President Deborah Saucier congratulates a student at the Spring 2019 Convocation ceremonies. July 3 is Dr. Saucier’s final day at MacEwan University before leaving to become president and vice-chancellor at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, B.C.

Saying goodbye

July 3, 2019 | Campus Life

I’ve been trying to write a final message to you all and I really wanted to say something pithy and smart – something like what Pat Morita said as Mr. Miyagi in the goodbye scene of The Karate Kid – to let everyone know how much I have loved coming to work here every day and how hard it is to say goodbye (and yes, I know that this sentence is not a great one). So here goes.

I have loved coming to work here every day.

It has been a tremendous privilege to serve our community and to tell the world about MacEwan.

It is so hard to say goodbye, particularly to some of the most generous people I have ever worked with.

I am proud of what we have built over the last two years. I feel that I should list our accomplishments, but it’s hard to list them and decide which was the best. So instead I will say I am proud that MacEwan has made its mark as Edmonton’s downtown university – that we remain committed to being a bridge between communities, rather than an island of exclusion. I think that everything else we have accomplished together can be summed up in our commitment to access. This enables us to pursue initiatives that allow our students, staff and faculty to thrive.

If you hold MacEwan’s values close to your heart, you will only make this an even better place to work, study and play.

I am proud that we have made great strides in developing our culture of inclusion. Making MacEwan an inclusive space for everyone means that we will be able to transform lives. Together we have made post-secondary education a reality for many people who may not have believed that they belonged at university. This may not seem like a big thing to many people at MacEwan because we live this every day. However, promoting access to opportunity is one of the ways that MacEwan transforms our province, our country and the world. 

I am proud that our culture is so positive. We have the best job – to inspire the next generation of Canadians, and to help them reach their goals and realize their dreams. A true strength of MacEwan is that we can have productive discussions and air our differences without losing the collegiality that is such an important part of a university. This is not so everywhere. As I said at Convocation, our world is increasingly polarized with neither side listening to each other. The great problems of our time will require the participation of people who have different viewpoints – no one has a monopoly on the truth and no one has the entire solution. Demonstrating that just because we disagree on one topic doesn’t mean that we can’t listen or that we will always be opposed to each other’s viewpoints is one of the ways we can continue to make a big difference.

If I have one piece of advice to give in this last message, it is to guard what is important at MacEwan. This is a special place where we all work to make our students successful and to lift up our colleagues. I know that many of you know this, but it is really special. Not every university understands its purpose so clearly. I do know, however, that if you hold MacEwan’s values close to your heart, you will only make this an even better place to work, study and play. Thank you so much for the last two years.

I’m not crying, you’re crying,


President, MacEwan University
@DocSaucier on Twitter


Farewell in photos

We bid a fond farewell to President Deborah Saucier with a few photos highlighting her time at MacEwan.


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