Laurier is an outstanding university with a unique and compelling story to tell. This came through loud and clear in the research and consultation conducted during last year's Envisioning Laurier initiative. This rich store of opinion and data became the basis for the collaborative development of Laurierís new statement of Values, Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles.
Shortly after this document was approved, work began on how best to capture its essence in just a few words. The intent was to craft a short, compelling statement that described what Laurier is at its very core and what distinguishes it from other universities. A consultant-led review of the Envisioning research was conducted with a group of administrative and academic leaders. A draft phrase was developed and discussed with the deans, who suggested revisions that were incorporated into the final version.
Academic excellence is certainly at the heart of Laurierís mission and vision. But along with academic excellence, two words emerged repeatedly: leadership and purpose. Laurier is a university that encourages and supports its students, faculty, staff and alumni to take a leadership role in all aspects of their lives. Laurier is also a community that encourages and supports its people to live lives that are meaningful and engaged. Indeed, Laurier's people are recognized far and wide as well-educated, contributing members of society who make a positive difference in the communities they touch.
While other universities may value leadership and purpose, it is not with the same depth and focus. Integrating academic excellence with social engagement is within our very DNA. This linkage is so natural for us that sometimes we fail to notice how much of our curriculum and how many of our activities and initiatives are leadership and purpose driven.
In short, Laurier is about Inspiring lives of leadership and purpose.
I am pleased to say that these six words are the starting point and the foundation for telling the Laurier story.
More than a marketing slogan, Inspiring lives of leadership and purpose will be the theme that shapes everything we say and communicate about Laurier. It will also serve as a lens through which we view new initiatives, new programs, new directions and indeed, our future.
Laurier is a remarkable university with a long tradition of inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. As we approach the institutionís 100th anniversary in 2011, I encourage you to join me in telling the Laurier story to the world.
Dr. Max Blouw
President and Vice-Chancellor
Wilfrid Laurier University