Farewell UTM, and thank you for six wonderful years!

Deep Saini and family on steps of Lislehurst
Saini family for one last gathering and selfie at Lislehurst
August 30, 2016

Tomorrow will be my last official day at UTM. After six years and two months in the service of this remarkable institution, I will be signing off and passing the baton to Professor Ulli Krull.

My family and I fell in love with UTM even before we arrived, and we’ve cherished every moment of our time since. Personal milestones during this period included the weddings of both our daughters on the Lislehurst grounds and the addition of our beautiful granddaughter, Leyla, to the family.

We are leaving with numerous fond memories: Our endless encounters with the resident deer; our leisurely evening walks across the campus, making new acquaintances each time; the intimacy of the idyllic setting that earned UTM the label ‘Camelot Campus’; early mornings at the most inviting gym I’ve ever used; the unique architectural beauty of our buildings; the incredible cultural diversity everywhere you look; the incomparable annual Diwali Dhamaka at the Blind Duck; and so on. Even a faceoff between our little dog and a particularly aggressive coyote – mercifully separated by a glass door – seems like fun in retrospect! I will miss much about UTM but none of it more than the amazing people – students, faculty, staff, alumni, our surrounding community, everyone. There’s something uniquely endearing about the people here, and I am at a loss to capture it in words. But captured it is, in my heart, forever, as one of my most cherished memories.

Dear UTM, we came a long way together over the short period of six years. There are many ways to describe what we collectively accomplished, but the most succinct and appropriate way that I can think of is that UTM morphed during this time from a place that had still not entirely shaken off its Erindale College image into a confident broad-based university campus within the University of Toronto family. In the process we fundamentally transformed the university. It is no longer made up of a central campus with two satellites; it is now a tri-campus system. Together we’ve changed the game forever – and for the better – and there is no turning back. Bravo!

So long, UTM, thank you for an incredibly rewarding time, and my best wishes as you continue on your extraordinary journey!

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