Friends, colleagues say farewell

PictureDuring the 12 years that David Strangway has served as UBC's president, the university community has grown to include a great number of friends and partners in British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

As president of UBC, Strangway has worked closely with a vast number of individuals on campus, and in the public and private sectors in Canada and abroad. The relationships he has built with hundreds of people during his term allow UBC to benefit from an extended network of friends and partners.

People who have met or worked with Strangway in past years are quick to acknowledge the impact he has had on UBC. They are also bound to mention the respect he has earned for his dedication and commitment to excellence in education.

Tributes from the community

The UBC Board of Governors is pleased to acknowledge the vision, leadership and accomplishments of David Strangway during his 12 years as president.

Dr. Strangway has been instrumental in the building of UBC's national and international reputation as an academic institution of excellence in teaching and research. He has built lasting relationships and partnerships with other post-secondary institutions and with businesses and individuals throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Strangway has left UBC outstanding legacies of new buildings like the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and the Koerner Library; and the third largest endowment of any Canadian university. His fundraising successes are legendary with the "World of Opportunity" capital campaign exceeding its goal. The benefits that flow from the development of university lands for housing will be enjoyed by future generations of students. The Outstanding Student Initiative continues to attract and keep excellent students while also improving access.

With David Strangway, UBC has entered a new era of cooperation with the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The Official Community Planning process and the Municipal Governance Study will yield unprecedented change and opportunities for the university.

Thank you to David and Alice Strangway for their tireless service and dedication to UBC.

Shirley Chan
Chair, UBC Board of Governors

David Strangway proved to be the right person at the right time. Through his leadership and vision, the university strengthened both its community and international ties and recognition as a centre of excellence, while successfully running the biggest capital campaign in its history. David didn't run a popularity contest but he earned everyone's respect, and that's what it's all about.

Peter J. G. Bentley
Chairman, Canfor Corporation

The relationship between the Alumni Association and the university has evolved during David Strangway's presidency and continues to evolve.

I was fortunate to be president of the Alumni Association in 1996/97 when these two independent but complementary entities enjoyed an atmosphere of communication and support.

It was always a pleasure to meet with the president. He is a man of vision, of great intellect, of tremendous energy but also someone who is down to earth, practical, who listens, who contributes to ideas presented by others and who is open to creating new solutions.

We will miss David at UBC but should be extremely excited about his future visions -- yet more contributions from an individual who has already contributed more to our society than most could ever dream about. I wish David and Alice the very best.

Tricia Smith, Past-President, UBC Alumni Association, 1996-97

During his 12-year term as president of UBC, David Strangway's vision and expertise have taken the university to a new level by stimulating incredible corporate, government and community partnerships which will benefit the university for decades to come.

It was because of Dr. Strangway that I came to UBC and have been able to continue the legacy of the Man in Motion World Tour through the creation of the Disability Resource Centre and most recently the Rick Hansen Institute.

Through his support the university has been transformed into one of the most accessible in Canada. It has been a great pleasure for me to work with David Strangway, and a privilege to have the opportunity to get to know this exceptional person.

Rick Hansen
Executive Director, Rick Hansen Institute

Walking around our beautiful campus one is very much aware of the impact David Strangway has had on UBC. Crowned by the spectacular Chan Centre, the face of UBC is changed forever. More importantly, David Strangway has challenged us to seek excellence in every aspect of university life. As our graduates who have lived at Green College, played on the stage of the Chan Centre, created high-tech companies in the Gerald McGavin building, or lifted weights in the new sports facility, emerge as leaders in their chosen fields, we will honour his vision and leadership.

Haig Farris
President, UBC Alumni Association

I have been very fortunate to have worked with Dr. Strangway for the last 12 years.

Under David Strangway's leadership, the University of British Columbia has grown in size and stature. Its finances are in better shape now than they have ever been in the institution's history (from a $50-million endowment to over $500 million today) and it enjoys a reputation as one of the premier universities on the Pacific Rim.

Thank you David, for carving a path for the future of our university with your great wisdom and foresight.

Robert H. Lee
UBC Chancellor, 1993-96

History should record David Strangway as one of the most successful university presidents in Canada. Those of us who served on the search committee to find the best person to serve as president of UBC had no difficulty in concluding that Dr. Strangway was that person. In retrospect I believe he has exceeded our expectations both in fundraising, developing the campus and establishing an international reputation for our university. Based on my experience as a member of the Board of Governors and Senate, Chancellor and Chair of the UBC Foundation, I always found him open to consultation and discussion and his integrity and dedication to the university and the students has never been open to question. We have been extremely fortunate to have had David Strangway as the president of our university.

Leslie R. Peterson, QC
UBC Chancellor, 1987-93
Chair, UBC Board of Governors,1979-83

Universities draw their strength from their communities. Great universities embrace this relationship as a way to define scholarship and education, as a way to sharpen intellectual debate, and as a way to improve the world. The particular situation in a Faculty of Forestry differs little, except that our success depends critically on the success of the university in making these connections.

David's focus on external relations has opened the door for Forestry to become more firmly connected with its external constituents -- alumni, government agencies, environmental organizations and the forest products industry. Without these linkages, it would be impossible to maintain high quality by striving for excellence.

And, without excellence the University of British Columbia will serve it community only poorly. David blazed the trail for us all.

Clark S. Binkley
Dean, Faculty of Forestry

When David Strangway arrived at the University of British Columbia in November 1984 there was considerable unrest on campus in the 18 months preceding his arrival. Two presidents had come and gone.

Much of this occurred as a result of a severe government restraint program necessitating the downsizing of faculties and the termination of a number of programs. In addition, the university was very short of capital dollars, with the result that the physical plant was in disrepair, research capital was limited and no new buildings had been constructed for many years.

Within a short period of time, David addressed these problems and initiated a program to reverse the financial problem.

I view the fundraising program as the most significant development under David's term as president. Coincidentally, this program was so broadly and geographically based that it developed many new friends for the university.

The construction program that was initiated in the late 1980s resulted in the unfinished university becoming not only finished, but a very modern institution in all respects.

The real contribution of David Strangway to the university, the people of the Province of British Columbia and to Canada will not be fully understood until several years after his presidency.

At that time his greatness and his contribution will be recognized and his place as UBC's number one president acknowledged.

W.R. Wyman
UBC Chancellor, 1984-87
Chair, World of Opportunity Campaign, 1989-93

It would be hard to find a university president in Canada who has done more for his university than David Strangway.

A man of great vision and enormous energy and persistence, David has worked hard to prepare UBC not just for the near future, but for the challenges it will meet 10 to 20 years from now.

He has left an enormous legacy that will continue to grow with time.

Martin Hollenberg
Dean, Faculty of Medicine,1990-96

It is difficult for me to write these words on the occasion of David Strangway's retirement. No one over these many years has done more for UBC than David, and we will miss him in the President's Office. Over the 12 years that I have come to know him, he has recreated this institution as a modern university ready for the challenges of the next century. His work to create a dedicated constituency for UBC not only in North America, but also in the Far East, has been outstanding, as have been the many other extraordinary endeavors he has undertaken on our behalf. We send him and Alice our very best wishes for the future.

The Hon. Nathan T. Nemetz
UBC Chancellor, 1972-75