Dear members of the Alumni community,
As I assume the role of the President of the Alumni Association, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for your continued support and loyalty to the University of Ottawa and to the Association as its important membership.
While still unable to meet in person during the fiscal year 2021-2022, the lessons we learned during the first year of the pandemic allowed us to keep our alumni community engaged and to ensure that we continued providing opportunities for our members to connect with their alma mater across the globe.
During the year in review, we advanced the successful digital initiatives launched during the previous year – including our virtual book club, the uOttaKnow podcast and our web series featuring entrepreneurial alumni from all over the world. For example, Daniel Lamarre (DU ’12; BA ’76), executive vice-chairman of the board of Cirque du Soleil, discussed the importance of creativity in business and leadership exploring his experiences leading Cirque du Soleil during Season 4 of the uOttaKnow podcast.
Two successful online workshops were also organized and delivered namely: Responsible Consumption (which provided concrete tools to our alumni to help them become more conscious consumers) and a First Time Home Buyer seminar (answering the many questions from our alumni surrounding the purchase of their first home).
In addition, we continued our tradition of celebrating the successes of our alumni through the selection of the winners of our 2022 Awards of Excellence Program which was subsequently followed by our first ever hybrid Awards of Excellence Gala later in the year. At the same time, we ensured that our Alumni Association scholarships continued to support the education of our future alumni and were pleased to award our Alumni Leadership, Mobility Co-op and Arcade Guindon scholarships this year to several outstanding students from the Faculties of Common Law, Engineering, Medicine, Science and Social Sciences.
Despite the continued challenges of the pandemic, it was so gratifying to witness the continued patronage of our alumni. In April 2022, the University of Ottawa announced one of the largest philanthropic gifts in its history. Our alumnus, Perry Dellelce and his family generously donated $5 million to the Faculty of Law, which will assist to enhance and reimagine the school’s physical learning environment. We are very grateful for the generosity of our members.
Even while navigating the continued health crisis, the Alumni Association has kept moving forward and looking for new ways to better serve its membership. Indeed, we appointed two new members to our Board of Directors – Wendy Feldman and Anjali Kapal – who bring their extensive knowledge and experience to the Association. As President, I have the humble fortune to lead an amazing Board of Directors coming from different backgrounds, bringing such a richness of skills and experiences.
I am also pleased to report that we are also working towards a renewal initiative of the Alumni Association, which will allow us to better serve the needs of our alumni and to contribute significantly to uOttawa’s success of today and in the future.
Over the past year, we lost Marc Jolicoeur, a dear and generous member of our Alumni family and an influential individual of our legal community. Marc passed in February 2022 and will be missed greatly. The Association will ensure that his legacy continues to guide the future of the University and of the community that he helped to build.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm and sincere thank you to my colleagues in the Alumni Relations Office, whose assistance, support and contributions over the past year are immeasurable and have been instrumental in assisting us to advance the important work of the Alumni Association.
In closing, I thank you again our most valued membership for your unwavering loyalty to the University of Ottawa alumni community. As we enter the post-pandemic period, which brings a new chapter in all of our lives, including the removal of restrictions and the welcomed opportunities to finally meet again face to face, we invite our alumni to remain involved in our activities and initiatives and to share your suggestions with us. The Board of Directors of the Alumni Association is here to serve you, our alumni, and to continue to strengthen the lifelong connection we all have with our alma mater and with each other.
Looking forward to the opportunity to meet and to hear from you.
Josephine A.L. Palumbo