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UofG @ 50

Tribune photo by Doug Hallett

Amy Newman’s 11-month-old daughter Evelyn Norris reaches for a prop Saturday during a VIP tour of an exhibition marking the University of Guelph 50th anniversary. The baby’s dad, Ryan Norris, who works in the university’s integrative biology department, has a display in the show at the Guelph Civic Museum. The prop was one of the U of G boxes used to pack meals for the overseas needy during a food-packing event.

Exhibition marks U of G’s 50th anniversary

An exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of the University of Guelph, which runs to July 1, had its official opening Saturday at the Guelph Civic Museum.
“A picture is worth a thousand words, and I know many people will gain a new appreciation for the university through this exhibition,” Coun. Todd Dennis, representing city hall, told a crowd at the opening ceremony.
The show, curated by about 30 U of G students as part of a special humanities course, includes a lot more than pictures. Highlighting some of the interesting research, innovations and community contributions that have come out of the U of G, it also includes fun interactive elements.
Titled University of Guelph: 50 Years of Building a Better Planet, the show looks at the history of the university through the lens of the Better Planet Project. That’s a fundraising and public relations based on the university’s vision to help improve the quality of food, environment, health and communities locally and around the world.
Local MP Frank Valeriote spoke of the U of G’s influence at the national level. He said federal decisions aren’t made in the areas of the environment, animal welfare, and food and agriculture “where the minds at the U of G are not first consulted.”
Valeriote said it was appropriate for the U of G to kick off its 50th anniversary celebrations at the Guelph Civic Museum, because the museum is in the former home of the Loretto sisters, who were the first people to “reach out and develop our community well-being through education.”
The U of G, he told the crowd, reaches out not just to the local community, but also to “the continent and the world.”
Valeriote said the U of G’s anniversary reminded him of the 150th anniversary of Italy three years ago. Like Italy when it became a unified country, the U of G had a lot of history – about 100 years of it – before it officially became a university 50 years ago, he said.
Don O’Leary, the U of G’s vice-president of finance and administration, thanked the museum for providing access to their “superior collection of university-related exhibits” for the show, which students created with support from the university president’s office and the U of G’s 50th anniversary steering committee.
O’Leary said many faculty and staff at the university shared knowledge and provided materials for the show, which was created over three semesters by students who took the one-time course.

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