Improving life is our shared promise

Looking around our campuses in Guelph, Ridgetown and Toronto, I see people engaged in learning, teaching and discovery. Those pursuits are important in their own right — and hardly a surprise. As a post-secondary institution, we’re all about education and research.

But there’s something else humming through those endeavours.

From a laboratory on the main campus, to a classroom at the Ridgetown Campus, to the green atrium at the University of Guelph-Humber, look and listen closely, and you can sense a purposefulness. Learning and discovery matter both for their own sake and for their power to improve life in the wider world.

Making the world a better place is a central idea at the University of Guelph, one that shows not just in what we say but also in what we do. Across the disciplines here, we aim to improve life. By focusing on the whole student, we produce not just graduates but also engaged citizens.

In teaching and in research, we seek ways to engage with the wider community — whether that’s here in Guelph, elsewhere in Canada or around the world.

Our campus members explore the natural and physical sciences, touch hearts and mind through the arts, and integrate culture into study and learning.

We emphasize ethical and sustainable business practices, and we look to engineer solutions for the immediate and wider worlds. We aim to help feed a growing world in sustainable ways.

And we strive to nurture caring, interconnected campuses that value diversity and embrace inclusiveness.

At U of G, we look at life in all of its full and nuanced forms — truly the only way to make sense of our rapidly changing and ever more complex world.

Universities are among the few places in our world where we encourage opportunities for reflection and thoughtfulness, and where we can harness reflection and thought to help make that world a better place.

For faculty, staff and students on our campuses, and for our alumni and partners in other places, our underlying purpose is improving life. I invite you to explore this issue of the Portico to experience that sense of purpose for yourself.

Franco Vaccarino
President and Vice-Chancellor