Each year I have written this welcome message for Rapport Magazine. And each year, I have searched for the words to express my pride in our School, or to convey to you the excitement of our initiatives. I have reflected on the issues of our time, how they affect the future of medical and dental education in Canada, and how collectively we are striving to address these issues.
When I look back on these messages to you, I now see a theme that I haven’t yet touched upon. And that theme is about you – the School’s alumni, my colleagues, friends, and students – the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry family. What you have achieved, what we are doing together, and how we have changed the School in so many ways.
And so it is that I have come to write this, my final message for you.
Many of you know, I will be leaving Western University to take the helm of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research this October. I will be doing so at a time when our School continues to excel in so many areas, when our rankings continue to climb, and when so many projects are coming to fruition or are about to be launched.
As many of you will also know, I have this penchant for trying to find quotes that reflect what I want to say. They are often a fragment of a memorable quote that speaks to the heart of the issue. Sometimes the quote comes from a musician, or an individual who I greatly respect. Sometimes it is from someone who is lesser known and sometimes it is historical.
But there are no quotes that can capture this moment in my career, and indeed there are just two words – thank you.
As I move on to this new challenge of helping to shape the future of health research in Canada and to ensure that the next generation of researchers has all the opportunities that I was given, I do so with the collective experiences of everything I have learned at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry; the only academic home I have known.
I have learned from your patience, the value of carefully thinking through all actions no matter how small, how important a kind word or gesture can be, and how the four pillars of our School define us – altruism, responsibility, respect and integrity. I see these in everything you do and I have learned to emulate these as the highest goal.
And for this, I thank all of you, knowing that these values will carry me through this next phase of my career.
I wish all of you ongoing success and I relish in the knowledge that I leave this School in excellent hands – yours.