The opportunity to give back to a school that gave so much to me is the reason I chose to stay involved, and continue to stay involved.
The history and the founding colleges, the socially responsible and progressive research agenda, the campus, the Gryphon logo and what it meant to wear, both on and off the field, the institution’s core values, its commitment to inclusion, diversity of thought and opinion, the promotion of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and the overarching pledge to improve life. The “Guelphiness” of the University of Guelph is what makes it special. It’s something you see and feel, not something you can easily describe. Those that know, know.
The UGA board has provided a great opportunity to stay connected and involved with the University, to network with students, faculty, other alumni and board members, and to support and recognize the achievements and work of the amazing people that make, and have made this place great—student, graduates, researchers, athletes, faculty members and other staff alike, past and present.
Painting the Cannon. While eating a Bob’s Dog ranks high on my list, the painting of the cannon is by far my favourite tradition. While I never painted it myself during my tenure at Guelph I always appreciated the history and tradition. The fact the cannon was moved to directly point at the 4th floor administration always made me chuckle as I would walk by it. One of my favourite parts of my days on campus was walking by the cannon to check out the latest painting. One design I recall in particular was a golf theme, where a group of students layered the cannon in turf, complete with a flagstick. There were lots of good ones but that one stands out in my memory. While I never painted the cannon myself, my now sister-in-law (who just completed her PhD program at Guelph by the way!) spearheaded a plan to paint the cannon on my wedding day, with the help of some students that neither my wife or I knew. That gesture by strangers says everything you need to know about Guelph and the tradition of painting the cannon, and the connection and bond Guelph students, both past and present seem to have with one another.