Principal Suzanne Fortier - Owen Egan cropped
Photo: Owen Egan

Today is my first day as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. I am thrilled to return to my alma mater, to rediscover and reconnect with a university that has played an important role throughout my life. Thank you for your support and your warm welcome.

Since it was announced that I would become the Principal of McGill, people from across the world have also sent me their words of welcome and warm wishes. This more than anything else speaks to McGill’s proud history and stellar accomplishments, built from the contributions and achievements of hundreds of thousands of people. Those of us who have the privilege of being a part of the University today also have the responsibility to build on this strong foundation with vision, courage and purpose.

Like so many alumni, I have greatly benefited from my education at McGill. It opened doors that I could not even have imagined as a young woman growing up in a small Quebec village, from working with a future Nobel Prize laureate to being the President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It has also opened my mind to the richness of creative expression in all its manifestations, from the arts to the highest scientific pursuits.

It is with great enthusiasm that I return to McGill and Montreal and the province of Quebec, places that I have always called home. At the same time, I am conscious of our growing role in the larger global community, and how those international relationships help us thrive at home. The challenges we will face, the opportunities we will explore and the contributions we will make extend well beyond our own frontiers and I am eager to work with my colleagues from across the country and the world.

There is a lot for me to learn about McGill in 2013. I have already been able to see that the qualities I loved about McGill as a student are strong: the dedication to creating a rich learning environment, the commitment to excellence, the pride of being part of the McGill community. I see also a community that has embraced the values of inclusion and respect for cultural and individual diversity.

Over the next few months, I will be attending many events and meetings across McGill. I want to learn of your aspirations and hear your thoughts on where you want to see McGill go over the next five years. You can follow my schedule here. I will not be able to meet everyone I would like to, but if there’s an event missing that you think is important, or good advice you would like to share with me, please use the contact information at the bottom of my web page.

I look forward to talking with you and learning from you.


Suzanne Fortier

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University


Watch The Reporter’s interview with McGill University’s 17th Principal and Vice-Chancellor here.


September 5, 2013