A Message from the Principal, November, 2018

It’s a pleasure to welcome all Fellows and Members to a new academic year. Our mainstay continues to be the weekly meetings held at the Faculty Club, with note-worthy speakers selected by the Program Committee, coupled with refreshment and discussion break and followed by an optional lunch. These meetings provide both the opportunity to learn more about diverse topics in a range of disciplines, and a social context for discussion and interaction among the participants. In this way, Senior College becomes a more coherent community of retirees. This year, the Program Committee Co-Chairs are Linda Hutcheon and Linda Corman, and the Program Committee is currently at work recruiting presenters for the Fall 2019 Term, having completed selections for the forthcoming Winter Term (2019). We are very fortunate in having a good arrangement for these events at the Faculty Club, in which all Fellows become members when they register. The terms of our agreement are extremely favourable, and provide an excellent venue for our signif-icant programs.

Additional opportunities for intellectual engagement and participation are provided through the monthly Colloquium in which more intensive discussions are organized around selected topics. We aim to have reports of these discussions published for general consumption. Our annual Symposium, occurring in the Spring, and scheduled for Thursday April 11 2019, is our most ambitious offering, and the Symposium Committee works hard each year to provide a major topic of general interest and current relevance. This event is historically the one that led up to the formation of Senior College in 2009.

Over the years, we have mounted periodic “field trips” to locations where we can gain insights from first-hand experience. This Fall, an invitational trip to UTSC took place: Senior College members were invited to attend one of the events organized for retirees by UTSC, and about 20 Senior College members attended. The excursion included bus transportation to Scarborough campus, a seminar on news media, lunch and discussion with UTSC officials, and a tour of the campus. There is interest in Senior College as an option for retirees. We are now setting up an “excursion” subgroup through the Program Committee as an initiative to enhance our opportunities by coming up with additional options. We could even go further and revive looking into travel abroad, following the example set by the late Joe Whitney who successfully promoted trips to Iceland and Haida Gwai, as well as several more local excursions. We welcome suggestions and input along these lines to enhance the Senior College experience.

Several significant events of the past year deserve special mention. Under the direction of founding Principal Peter Russell, a small planning committee developed a Strategic Plan for the Senior College Centre (where we have our office space and meeting rooms). The Plan, which is now undergoing a final revision, envisions continuation of programs for community outreach (Speakers’ Bureau), enhancement of cultural events, strengthening of outreach to prospective retirees in University departments, and instigation of workshops of relevance for seniors. A Visual Arts initiative was proposed and is spearheaded by Peter Alberti, and this will generate a forum for participating photographers and artists to contribute their efforts for the coming good. To date, the art of Helen Lenskiyj was introduced with an opening reception at the Senior College Centre on October 24, and the art remains on display there. Volunteers for a Visual Arts Group and suggestions for additional events are welcome.

Another significant news item concerns CURAC (Colleges and Universities Retiree Associations of Canada). This organization had its origin at University of Toronto and holds a national meeting each year at different universities across the country — the 2018 meeting was in Halifax and is reported briefly in this News Bulletin. Senior College and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) were approached by CURAC with an invitation to host the 2020 meeting in Toronto. Discussions on this were launched, but progress in visualizing the set-up and organization for this meeting was slow, and recently the University of British Columbia came up with a firm proposal and will host the 2020 meeting. The University of Toronto would have another opportunity to host the meeting in 2022, and this option will be examined.

Recently Peter Russell completed his book on RALUT (the forerunner of Senior College), and this is now available: instructions for ordering copies are included in this Bulletin and in other communications from Senior College. It is a valuable solidification of the historical development of retiree affairs at the University of Toronto, and thus of interest to all retirees. This past year also saw the publication of Peter’s definitive account of Canadian governance (“Canada’s Odyssey”) which deserves to be read by all interested in Canada’s evolution.

As news materializes, we bring it to your attention through periodic Alerts compiled by our News Bulletin editor, Ed Barbeau. This monthly service complements the News Bulletin which is issued usually 2 times each year.

Wishing you all a prosperous, enjoyable academic year,

Harold Atwood