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Summerlee Named WUSC Chair

November 14, 2006

Source: University of Guelph

University of Guelph President Alastair Summerlee has been named the new chair of the board of directors of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), one of the country’s leading international development agencies.

WUSC teams with students, faculty and institutions to internationalize Canada’s universities, increase knowledge of global issues and foster human development through education and training. Summerlee has served as its board vice-chair for the past two years.

"Dr. Summerlee has a great deal of energy and creativity to contribute, and we’re really looking forward to continuing our work with him," said Paul Davidson, WUSC’s executive director. "He’s an innovative thinker with a strong commitment to our goals."

WUSC programs have been offered in some 50 countries over the past four decades. "It has had a profound influence on people in many parts of the world," Summerlee said. "I’m honoured to be part of this important and growing enterprise and am particularly excited about taking on this role."

U of G has been actively involved in WUSC for more than 20 years, including participating in its student refugee program, which brings students from war-torn countries to study in Canada.

Students come from countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Zaire, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Rwanda in hopes of pursuing higher education in an environment free of violence or fear.

Recently, the local WUSC chapters and the University have worked to bolster U of G’s support of the program, including increasing the number of refugee students brought to the Guelph and Alfred campuses annually and increasing assistance.

The student refugee program is just one of many international initiatives and projects sponsored by WUSC, which was established in 1939 in response to the need to encourage international understanding in a war-torn world.

It also offers students and faculty numerous unique training and educational opportunities overseas. U of G has been involved in such programs since the 1960s. This includes an annual international seminar for which 20 to 30 Canadian students and two faculty members are selected to participate in an intensive six-week educational tour of a developing country.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.



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