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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As the first woman to serve as Head of Pearson College, I was also appointed the College’s first President. As such, my mandate has been an especially ambitious one: nothing short of renewing and re-founding the College for the next 50 years of educational leadership, scholarship and service.

Since August 2015, four momentous years have passed.

My five-year mandate comes to a close in July 2020. After much consideration and family discussion, I have informed the Pearson Board of Directors that we will be returning home to Montreal next summer. I am grateful to the Chair, Anne McLellan, and other directors for their understanding and strong support.

The reason I am sharing this news with you now is that the Board needs time to carry out an orderly transition to the new leadership that ensures that what we have achieved together over five years will not only endure, but be enhanced by leadership renewal.

Anne, together with her fellow Board members, will shepherd the process of selecting my successor. She and her colleagues bring accomplishment, experience and professionalism to Pearson’s Board. As an educational institution, we are very fortunate to have attracted this level of expertise and dedication; and I have full confidence in the process upon which they are embarking.

In the meantime, I assure you of my commitment to carrying out my mandate. I have and will continue to work closely with the Board of Directors, implementing our strategic plan, and with our team focusing on our five priority areas of Program, People, Place, Profile and Prosperity.

I will continue to vigorously support and promote all our ongoing and upcoming major initiatives, including:

  • Renewing our educational programming and curriculum in order to create “a new generation of global education for a new generation of global citizens.”
  • Ramping up our efforts to grow and diversify our revenue streams, notably through Pearson’s unprecedented fundraising campaign to secure the College’s long-term, sustainable financial future.
  • Developing and delivering an authentic Indigenous Vision for the College together with an effective, constructive and inclusive community-based approach to Reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples.
    As with our students, the Pearson Experience has truly been transformative for me and one that has stretched me in every way possible. Along with Chris and our two boys, Jack and Michael, I will always appreciate these special years spent here on Pedder Bay – and we are grateful to all of you who have been part of the adventure!

My passion for Pearson College and the mission of the UWC remains deep and abiding. I am proud to say that I will be a UWCer for life! I owe each and every one of you many thanks for your own personal commitments to this extraordinary place and the universal UWC values of peace and understanding.

It has been – and continues to be – a privilege to head this unique school, and to live and work alongside all of you. There is still much important work ahead as we renew our curriculum and our campus, and I’m counting on your full support and collaboration to make it a success. In fact, I’m looking forward to making this our best year yet!

Warm regards

Désirée McGraw
President and Head of College
Pearson College UWC