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President's Message


Douglas O. Goss, Chair, University of Alberta Board of Governors pens the opening message for this issue

Bold Choices

Six decades ago, a young man won $3,000 during his first and only visit to a casino. He could have invested his winnings at the bank, where they would have grown at a plodding but reliable pace. Instead, he went to a London department store where he bought several Chinese robes.

It was a bold, impulsive purchase — one that ignited a passion for Chinese art and led Sandy and Cécile Mactaggart to amass a world-class collection. In 2005, they donated the Mactaggart Art Collection to the University of Alberta. We celebrate these stunning artifacts in “Collecting Excellence.”

Also in this issue, we visit the home of Beverley and Frank MacInnis. Two decades ago, Frank followed his own bold vision and transformed a bankrupt construction company to Fortune 500 status. The MacInnises tell us how that decision — and others — fulfilled their love of “building things up.”

Throughout these pages you’ll find stories that celebrate all that has been built up at UAlberta in the past decade — a tribute to Indira Samarasekera, who steps down as president in June. Her passion, merged with the generosity of our donor community, has pushed the university to the forefront of global higher education. As she departs, president Samarasekera is cementing her legacy with a philanthropic gift of her own. You’ll learn more about her — and meet the young lady who will occupy much of this next phase of her life.

As we thank president Samarasekera for her service, we look to UAlberta’s future. Incoming president David Turpin is poised to carry forward the vision and expectations set out by Henry Marshall Tory more than a century ago. Great things are about to happen, and we’re so glad you’re part of making that vision a reality.

Douglas O. Goss, QC, AOE, Chair, University of Alberta Board of Governors