Welcome from the President

Dear Members of the UNB Community,

The start of the academic year has come and gone in a flurry of activity. Students return. Our campuses come alive. It’s always been one of my favourite times of the year – and it has been a joy to experience it at my alma mater once again.

It’s been around three decades since I was at UNB and living in Canada, and a lot has changed since I last set foot on our campuses. We offer new programs and degrees. We have new facilities and research spaces that foster openness, innovation and collaboration. We have increased resources to support inclusion and diversity in our community. Yet, even in the midst of these changes, the core tenet of UNB remains the same – the pursuit of knowledge that changes the world for the better.

It is my personal belief that change and how best to anticipate and respond to it is the hallmark of our time. The world around us is undergoing rapid transformation, accompanied by disruption and unpredictability. Our university must also adapt and respond to the needs and opportunities of our time just as we have done for these past 234 years.

As I’ve been thinking about our future, I have come back time and again to our university’s motto – Sapere Aude, often translated as ‘dare to be wise’ or ‘dare to know’. It’s a phrase traced to the Roman poet Horace but more often associated with the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant meant for this to be a motto of the Enlightenment, informing the application of reason. The motto resonates with me because of the word ‘dare’. It takes courage to dare and courage to forge ahead and shape our future.

Courage is required if we are to responsibly and effectively respond to the changes around us and address the great challenges of our time – challenges like Reconciliation, climate change, inequalities and human rights. We will need the courage to recognize what needs to be done and the courage to believe in our ability to work together. Our greatest challenges will only be overcome when we recognize our interdependence. We are all in this together!

As you navigate this semester, I wish you the very best and encourage you to live our university’s motto every day. I will endeavour to do the same.