As Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, I would like to extend a warm welcome. Whether you are part of our UBC community, or in the process of joining us — through work, study or partnership — I am proud to welcome you to one of the most vibrant, inspirational places of learning and research in the world.
One hundred years ago, the new University of British Columbia opened its doors with few resources, modest ambitions, and a strong resolve. Our founders welcomed UBC’s first students in 1915 with a promise to “provide a satisfactory education” and to conduct “respectable” research.
What a difference a century makes! UBC’s best — now acknowledged to rank among the best in the world — have proved that we can aim much higher. Working together, our faculty, staff, and students have demonstrated that our pursuit of excellence in learning, teaching, and research is making a lasting and positive difference.
I enjoy the privilege of having led UBC on two occasions, as its 11th President from 1997 to 2006, and now as Interim President during the university’s Centennial year.
I am often asked: “Why have you returned?” The answer is simple: There is no institution for which I care more deeply. UBC is a magnificent university and deserves the support of us all. I know that by working together, honouring our past while envisioning our future, we will ensure that UBC secures its position as one of the world’s pre-eminent universities.
UBC has grown over the last 100 years, from a provincial institution with just 379 students to an internationally renowned research powerhouse with 60,000 students and more than 300,000 alumni across the globe. Wherever they may be, our talented graduates are building upon their education to enrich the social, environmental, and economic sectors of their society, and contributing to the wellbeing of their fellow citizens.
Looking forward, I strongly believe that UBC will continue to thrive and make a difference — locally, nationally and globally. I am proud to lead this university as it embarks on its next 100 years. I hope you will join me on this exciting journey.
Dr. Martha C. Piper
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia