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The Engaged University: The Role of the University in the City

Dr. Meric Gertler
President, University of Toronto

McMaster University Lecture series

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October 8, 2015

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It is simply extraordinary to see how many things have changed since I was an undergraduate student here. There is a fantastic vibe at McMaster and throughout Hamilton these days.

In fact, this afternoon I want to talk about that vibe and how McMaster is both helping to create it and benefiting from it. I will argue that McMaster and its host city-region of Hamilton are a striking example of an increasingly important global phenomenon.

In regions around the world – from Boston to Beijing, from Toronto to Tokyo – the partnership between research-intensive universities and their host city-regions is a fundamental catalyst for innovation, resilience and prosperity.

I want to develop two themes in my remarks this afternoon:

First – starting with a point that is undoubtedly obvious to all of you – I will argue that the presence of an outstanding scholarly, research, and pedagogical entity such as McMaster has helped transform the city of Hamilton and surrounding region in very positive ways (and continues to do so)

And second, I will explore how the city and the region are returning the favour.