Focus on Leadership: St. Mary’s University leadership strives to help students succeed

February 28, 2023
Leadership Team Calgary
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Sinda Vanderpool, left, the president of St. Mary’s University, with Bishop William McGrattan, the post-secondary school’s chancellor.

Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

St. Mary’s University was a perfect fit for Sinda Vanderpool, who joined the Calgary post-secondary institution as its president and vice-chancellor last summer after working at Baylor University in Texas for several years. 

“My work there was all about helping students be successful in their studies and the pursuit to lead deeply meaningful lives,” she says about the Baptist faith-based post-secondary school in Waco, Texas. 

“And so, what drew me to St. Mary’s is that similar approach whereby education should lift students up in mind, body and spirit, while encouraging them to lift up the lives of others, too.

“We not only want to build the academic capacities of students so they’re prepared to lead fruitful careers and lives; we also want them to be good human beings who want to make the world a better place.” 

St. Mary’s students and faculty recognize what they have in their new president, says Bishop William McGrattan, the university’s chancellor. 

“Dr. Vanderpool brings unparalleled passion for the Catholic vision of higher education, understanding well how faith enriches learning, teaching and research in a post-secondary environment,” McGrattan says. 

“In essence, the Catholic intellectual tradition strives to instil a sense of wonder in searching for the truth, an appreciation for beauty and a realization of the responsibility we all have to each other.” 

In this respect, St. Mary’s stands out, Vanderpool notes. 

“What sets St. Mary’s apart is a deeper, richer connection between faith and learning, where our students build purpose-driven lives oriented toward impacting the world for the better.”

It’s a mission that will only grow in the future as St. Mary’s focuses on building its next strategic plan. 

“We not only want to expand the educational programs,” Vanderpool says, noting new offerings in social entrepreneurship and pre-law. “We also want to double the number of students from the approximately 1,000 enrolled today while expanding the campus’s physical footprint, given we’re already near capacity and need more space to grow.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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