Back to school in unlikely places

A café at the top of the CN Tower, the lobby of a newspaper building in the prairies, and an historic west coast mansion all turned into Carleton classrooms for an evening this fall. The rooms hosted Carleton graduates and professors as part of the Alumni Association’s new Focus on Carleton University Speakers (FOCUS) tour—a series of speaking engagements featuring some of the University’s most dynamic researchers.

More than 400 alumni came out for lectures in seven different cities, from Toronto to Victoria and sunny Palo Alto, California. The great attendance is more evidence, says Gerard Buss, BA/73, President of the Carleton University Alumni Association, that graduates never forget their attachment to Carleton.

“Even years later, graduates love to hear about the fascinating research going on at Carleton,” says Buss. “That’s one of the things you miss the most when you graduate. The FOCUS tour is a great way to keep alumni in touch with the ground-breaking ideas on campus.”

Guest speakers came from all corners of the University. Linda Duxbury from the Sprott School of Business spoke in Toronto about the challenge of work/life balance. David Sinclair, Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLab) gave two fascinating presentations on the origins of matter. Richard Nimijean of Canadian Studies spoke in Edmonton about the federal sponsorship scandal. And George Carmody from the Department of Biology, meanwhile, wowed the crowds in Vancouver and Victoria with his insights into the world of forensic research.

Wanda Slomiany, BA/88 , came out to hear Chris Dornan, Director of the School of Journalism and Communication, who spoke at the Winnipeg Free Press building on October 26. “The event was excellent, the tour of the Free Press building was fascinating, the food was excellent, and Dornan’s talk was very provocative and entertaining, “ she says. “It was nice to see such a good turnout, too.”

The Alumni Association is planning more FOCUS events in the spring in Eastern Canada, including visits to alumni branches in Montreal and Halifax, as well as a potential stop in Washington, D.C.

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