for how wonderful you have made my time here at the University.

Lastly, I will be presiding over my final convocation ceremonies next month, and I urge everyone to take some time to attend one of the four ceremonies. It's an excellent way to reaffirm why we work so hard to make the University all that it is for our students.