Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,

What a year it has been!

From the launch of our 150th anniversary celebrations last January to our gala celebration this fall, it’s been a jam-packed 12 months.

Through it all, what has stood out for me the most is the tremendous admiration and support that exists (not just within the university, but across our city, region and beyond) for all that makes MSVU special. Our history is unlike any other – we’ve been ahead of the curve when it comes to making education accessible to equity denied populations – and our shared future is brighter because of it.

Of course, our history is not without its difficult parts, and our future won’t be either. But we continue to prioritize truth and meaningful reconciliation in our work with Indigenous students and communities, as well as the African Nova Scotian community and other marginalized groups. The world truly is a better place when a greater diversity of people have access to higher education.

This year has not been without its difficult parts too, with humanitarian crises unfolding around the world and being felt across university campuses in Canada. Universities must continue to be a safe place for a diversity of thought, as well as a place of compassion.

And while these issues weigh heavily, as they should, let me leave you on a lighter note.

One of our 150th anniversary activities involved the opening of a time capsule placed in Evaristus Hall 30 years ago. In that time capsule, we discovered a recipe for oatmeal crisp cookies by the late Annemarie MacDonald (recipe available here!).

An alumna of the class of 1965, Annemarie was a long-time supporter of MSVU, including more than 20 years involvement with the Alumni Association board. She was famous for her oatmeal crisp cookies which she prepared almost daily.

Annemarie’s cookie recipe is at the heart of our 2023 holiday video, which you can watch here (or below this message).

Also, for a little light reading over the holidays, checkout the list of the top 10 MSVU stories of 2023 (based on website and social media analytics).

Wishing you and yours a peaceful, relaxing holiday break!


Dr. Joël Dickinson
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Saint Vincent University
Instagram @presd_msvu
X (formerly Twitter) @PresD_MSVU