A town hall meeting and Christmas luncheon were held on Friday, December 9, 2016.
Department Chair Bob Sica welcomed the gathering. Many retired faculty and staff attended, including Mila Kagan, Willy Lennard, Ian Mitchell, Harry Chen, David Rosner, John Landstreet, James Moorhead, Michel Debruyne, and Patrick Whippey. Postdoctoral fellow Elizabeth Silber dropped in from Rhode Island. Custodial staff members Emira Abdovic and Mike MacDonald were also present.
Bob's first order of business was to have the staff introduce themselves. This was followed by a formal welcome of new staff members Emily Adams, Abedin Abedin, and Paul Christiaans, along with new faculty member Rob Cockcroft. It was then time to honour three new retirees, these being staff members Clara Buma, and Peter Frank, as well as faculty member Dick Holt. This was an emotional moment. Bob spoke about Clara's career in which she was the face of the main office for years. John deBruyn thanked Peter for his service of over 40 years, while Professor Emeritus David Rosner spoke of Dick Holt's career, beginning with his famous thesis on the topic of Bell's Theorem. Professor Emeritus Patrick Whippey spoke warmly of his time with Peter, Clara, and Dick.
Chair Bob then turned the discussion to new departmental academic and outreach initiatives. Faculty committee members Martin Houde, Els Peeters, Tamie Poepping, and Jan Cami spoke to the various topics.
A moment was taken for John deBruyn to formally honour Jackson Scholarship winner Cameron Hopkins and William Wehlau Prize winner Isabelle Cyr.
A question and answer session followed, along with a tribute by Professor Emeritus John Landstreet to recently deceased Professor Emeritus Romas Mitalas.
Hungry stomachs then had to patiently wait through two group photos sessions, after which the everyone headed to the buffet tables. It was interesting that some headed directly to the dessert table!
Lunch was followed by informal building of gingerbread houses and Christmas ornaments. Individual photos were taken by the Christmas trees.
There were some wonderful Christmas sweaters in evidence, and certainly those worn by Emily Pass and Peter Brown caught the attention of the Chair.