University of Calgary

Celebration continues

UToday HomeNovember 14, 2012

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the university celebrated His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and his receipt of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Calgary. A reception was held in his honour at the university’s award-winning Energy, Environment and Experiential Learning (EEEL) building.

The evening began with Interim Board Chair Bonnie DuPont’s announcement of the Vice-Regal Party and remarks from Chancellor Jim Dinning, President Elizabeth Cannon, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Governor General Johnston. The Governor General emphasized the value of young Canadians.

“Not only can young people change the world, they’ve always done so,” Johnston said after reflecting on the receipt of his honorary degree. “I have no doubt that my fellow classmates are making already real contributions to this community.”

After the formal program, His Excellency toured various student showcases, which included a demonstration of the Meal Exchange Program, a registered charity run by students to raise awareness about food insecurity. Student volunteer and third-year biological sciences student, Gayathri Wewala, explained that her involvement with the program has deepened her understanding of food security. She has learned how to make food more accessible to the local community through initiatives like the annual Halloween food drive, Trick-or-Eat.

“I feel that showcasing some of the work that Meal Exchange does is an excellent example of students expanding their knowledge by serving the community," said Wewala.

The Student Leadership showcase included a World Café exercise to encourage dialogue among students involved in the Emerging Leaders and Sophomore Leadership Program and established leaders attending the event. Brayden Kooistra, a student volunteer with the Emerging Leaders Program describes the program as “a great way to get students connected with leadership when they are just starting their university degree.”

Kooistra adds that when students start “engaging with their community, they will become really strong students and citizens later on."

Close to 400 community members from both the university and the external community attended the celebratory reception. The evening helped demonstrate the tremendous impact of the next generation of community leaders.