The Faculty of Medicine’s 75th anniversary kickoff event launches a year of celebrations
Posted on Friday, January 10, 2020
The Faculty of Medicine launched a year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary on January 8, taking guests and VIPs on an inspiring journey through our history.
Over 250 guests gathered in the Atrium of Roger Guindon Hall to enjoy a luncheon and swap stories of the Faculty.
University of Ottawa president Jacques Frémont shared words of congratulations to start off the afternoon’s presentations in the amphitheatre.
“As one of the engines of research, the Faculty of Medicine makes a big difference to the University, and we have great plans for it,” he said. “I look forward to hearing about its history here today.”
Dr. Bernard Jasmin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, delivered opening remarks to the crowded room. “A lot has changed in 75 years, but many of the things that we value have stayed the same,” he said.
After making an Indigenous land acknowledgement and welcoming VIPs, the dean went on to explain how our ambitions and initiatives of today are founded on the very same values that built our faculty so many years ago.
“Education. Research. Engagement. La francophonie. Internationalization and global health—you’ve heard me speak about these priorities on a number of occasions in the context of our new strategic plan, ‘Leading Innovation for a Healthier World.’ But these priorities are also deeply rooted in our foundation.”
Dr. Jasmin then introduced and extended a warm welcome to Dr. Susan Lamb, Jason A. Hannah Chair in History of Medicine in the Department of Innovation in Medical Education. Based on her years of research into the fascinating history of the Faculty, Dr. Lamb recounted the medical school’s journey from humble beginnings to top-ranked research and education institute.
“The learning curve was very steep, but we did it,” Dr. Lamb noted. “And, since success begets success, this led to the development of more specialty programs at the Faculty over time, expanding our opportunities for research and education.”
Emphasizing its origins, Dr. Lamb explained the Faculty’s roots as a bilingual, Catholic institution, and its profoundly Franco-Ontarian and Franco-Canadian story. The medical school moved from an institution of ideals and aspirations, said Dr. Lamb, to triumphs in mastery and achievement. She described how the Faculty determinedly climbed that steep learning curve, overcame many hurdles along the way, and ultimately emerged a top medical school competing on the world stage.
Not many organizations can boast 75 years of history. As a storied institution with many notable alumni and successes over the years, the Faculty proudly welcomed the media—both Le Droit and Radio Canada were present—in celebrating and promoting this special year.
The VIPs in attendance at the event included: former Faculty deans Dr. Gilles Hurteau and Dr. Peter Walker; Jacques Frémont, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa; Dr. Jill Scott, provost and vice-president of academic affairs; Dr. Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president of research at uOttawa; Dr. Bernard Leduc, president and CEO of Hôpital Montfort; Dr. Rashmi Kothary, deputy scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper, interim director of the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology; leaders of various Faculty departments; and several emeritus professors and VIP donors.
Guests were offered a complimentary 75th anniversary mug and ball cap to mark the special occasion.
“It is important that we show pride in being a part of this faculty, hence our offering of these gifts,” said Dr. Jasmin in his opening remarks.
Those unable to attend in person shared in the day’s celebrations via Adobe Connect.
Starting this month, stay tuned throughout the year for the full 75thanniversary experience on the dedicated website, including stories from past and present-day achievements and a calendar to keep everyone up to date on special events throughout the year. The Faculty will also feature special 75th anniversary content in the monthly MedPoint newsletter.