Thrive 2022 Dean's Message

Keith Willoughby

Famed scientist Marie Curie declared "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."

Her wordspenned about a century agoresonate powerfully with the experiences of a (are we there yet?) post-pandemic 21st century society. As we accelerate our understanding, we lose our fixation on fear. As we apprehend and appreciate the world around us better, we gain confidence amid anxiety. Nation-building business professionalslike those highlighted in this year’s edition of Thriveblossom when the rigour of preparation meets the prospect of opportunity.

In the Edwards School of Business, a Nation Builder is someone who creates community. They see unity in diversity and provide access to excellence.

This is a century-long legacy of which our school can be justifiably proud. Business professionals from our school have fostered enhanced community connectivity. Their perspectives have enabled enriched diversity of thought and background.

Take, for example, the governance abilities of Sandra Masters, an Edwards alumna who is the first woman mayor in either of our province’s major cities.

Consider the entrepreneurial contributions of Michael Nederhoff, an Edwards alumnus whose written commentary in Thrive highlights the importance of ethically cultivating controversial companies. 

Ponder the ways in which Brandon Spinks is alleviating societal pain through his current studies as a medical student.

Contemplate the trailblazing contributions of the Dembroski Student Managed Porfolio, a veritable career-changing experience that elevates today’s students to become tomorrow’s investment professionals. 

Relish in the stellar expertise of Dr. Lee Swanson, another in the illustrious line of Edwards Master Teachers. 

Sense the courageous curiosity evident in the ground-breaking, world-advancing research of Dr. Dionne Pohler. 

Cherish the valuable contributions of a student-led Indigenous Initiatives document that encouraged the writing of personal land acknowledgements.

These stories underscore the reach of our mission, the impact of our vision, and the centrality of our values. The Thrive magazine serves to inform, excite, and enthuse. It demonstrates that real-life business professionals are building nations in our backyard and on the world stage. Nation builders are everywhere, from the hamlets of this province to the metropolises of the planet. Critical thinkers and creative doers are emerging to enhance entrepreneurship, govern organizations, and harness the power of inclusivity. Authenticity, integrity, and a pervasive work ethic represent the hallmarks of Edwards success whether it be achievements of the past, triumphs of the present, or anticipated excellence in the future.

Yesour society has witnessed pivotal incidents over the past two years, from supply chain disruptions to market uncertainty to global distress. We cannot gloss over the pain experienced by many. However, Madame Curie was right“Nothing in life is to be feared”. Events are to be recognized, shifts are to be observed, circumstances are to be respectedbut nothing is to be feared.

As a college, we will continue to uplift our neighborhoods and our nations. We will stand up and stand out. We will proceed forward, onward, and upward with resolute determination. The fearless nation-building business professionals outlined in this year’s Thrive are as monumental as they are motivational. They are aspirational and inspirational. They represent the very best of our college, the very best of society, the very best of us.

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