We may be going out on a limb here, but we’re pretty sure that Paul Dangerfield might be the only university president to quote both Shakespeare and Keith Richards in his installation speech.
Dangerfield senses Capilano University is primed for its next chapter.
“As Shakespeare wrote: ‘The readiness is all,’” Dangerfield told those who assembled to witness his investiture as Capilano University’s third president and vice-chancellor, October 17, 2016. Dignitaries in attendance included the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, representatives of government, First Nations communities, staff, faculty and students.
Christopher Doll, vice-chair of Capilano University’s Board of Governors, welcomed everyone to the installation and shared congratulations from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Squamish Elder Latash Nahanee blessed Dangerfield as president, the Chinook SongCatchers performed a ceremonial dance, and Cap U’s board chair Soon Kim observed that, “It is Paul’s understanding of the importance of listening to and learning from stakeholders that sets him apart.”
David Fung, Capilano University’s chancellor, said a university president must listen, build trust, know when to stay the course in times of challenge and when to change the route in order to move forward.
“The president celebrates inquiry, open-mindedness, experimentation, intellectual rigour and the cultivation of citizens who contribute to society,” Fung said. “They must marvel and exclaim when students succeed and they must pause and ponder support systems for when they struggle.”
With Dangerfield’s experiences as a dean, his focus on leadership during completion of his master’s degree and 20 years with the Canadian Forces in roles that included chief of staff, not to mention the way he listens and leads, it was clear Fung believes Capilano University is in good hands.
In his address, Dangerfield spoke about how Cap U offers experiential learning so students are able to apply the knowledge they gain to accomplish great things, noting the University’s motto: “through learning to a greater good.” He acknowledged that members of the University community don’t agree on all things, but the key is that everyone combines their energy and collaborates to support student success.
It was a brief segue around the 10-minute mark that caught some audience members by surprise, when Dangerfield confessed that in addition loving jazz, he’s a steadfast classic rock fan.
He quoted from Keith Richard’s autobiography, Life, where the guitarist and singer/songwriter riffed on what it means to be a band.
“‘It’s really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it’s all for one purpose… It’s really jazz. That’s the big secret. Rock and roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.’”
“I believe we’re all making jazz here,” continued Dangerfield. “I’m here, that new guy, supporting all of you the very best that I can, stressing the backbeat, the teamwork, the thing that catches us all up together to create a one-of-a-kind experience here at Capilano, for ourselves, for everyone.”
Student Amina el Mantari delivered the final speech, sharing how she grew up in Morocco in a family of 10 children with parents who couldn’t read or write, and yet she learned about leadership and the value of education from her mother, who raised them with love, kindness and encouragement to help others succeed.
“We believe in your vision, Mr. President,” said el Mantari. “Welcome to your new home.”
Submitted by Communications & Marketing
* * *