McLatchy officially installed as president and vice-chancellor of Laurier

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On Oct. 27 2017, Deborah MacLatchy was officially, formally installed as president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University.

The ceremony took place at the start of fall convocation at Lazaridis Hall on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

MacLatchy is the seventh individual to serve as president and vice-chancellor of Laurier. MacLatchy succeeds Max Blouw, who served as president and vice-chancellor for two, five-year terms.

MacLatchy was unanimously recommended by Laurier Senate and was then approved, also unanimously, by the Board of Governors this past January.

MacLatchy’s five-year term in the position began on July 1, 2017.

Local politicians and dignitaries were in attendance at the official ceremony. Approximately 200 individuals in total were present for the event.

The instalment began with jazz music and other musical pieces performed by the faculty of music. As well as an Indigenous drum honour song performed by Aboriginal faculty and staff members.

Afterwards, MacLatchy presented a speech to those in attendance. MacLatchy explained that she aimed to incorporate three main themes into her speech.

“One was just to describe my impression and experience of Laurier and how fortunate I’ve been to have worked here at this wonderful university for the past 10 years,” MacLatchy said.

In addition, MacLatchy also commemorated Laurier’s close engagement within its host communities; which include Kitchener, Brantford, Toronto and, soon enough, Milton.

The second theme MacLatchy spoke about was Laurier’s current situation with regards to the momentum the institution has acquired in recent years. MacLatchy explains the terms of commitment and dedication to learning and discovery.

“Thirdly, I talked about students and how critical it is that at Laurier we continue to have a strong focus on student experience and that everything that we do, whether it is teaching, research, scholarship,” she said.

“We have to be mindful that these activities need to integrate and be a part of the education and personal development of students.”

In addition, MacLatchy also commemorated Laurier’s close engagement within its host communities; which include Kitchener, Brantford, Toronto and, soon enough, Milton.

“Those interactions and the partnerships that we have within our communities are critical to Laurier’s success but they’re also a large part of the what differentiates Laurier from other universities that may be a little bit more distant from other host communities,” MacLatchy said.

For MacLatchy, the instalment was especially exciting as it was an opportunity to reflect on her time at Laurier.

“I think really it was the outpouring of so much good-will on behalf of, not just of me as president, but more so about Laurier as a very special institution,” she said.

“That really was an opportunity to reflect on not only how terrific Laurier is, but there’s lots of opportunities for us to be aspirational as an institution.”

The instalment took place at the beginning of convocation. MacLatchy stated that, although the installation of a new president is significant to a university’s history, it is the convocation of students that is more important, in her opinion.

“It is the convocation of students is really the most significant event that occurs bi-annually at institutions. It’s the culmination of everything that we are as an institution at convocation.”  

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