Ties that Bind - Conrad Grebel University College 2016-17 Annual Report


When you enter the main entrance of Conrad Grebel University College and step into the spacious atrium, you see a remarkable work of art by Jo-Anne Harder titled Ties that Bind. It is composed of metal panels that depict the history, faith, and symbols of various Mennonite traditions. 

It is common to see people in front of the artwork, identifying panels that reflect their family story. Sometimes there is a small group listening to a person who is introducing them to Mennonite history and faith. Like all good art, Ties that Bind is meaningful to those for whom its images are familiar, and it is an intriguing and illuminating portal for those who are new to its stories and symbols.

This Annual Report is like Ties that Bind in many ways. It is a selective and yet comprehensive account of another remarkable year in the life of Conrad Grebel University College. For those who were part of Grebel this year, many of these statistics, anecdotes, and reflections will be familiar. They will know the larger story, the values, commitments, and dynamics that inspired and infused these activities, relationships, and accomplishments. For those to whom this report is an introduction to the year 2016-17 at Grebel, we hope that it will inspire your interest and support.

The title of this report “Ties that Bind—Engaging Growing Constituencies” is drawn from both the artwork in our atrium and our current Strategic Plan. This year’s report emphasizes the scope and variety of ways in which Grebel fulfills its mission to “seek wisdom, nurture faith, and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” 

Jim PankratzIt has been my privilege to lead Conrad Grebel University College as Interim President this year. In September 2016 the Grebel community and friends said a grateful “Thank you and farewell” to Susan Schultz Huxman for five memorable years as Grebel’s President. As the school year ended, the Board of Governors announced that Marcus Shantz will become Grebel’s eighth President in October 2017.

Conrad Grebel University College flourished in 2016-17 as a welcoming and inspiring academic and residential community in which teaching and learning, research and innovation, relationships and service, partnership and collaboration were nurtured and extended.

Jim Pankratz, 
Interim President

Read the complete Annual Report (PDF)

Ties that Bind - 2016-17 Annual Report, Conrad Grebel University College

2016-17 Conrad Grebel Annual Financial Reports (PDF)

Ties that Bind sculpture

Jo-Anne Harder, Ties that Bind
Copper and brass on wood, 9.5’ x 6.5’

Ties that Bind reflects on 500 years of Mennonite community, persecution, migration, and settlement, and explores notions of place, memory, and identity. 


A Message from the Board of Governors

Conrad Grebel University College is guided by our identity, mission, values, and strategic vision as we engage and serve growing constituencies. This report identifies and celebrates significant accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, community life, public service, administration, and constituency support at Grebel this year. 
This was a year of leadership transition. President Susan Schultz Huxman completed five years of distinguished leadership in September 2016 and moved to her new role as President of Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. The Board appointed Jim Pankratz, former Grebel Dean (2006-2014) as Interim President, effective October 1, 2016. He will complete his service as President on September 30, 2017. Board Chair Geraldine Balzer of Saskatoon completed her service on the Board during the year and Fred Redekop was appointed Chair. 

We have been pleased to have Jim Pankratz as a our Interim President. With his thoughtful and deliberate leadership style, he has provided a quiet presence in the transition to the next president. The Board offers heartfelt thanks to Jim for his dedication to Grebel and genuine care for our community.

The Board addressed three major issues during the year. First, it conducted a successful search for a new President. In May the Board announced that Marcus Shantz will become Grebel’s eighth President on October 1, 2017. The Board and the Grebel community look forward to his leadership. Second, the Board authorized an assessment and proposal for a renovation and expansion of Grebel’s kitchen and dining facilities. The Board will receive a report in summer 2017 and determine next steps. Third, the Board and administration made significant progress on Grebel’s strategic commitment to refresh policies and governance. 
Grebel’s mission is compelling, its leaders are visionary, its community is vibrant, and its partnerships and constituency are strong.

Fred Redekop, Board Chair