New Board Chair excited about St. Paul’s future

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


“It’s not about me,” says Gary Foerster, newly appointed Chair of St. Paul’s Board of Governors. “It’s about St. Paul’s and its exciting future.”

For Foerster, that exciting future is all about the vibrant student community at the College.

Foerster himself came to St. Paul’s in 1972 where he took a General Arts degree, with courses in history. But it isn’t his courses he remembers so much as the friendships he built—many of which continue strong today—and the strong sense of social responsibility he gained at St. Paul’s.

That sense of social responsibility led Gary and his wife Val to serve on a variety of boards, although the St. Paul’s board has been particularly close to Gary’s heart since he joined it in 2013.

“I’m very honoured to be chair of this particular board,” says Gary, pointing out that the board of governors is a competency-based one, drawing on what he describes as “a tremendous group of deeply committed and diversely skilled members.” For his own part, Gary brings a strong business history to his role, having worked for Thomson Newspapers and then as the editor and later partner and publisher of The Canadian Sportsman (celebrating its 150th anniversary), before beginning Sportswood Printing which is now marking its 30th year in business.

For Gary, however, “The stars of the show at St. Paul’s are the students.” He notes that

“St. Paul’s provides an enhanced experience to the University of Waterloo experience, by offering a unique sense of community through our residence, Indigenous centre and wider community life. Those students then go on to become tremendous ambassadors for St. Paul’s in the world.”

He points to St. Paul’s alumni who are addressing the UN General Assembly, others who are making landmine defusal safer and more. “This is what gets us excited as a Board.”

Gary has seen St. Paul’s grow over the years in terms of the College’s physical structures, as well as in terms of enhanced student life programs and expanded alumni involvement. His hope for the next few years during his tenure as board chair is to support the emerging academic programs being developed through St. Paul’s.

“I’m excited to talk about St. Paul’s in the wider community. People are very excited when they hear what the students here are doing.”

On behalf of the entire St. Paul’s community we would like to thank Past Chair, Brenda Simpson for her many contributions through two years of dedicated service as Chair. We also welcome Brad Siim (BASc ’92) to the role of Vice-Chair and Bill Watson (BA ’76) as newly elected member of the Board.
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