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Renaissance College
UNB Fredericton

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Message from the dean

Greetings from the Dean September 2021

I’d like to extend a very warm greeting to the RC community as we begin the 2021-22 academic year. We’ve been through many challenges over the past year and a half, and it is a delight to be able to welcome students back to Maggie Jean Chestnut in person, with UNB-wide precautions keeping us all healthy and safe. While we’ve learned a lot from our time of living virtually, there is no substitute for physical presence to nourish and sustain a community.

This is an exciting year for the college as we celebrate the 21st anniversary of RC first opening its doors to students. Two days of virtual events have just wrapped up, and a celebration barbecue with signature RC coffeehouse is still to come. The theme of the first day of virtual events was ‘Looking Back.’ Founding dean Terry Haggerty and alumna Josie McKinney - from RC’s very first cohort - described the college’s earliest days, followed by a social mixer and games.The theme of the second day was ‘Looking Forward.’ I discussed RC’s new strategic plan, and presented the inaugural Trailblazer Award to the inspirational Patsy McKinney (BPhil 2007), Executive Director of Under One Sky Friendship Centre in Fredericton. A wonderful talk by Pierre Battah, author of the award-winning book Humanity at Work, launched RC’s new speaker series.

This year will also see a search for new faculty members as we prepare for planned retirements, and the continuation of our work to develop a Master of Leadership Studies degree program, in collaboration with other faculties, departments, and centres at UNB. When more normal operations and international travel can resume, we look forward to putting out a call for applicants to the Visiting Scholars/Practitioners program.

In my first newsletter greeting as RC’s new dean last year, I said that I believe we are at a turning point in human history, where we need all-hands-on-deck to work towards a better future. This is no less true in 2021. Leadership crises continue to span the globe along with escalating impacts of climate change, social inequities and polarization, and of course, the ongoing pandemic. But younger generations are raising their voices and articulating their visions with increasing unity and impact, and if every crisis is an opportunity for transformation, then 2021 is rich with possibilities for transformational change - a point highlighted by our distinguished speaker panel last winter term. The need for competent, informed, creative, and ethical leadership is stronger than ever; RC’s approach to nurturing leaders remains cutting-edge; and the value of a degree in leadership continues to rise.

The world has presented a dizzying array of challenges over the past couple of years. But we are strongest in community, and the RC community is filled with accomplished, committed, resilient, and inspiring human beings. Thank you for your enthusiasm and continued engagement! We hope you enjoyed the anniversary reunion celebration, and please don’t hesitate to share your ideas we move forward with our strategic implementation.

Warmly,

Dr. Carol Nemeroff
Dean, Renaissance College