Newly installed president encourages grads to make a difference in the world

University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels was officially installed as the university's seventh president and vice-chancellor during a Nov. 12 convocation ceremony where he invited graduates to use their education to make the world a better place.

In his presidential address, Cassels spoke about the potential of students' contributions, as well as the university's responsibility through research and education, to bring about positive change in society.

"The promise I want to be measured against is this: that in everything we do at the University of Victoria, our choices and actions will be guided by the goal of making the world a better place through our mission of education and research-to relentlessly pursue the goal of contributing to the lives of our students, our community and the nation through the advancement of knowledge," says Cassels.

Cassels noted that it is through the students themselves that a university keeps its promise to have an impact on other people and the world around them, that an education prepares them to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world and that learning is a lifelong process.

"It prepares you for today, but more importantly for the long run. Hopefully your education will lead you to a productive and fulfilling career; and you also have the opportunity to act on your education to make the world a better place in your own way."

The installation marks Cassels' formal acceptance of presidential duties and responsibilities. He started his five-year term on July 1, 2013.

The former law professor took the oath of office before the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of BC at a ceremony attended by family members, dignitaries and representatives of universities and institutes from across Canada.

After the oath, two members of the Board of Governors-one staff and one student representative-invested Cassels with his official academic regalia.

Being installed during convocation is fitting for Cassels, a nationally recognized legal scholar and teacher who had former students among those receiving their degrees at the ceremony. He was vice-president academic and provost at UVic from 2001-2010, and before that, dean of law.

Cassels' full biography can be read at

The text of the president's address is available at

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