‘Concordians shine in tough times’
I hope you and those close to you are keeping well during these unprecedented times. I write to share a brief update and some uplifting news.
I’m extremely proud of how our entire community is facing this very difficult period.
At your alma mater, our students, faculty and staff pulled together to get through the winter term. Staff and faculty continue to work from home, but our fully online summer sessions have already begun and, in coordination with public health authorities, we’re preparing to gradually resume some research activities.
Based on what we know today, the wisest course of action will be to deliver the fall 2020 term almost entirely online. We are currently developing the best-quality experience for our students, worthy of the top-ranked Canadian university under 50 years old.
As always, our alumni continue to be central to our success.
The Concordia University Alumni Association made a much-appreciated $50,000 donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund, which helps those experiencing financial hardship because of the crisis. Our community has raised a remarkable $989,000 so far.
Concordia alumni have also been busy organizing and supporting community aid projects.
Whether it’s the free curry meals Asma Khan is providing to front-line medical staff, the Facebook group Griffin Payne set up to connect volunteers to people disadvantaged by the pandemic, or the neighbourhood network Grace Sebeh Byrne created to help isolated seniors on her block — once again Concordians’ communal spirit shines through.
The launch of Concordia’s special pandemic volunteer initiative, CU Cares, has been a spectacular success, but we can always use more volunteers. I urge you to sign up.
In the midst of all that’s going on, it’s especially great to savour some good news.
The 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings were released in April. This was the first time Concordia participated, and we placed in the world’s top 100 universities in seven categories aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We ranked number one in Canada in the Quality Education category, and in two areas — Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate Action — we finished at the top in Quebec, in the top five in Canada and in the top 20 in the world.
In these challenging times, we can all take pride that Concordia is recognized globally for its solutions-oriented leadership on topics of international importance.
Best wishes to you and to those close to you. Let’s all stay optimistic for a brighter future.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Concordia University