GPRC celebrated the installation of its ninth President and CEO Dr. Robert Murray with a ceremony that brought together community and provincial leaders, as well as academics from around Alberta and across Canada, on Friday March 6, 2020.
The celebration returned to GPRC the academic tradition of formally installing the President and CEO of the College. GPRC’s Board of Governors determined the time was right to bring back the tradition, last held at GPRC in 1981 for its second President and CEO Ms. Dorothy Rowles, as GPRC continues on its path towards granting its own degrees.
“It is an acknowledgment of the importance of post-secondary institutions in their communities, in the wider academic community and of higher education’s important contribution to the continued growth and success of our society,” said Natalia Reiman, Chair of the GPRC Board of Governors as she welcomed the dignitaries, Indigenous elders and guests to the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre.
GPRC was privileged to have the Honourable Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education, attend to deliver the Oath of Office. “It is my distinct privilege and honour to welcome Dr. Robert Murray as the ninth President and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College,” said Nicolaides. “Dr. Murray’s experience as a member of faculty at three universities, his extensive publication record and his background in education and public policy and, of course, his experience in executive leadership promises many great things for the college in the years ahead.”
Oath of Office
“Do you Dr. Robert Murray pledge to perform the duties on the President and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College to the best of your skills and abilities as prescribed by law, to without fear, or favour given, preserve the traditions, principles and privileges of the College to promote excellence and innovation and to defend the rights of the college and its members throughout your term of office with honour and integrity.”
Following the Oath of Office Dr. Brian Redmond, Interim Vice-President Academic and Research, and Angela Logan, Vice-President Finance and Administration, formally placed the GPRC presidential robe on Dr. Murray. The Chain of Office which includes all the names of past individuals who’ve held the position of GPRC President and CEO and symbolizes the responsibilities, authority and dignity was placed on the President and CEO by the Chair of the GPRC Board of Governors.
Clinton Soto, Indigenous dancer and drummer, and a Band Council member from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, performed an honour song. Greetings and words of welcome were delivered by visiting dignitaries, students, faculty and staff. Jasbelle Leal of the Students' Association of GPRC, surprised Dr. Murray by inviting GPRC Wolves athletes on the stage to present Dr. Murray with a Wolves Jersey.
Dr. Murray, who started at GPRC in December 2019, set out his vision for GPRC as the northern centre of excellence for post-secondary education in Alberta in his installation address. The future ahead for GPRC is that of a modern and innovative institution that contributes to the economic growth and success of the region while delivering academic excellence and unparalleled experiences for all students.
“It is a tremendous honour to take on this role, especially at this point in GPRC’s history,” said Dr. Murray. “This is a moment of incredible opportunity for GPRC if we can act together toward the common goal of pursuing excellence in all that GPRC does.”
“I look forward to working together to achieve what is possible for GPRC and realizing the vast potential we all know exists for the College,” said Dr. Murray. “I am here because I believe in the role that post-secondary institutions play in our overall human development, and I believe in the potential of GPRC in helping to advance our region and province.”