UNB Saint John’s class of 2010 will step into the next chapter of their lives, having left this campus a better place.

Their potential, their leadership and their tenacity have inspired many to invest in UNB’s Saint John campus so that others may follow in their footsteps. The campus to which they will return as alumni will be a much different place than the one they attended as students.

A new vision for the campus is underway, capped by a new University Commons building, serving not only our own students, but also those from our partners at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Community College, both of whom have new buildings on our campus. They will see a fully refurbished Canada Games Stadium and a pedestrian-friendly campus core surrounded by green space.

They will note the growing health agenda, the environmental research and the public policy impact generated by those recruited to lead our promising research conducted by the likes of the Canadian Rivers Institute, the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies and the Innovatia Research Chair.

The vision may have originated here, but we could never have achieved it alone.

Our supporters recognize these graduates and students as the path to a better province and a better world. They have recognized they must continue to invest in this, our greatest asset, because they, quite simply, believe in the potential of each of our students.

So, on behalf of the nearly 400 students who are graduating from UNB Saint John this spring, thank you for making investments in our learning and research environments, in scholarships and financial aid and in building a new destination where all Saint Johners can feel at home.

Our investors represent all levels of government: the city of Saint John, the province of New Brunswick and the government of Canada.

They represent businesses large and small. They represent individuals who feel they can make a difference in a student’s life or in the life of someone they know.

One thing shared by all of these supporters is their belief that their investment will be returned through the results of our research and the activities of our graduates, who are leaders in their own right in cities and towns all across New Brunswick and around the world.

So, congratulations Class of 2010. We wish you well. As you move on to the next chapter of your lives, you take with you the faith of all of those who have invested in your future.

Robert MacKinnon is vice-president of UNB Saint John.

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