Milestone Service Awards Reception

May 7, 2014

Check against delivery.

I am so honoured to be a part of this ceremony recognizing faculty, staff and librarians for longevity of service. This afternoon we are celebrating individuals with 25 years, 35 years and even 40 years of service at our University.

I am delighted that so many of you—together with your families and friends—have been able to join us as we mark these impressive milestones.

During my time at the University of Toronto as professor, Dean and now as freshly-minted President, I have been struck by the high calibre and remarkable commitment and loyalty of those who work at the University. For a quarter-century or more, you have helped to define the nature and quality of U of T, and you have provided such a great service to the people of Toronto, Canada, and beyond.

Over the years, you have witnessed the comings and goings of countless thousands of young adults who are now contributing to society in all walks of life. Their current success owes much to your hard work.

You have been indispensible coaches and mentors to newer faculty and staff who have joined us during your tenure. And, importantly, we have all come to rely upon the institutional memory and wisdom that make you so invaluable to the University of Toronto community.

U of T is consistently named one of the Top 100 Employers in Toronto and across Canada. This is due in no small measure to you here today. The University is proud to have earned your commitment and trust for the past quarter century or more.

As Angela [Hildyard] mentioned, this year 253 faculty, librarians and staff are being recognized for 25 years of service.

cognizing 91 individuals who have been with us for 35 years, and 66 individuals who have been with us for 40 years! This represents a combined total of 12,150 years of service.

On behalf of the entire University of Toronto community, I thank you for the many hours you have dedicated to the cause of higher education and advanced research. To be precise, we thank you for the 102,643,200 hours of service you have dedicated to the cause of higher education and advanced research! And belive me, that’s a conservative estimate!

While it might be a bit unrealistic to wish you another twenty-five – or forty! – fruitful years at the University, I want you to know how much each of you has contributed to making us, in the words of former President Claude Bissell, a “great good place.”

Regardless of how high we may place in international rankings, a more immediate and compelling indicator of our success is the loyalty and dedication you have brought to the University for twenty-five years and more.

For this we all thank you.