President Franco Vaccarino kicked off the University of Guelph’s strategic renewal process today at the 13th annual community breakfast on campus.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to review where we see ourselves now, what we think the University of Guelph stands for, and how to chart our path into the future,” he said.

The president said the process will engage people from on and off campus. He invited members of the community to join discussions to take place over the next 10 to 12 months.

“This process will help us reclaim and assert essential traditions and long-standing areas of strength, while integrating them with new and emerging themes,” he said.

“We want to develop a concise document clearly stating our strategic vision to guide our planning over the next five to 10 years. In addition, we want to renew our sense of institutional pride and confidence among the campus community and U of G partners.”

It has been 20 years since U of G updated its strategic vision. More information will be made available in the coming weeks.

Also at today’s breakfast, eight individuals and one team received the President’s Awards for Exemplary Service.

Created in 2003, the awards program recognizes U of G staff members who have demonstrated consistent commitment to excellence and who have exceeded expectations.

Awards were presented as follows:

Award of Excellence in Health and Safety
Curtis Holmes, a residence desk porter in Student Housing Services, works to ensure the safety and well-being of his clients, and champions the 1-in-5 mental health campaign.

Maria Medeiros, Physical Resources housekeeping, has led projects to share health information and maintain first aid kits on campus.

Community Service Award
Linda Caston, Animal and Poultry Science, was honoured for her volunteer work, including contributing to United Way campaigns, and raising awareness of animal welfare through volunteering with the Guelph Humane Society and Campus Veterinary Outreach.

Exemplary Team Recognition Award
Veterinary technician team in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Health Science Centre: Lucy Siydock, Ines Jimenez, Emily Howe Forde, Cindy Stoate, Andrea Kacer, Shirley Tucker, Nick Coghlin, Jennifer Badgerow Nowell. The team was recognized for providing an excellent teaching environment through clinical instruction and for promoting animal welfare among students.

Hidden Hero Award
As a mentor at the Ridgetown Campus for 36 years, Dave Bilyea, weed science technician, has worked to improve student learning through teaching and specimen maintenance.

Innovative Leadership Recognition Award
Jenn Bock directs the Wild Ontario program, which uses birds of prey to teach nature and conservation. She helped the group become one of the top raptor education organizations in Ontario.

Service Excellence Recognition Award
Ray Hutchison, Physical Resources mechanical shop, co-ordinated roof repairs to Mills Hall at 3 a.m. one winter night.

Sally MacLachlan, administrative assistant with the Department of Population Medicine at OVC, has improved the former graduate service model as interim manager of Graduate Program Services at the college.