Brandon University names Louis Visentin president emeritus

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BRANDON, Man. ­­– Louis Visentin has been granted the title of president emeritus by the Brandon University (BU) Board of Governors.

The title is conferred by the board of governors upon a president and vice-chancellor who has served the university with distinction while in office.

“I’m honoured to be designated as president emeritus,” said Visentin, who retired in 2009 and returned with his wife, Mary, to his hometown of Niagara Falls, Ont.

“It came as a surprise. My intention was just to come in and do the best I could. I look at this as a thank you and I would like to say thank you back.”

Among the accomplishments at BU that Visentin is most proud of is helping the university connect to Canada’s high-speed Internet research network, which earned him a Smart Award in the public education category from Smart Partners Manitoba in 2005. He oversaw the implementation of a number of new programs, including bachelor’s degrees in nursing and fine arts. Visentin introduced several new scholarships and championed campus improvements, including the since-constructed Healthy Living Centre. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to Canada.

“Dr. Visentin’s leadership and dedication during his tenure here were important in shaping Brandon University,” said BU president Gervan Fearon. “His commitment to innovation, the development of well-rounded students and community engagement are principles that continue to be reflected at BU today.”

Also still evident at BU is Visentin’s passion for art. His works are displayed around the campus, including the steel sculpture Prairie Reflections, which is a focal point in the Kavanaugh Courtyard.

Visentin served as president for nine years (2000-2009). Since BU received its charter in 1967, the only president to serve longer was his predecessor, Dennis Anderson (1990-2000). All former BU presidents and vice-chancellors who have served at least five years in the position are eligible for nomination for the honorary title. Visentin is only the second to attain president emeritus recognition, joining John Mallea (1985-1990).



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