Langara’s former president David Ross celebrated his departure last Friday afternoon in the employee lounge, leaving big shoes to be filled at the college.
More than 40 people attended the going-away party for the former president on March 8 to congratulate him on his new job and say goodbye. He’s leaving his position at Langara to become the new president and CEO of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.
The farewell included songs performed by children attending Langara’s daycare, and several of Ross’s colleagues gave speeches thanking him for his contributions to the college over the past four and a half years.
“David has been an exceptionally inspiring leader, not only to the Langara community but also on a provincial, national, and international level,” said Anne Lippert, chairwoman of Langara’s board of governors. “His leadership has really inspired the whole Langara community.”
Lippert discussed Ross’s many achievements, including rebranding Langara and promoting leadership development.
“Under David’s leadership, Langara has been successful in attracting and increasing the level of international student involvement,” she said.
Ross said he is excited to start a new life with his family in Calgary but has mixed emotions about leaving.
“You’re always sad about leaving your friends and the community that you develop here, but you’re always looking forward to the next opportunity,” he said.
“I do believe whole-heartedly that the next generation of leadership at Langara is strong and it will lead this institution to what it will be in the future – a continuing strong institution.”
Jennifer Wade, one of Langara’s donors and Ross’s childhood friend from Nova Scotia, spoke about how the former president’s values reflect his vision for Langara.
“Roots are very valuable to both of us. They taught us the meaning of community and sharing, much of what David has accomplished here,” she said. “He’s just been a very personable person.”
Lippert said that the presidential search committee and a recruiting firm are still working hard to find a replacement for Ross. “We’ll never find a David, but [we’ll look for] the best possible candidate,” she said.
Reported by Sera Akdogan