Principal’s Message

A Message from Principal Joe Deslgoes

Welcome back to all returning Woodsworth students and a very special welcome to all our new incoming students.  Whether you are entering degree studies having just finished high school, or whether you have taken other paths to get to this stage in your academic journey, we at Woodsworth are ready to help, support and encourage all students to thrive and to have the best possible educational experience.  Whether you are a commuter student or living in Residence, there are a host of activities to get involved in, and events both here at the College and across the campus, will help you get the most out of your time here at the University.  I know that the staff both in the Office of the Dean of Students and in the Registrar's Office are looking forward to ensuring a smooth transition into the academic year for all students.

The start of a new academic year is  both an opportune time to take stock of what the College has accomplished, and to look ahead.  

As the 2017-18 academic year begins, Woodsworth College continues to celebrate 50 years of The Millie Rotman Shime Academic Bridging Program. Long before diversity and inclusion became common values, our bridging program welcomed non-traditional students--what used to be called “mature” students--into the University, offering them a chance to discover the joys and challenges of post-secondary education. Some of the exceptional Woodsworth alumni you’ll find profiled in these pages first entered the University of Toronto through this important gateway.

In fact, alternative isn’t a derogatory term at Woodsworth. A number of our alumni have chosen non-traditional career paths, striking out on their own in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. Some alumni are graduates of the lauded Rotman Commerce bachelor’s degree program, and have used their degree as a springboard to a successful career in business. Yet it’s just as true that the skills our students learn as undergraduates may not be immediately tied to a particular profession, but can be utilized in any profession they choose – the only limit is their imagination. Woodsworth has helped them gain a broad understanding of the world, and develop discipline and critical thinking.

Today’s students have opportunities and challenges that are different from past graduates: they live in an increasingly connected world and compete for jobs against people around the globe. Part of our mission at Woodsworth is to build global awareness and flexibility and provide outlets for international experience to ensure our graduates feel comfortable with this growing mobility. For 45 years now, our Summer Abroad Program, a flagship international experience opportunity within the Faculty of Arts & Science, has been offering students the chance to earn a course credit and gain a global perspective. I’m proud that we offer classes on every continent except Antarctica—maybe that’s next!

As we mark the release of U of T’s Truth and Reconciliation report, Wecheehetowin, it is also vital that opportunities are available to our Indigenous students, and that our entire community benefits from the diverse experiences that shaped Canada. We are working toward the goal of  increasing the diversity of our student body and our faculty.

I welcome any comments and suggestions from all members of our community.  You can email me or call 416-946-0556.