Our Greatest Virtue

Dean François Julien

Dean François Julien

There’s an old saying that asserts: the greatest of virtues is courage, because it’s the one that makes all the other virtues possible. At the Telfer School, our greatest virtue is engagement, because it’s the one that makes all good things possible for us. I define engagement as sharing in the vision and taking part in the success of our school. All can engage—alumni, community leaders, business owners, senior executives, parents, faculty members and students. And each who engages can offer something valuable—time, talent, data, personal and professional networks, project and job opportunities and money.

Increasing engagement by these people in these ways during the past 15 years has made it possible for our school to flourish. Over the past decade and a half, this greatest of virtues has brought together a variety of people from many backgrounds with a range of knowledge and skills. When people of different origins, experience and expertise and perspectives intersect, we uncover new ideas, we find solutions, we bring to light better ways of doing things. We innovate. And when we innovate, we make an impact. We transform how we learn; we reach further beyond our campus; we generate knowledge; we improve the experiences of our students; we build a stronger more durable Telfer School. Even better, this virtuous cycle of engagement, innovation and impact accelerates and amplifies as we increasingly devote ourselves to it.

This year’s edition of the Dean’s report focuses on our greatest of virtues. In it, you will read stories about how several people who make up what I call the Telfer community are engaging with their school to spur innovation and make an impact. For each example in this report, there are many, many other people who are building relationships with our school and making contributions to our Telfer community. I see these relationships and contributions every day. Even more, given my privileged position as Dean, I see the innovation and impact that engagement cultivates—the new programs and diplomas, the improved facilities and resources, the growing support and opportunities, the richer experiences for our students and possibilities for our professors and researchers.

We at the Telfer School are blessed to have so many people who are living the idea of engagement and showing the way ahead for us all. I invite you to take inspiration from the stories in this report and find your own way to engage with us. The reason is simple: your engagement makes all good things possible. It is our greatest virtue.