Leaders from the community gathered to install William J. Warren, Q.C. as the University of Calgary's tenth Chancellor on Thu., Sept. 25. The Calgary lawyer became the ceremonial head of the university at the special convocation ceremony.
"One of the most fundamental roles played by the chancellor is representing the public interest to the university, and as such, serving as the bridge between the community and the university," said
U of C Board of Governors chair Brian MacNeill. "In the search for a new chancellor, the senate has fulfilled its role in deciding upon such an individual capable of carrying out the weighty responsibility bestowed upon him."
U of C President Harvey Weingarten also welcomed the new chancellor.
"Over the years, he has been a great advocate of education," said Weingarten. Like MacNeill, Weingarten hopes the new chancellor will enhance the relationship between the university and the community.
Students' Union President Matt Stambaugh spoke highly of Warren's experience in that regard.
"From the students' perspective, what really enthralls us is his hard work with the Canadian Olympic Association," said Stambaugh. "Having spent so much time working with young men and women, he easily fits the role of chancellor.
"I think he'll do a wonderful job representing the community to the U of C and the U of C to the community. I hope [he] can take some energy [he] had from the COA and help us by sharing some of the knowledge [he has] learned," Stambaugh continued.
Warren's community involvement includes presiding over the Calgary Booster Club and Rosedale Community Association, chairing the Calgary Parks and Recreation Board, COA and the Canadian Olympic Development Association, and being a director of the Saddledome Foundation.
"William is already well-known to the city of Calgary for his tireless work with the community," said Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois E. Hole. "[He] brings greater prosperity, wisdom, understanding, and justice to the university community.
"The chancellor must also build bridges of understanding between academics, students, government, and most importantly, the public at large. I have no doubt eminent chancellor is up to the task. The U of C made an excellent choice," she said.
Thanking the Senate and audience members, Warren remarked on his family's historical ties with the university, beginning with his mother.
"A true pioneer of the University of Calgary, she stood with my father at the sod turning for the construction of the first buildings on this, the Banff Trail site," he said. "My father was a member of the first senate of the University of Calgary and he was the recipient of an honourary degree from this university in 1969."
"As an almost lifelong resident of Calgary--my parents moved here from central Alberta when I was seven years old--and as a member of the university senate for the last three years, I have had ample opportunity to assess the interest that the public has in this university."
Warren said he understands the characteristics of Calgary important to his new role as chancellor.
"Young people from all over Canada are moving to Calgary to work and to become a part of our dynamic environment," he said. "It is a highly educated population; 61.6 per cent of all Calgarians over the age of 15 have some post-secondary education."
He also cited Calgary as a centre for corporate head offices, the energy industry, technology, volunteerism and entrepreneurship.
"We are a city that strives for excellence in what we do, and we support all of our institutions that pursue those goals," he said.
Warren was elected chancellor by the U of C Senate on March 22, 2002, and has executed his duties in that capacity since June 14. He said he looks forward to representing the public interest at the U of C.
"Above all, the public wants the University of Calgary to enjoy a reputation of excellence both in Canada and throughout the world. The public wants to be engaged in and associated with the pursuit of that excellence."