Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 08, 2007

President to Address Empire Club

Alastair Summerlee, president of the University of Guelph and chair of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), will address the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto on Thursday. In his remarks, he is expected to provide new insights on how Canadians of all ages are seizing new opportunities to become fully engaged, active global citizens.

“There is a surge of interest among Canadian students who want to make a difference in the world,” said Summerlee, who will speak at noon in the ballroom of Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

“Driving this change is a generation that has come of age during a period of sustained economic growth. As teenagers, they experienced 9/11 through global media and are entering civic life 10 years after the battles of the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA. They are expressing concerns about Canada’s role in the world and how they can take action to make a difference.”

Established in 1903, the Empire Club is recognized as one of Canada's oldest and largest speakers' forums. Its membership comprises some of Canada's most influential leaders from the professions, business, labour, education and government.

WUSC is a network of people and post-secondary institutions whose mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. Active on more than 70 campuses across Canada and in 17 countries overseas, WUSC has been engaging Canadians and improving lives for more than six decades.

During his talk, Summerlee will also preview a new initiative, Leave for Change, which is designed to reach leading employers who want to foster global citizenship in their employees.

“Increasingly, we see employees wanting to participate in WUSC programs overseas,” he said. “We have developed a new model that enables them to share their skills internationally and, on their return, share their learning at their workplace.”

The program will allow a limited number of qualified employees from participating organizations to transform their holidays into short international assignments with WUSC.

In addition, WSUC is providing new opportunities for students to volunteer overseas. For instance, Students Without Borders allows university and college students to earn academic credit by working in countries such as Peru, Botswana, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

“Such initiatives are providing new opportunities for Canadians of all ages to participate in creating a more equitable world,” Summerlee said.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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