Ryerson University formally installed Dr. Mohamed Lachemi as its 9th President and Vice-Chancellor earlier today at a ceremony on the university campus in downtown Toronto.
“It is an honour to serve Ryerson University as President,” said Dr. Lachemi in his installation address.
“Members of the Ryerson Senate and Board of Governors – thank you for your support and wisdom. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff – thank you for working together to build this great university,” he added.
“To my mentors – thank you for your guidance. And to my family – Amel and our four children – You are my inspiration and joy. We have shared so much together. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Members of the Ryerson community, academic, political and civic leaders were on hand to celebrate and to offer remarks of congratulations and welcome to the incoming President.
President Lachemi joined the Ryerson community as a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science in 1998.
He went on to hold progressively senior roles within university including the Dean of The Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science and most recently, Provost and Vice President, Academic during which time he led the creation of the university’s current academic plan, Our Time to Lead.
An award winning teacher, mentor, and researcher, Dr. Lachemi is well known for his pioneering research in high-performance materials and advanced technologies to mitigate the effects of built structures on the environment; he held a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Construction from 2002-10.
In his speech, President Lachemi outlined his vision for Ryerson’s future noting, “Ryerson will become the destination of choice for creative and original thinkers, innovators and partners, dreamers and people of action.”
He also announced the creation of a new fund to improve access to post-secondary education at Ryerson.
“We know that post-secondary education transforms lives,” said Dr. Lachemi. “This fall, I will begin reaching out to donors to create a new fund to help ensure that education opens the door for others just as it did for me.”
“To help us ensure access for those in greatest need, including international students and Canada’s Aboriginal youth.”
“Special guests and colleagues, we have built a sound foundation for this university,” he noted. “We have a clear view of Ryerson’s future. And a solid grasp of where to focus our efforts.
“John F. Kennedy once shared a story that seems particularly fitting to this afternoon,” Dr. Lachemi continued.
“A great French Marshal asked his gardener to plant a tree. But the gardener resisted, protesting that the tree would not mature for 100 years.
‘In that case,’ the Marshal replied, ‘We have no time to lose. Let us plant the tree this afternoon.’”
“Now it is our turn. Let us work together to build the Ryerson of the future. And let us begin today,” added Dr. Lachemi.
Ryerson University is one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institution in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move.
With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master’s and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a congratulatory message to President Lachemi.
“As a teacher and Prime Minister, I place a great deal of importance on the education of Canadians,” wrote the Prime Minister. “I am very confident that Dr. Lachemi – an educator and administrator known for excellence – will ensure that Ryerson University continues to thrive.”
“Dr. Lachemi, congratulations once again on your appointment. I wish you and everyone at Ryerson University continued success.”