Events News Releases

CMU Celebrates Expansion with Groundbreaking Event

WINNIPEG, July 3, 2013 – Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) President Cheryl Pauls will gather with Federal, Provincial, and Civic representatives on July 8, 2013 for a groundbreaking celebration to mark the start of construction of the University’s new library and learning commons and pedestrian bridge.


Funding for the new complex, the impact of which will be experienced by students, faculty and the broader constituency and community for decades to come, has been generated by the CONNECT fundraising campaign. Under the leadership of Campaign Chair Elmer Hildebrand, CEO of Golden West Broadcasting, roughly $10-million of the $13.9-million goal has been raised. This funding comprises donations from private donors and foundations, as well as the Winnipeg Foundation, the Richardson Foundation, and the C.P. Loewen Family Foundation. The target for the project’s completion is September 2014.

The new library and learning commons will provide a space where students and faculty can give their full attention to learning as they study, collaborate, and research together. The facility will also include both a café and a ‘conversation corner’ in which events such as book launches, readings, stand-up receptions, and opportunities for engaging conversation of significant issues to CMU and the broader community will be hosted.

The adjacent bridge will provide students and faculty with a safe, accessible route across a major thoroughfare, while creating a greater sense of community by joining the north and south campus areas separated by Grant Avenue.

Media and members of the community are invited to attend the groundbreaking event, which will take place near the site of the new Library & Learning Commons and Bridge (Shaftesbury at Grant Avenue). In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place indoors in the Great Hall, accessed via the main entrance at 500 Shaftesbury Boulevard.

CMU Groundbreaking Celebration:
July 8, 2013, 10:30 AM
500 Shaftesbury Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB


Events General News News Releases

Outtatown participants celebrate returning home and finishing program

The 30 students who traveled to Guatemala as part of the 2012/2013 Outtatown Discipleship School sing and dance at their graduation ceremony. Another 31 students traveled to South Africa.

Winnipeg, April 23, 2013 – Stories of love, hope, community and transformation characterized the 2012/2013 Outtatown Discipleship School Graduation Celebration on Sunday, April 14 as 61 young people graduated from the program.

“For years to come, we will be influenced by the experiences we’ve had as a community, as well as the things we have learned individually,” Ross van Gaalen, a student from Outtatown’s Site 2 South Africa group, shared with the crowd of family and friends who gathered to welcome the students back home after their semester abroad.

“For years to come, we will be influenced by the experiences we’ve had as a community, as well as the things we have learned individually,” Ross van Gaalen, a student from Outtatown’s Site 2 South Africa group, shared at the graduation ceremony.

“No matter how impactful our relationships have been, no matter which crazy stories will stick with us, and no matter which lessons or insights will affect us most deeply, I believe this year has made us all better prepared to face the rest of our lives.”

Bethany Bustard, a leader from Outtatown’s Site 1 Guatemala group, shared that she and the students learned of God’s transformative love during their time together.

“God’s love is not passive or timid,” Bustard said. “It is a powerful and active force as Christ offers to live in us, place his love in our hearts, and empowers us to go forward giving, receiving, and finding love in both expected and unexpected places.”

L to R: Erin Harder, Brette Elias, Erica Deighton, Tara Hansen, and Louisa Hofer from the 2012/2013 Site 1 Guatemala group celebrate their graduation from the Outtatown Discipleship School.

The celebration included a time for worship as well as a message by Outtatown instructor Nathan Rieger, who challenged graduates to use their experiences from the program to look at the world differently.

“You have to see differently – that is the core of discipleship,” Rieger said. “To say, ‘Jesus, I want to see with your eyes.’”

Before praying for the graduates, CMU President Cheryl Pauls likened the university to a rich mosaic and spoke of Outtatown’s place in the mosaic.

“Outtatown is definitely a vital part of what makes it glistening and gritty, real and holy,” Pauls said.

Reflecting on the stories he heard students sharing about their experiences, Outtatown Director Cam Priebe said common themes included hope, freedom, and the value of learning in community.

“Our own journey impacts those around us, and their journey impacts ours,” Priebe said, pointing to Outtatown’s mission to inspire students in their life of discipleship with Jesus Christ in a journey towards knowing God, knowing yourself, and knowing the world.

“When that’s done on an individual level, it’s one thing,” Priebe said. “But when it’s done with others, there’s incredible value in that.”

In addition to the South Africa and Guatemala teams, this year’s Outtatown program also included a team that traveled to Burkina Faso. That team graduated this past December.

The Outtatown Discipleship School is a unique and enriching program of serving and learning for students seeking a life-changing experience of adventure, travel, service, and Christian studies.

Through participation in Outtatown, students may earn up to 18 university credit hours for the academic work completed during their programs. Outtatown offers two-semester programs at site locations in Guatemala and South Africa, and a one-semester program in French Africa.

General News News Releases

CMU Board Names Pauls as Next President

Dr. Cheryl PaulsFebruary 3, 2012 – Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) Board of Governors takes pleasure in announcing the appointment of Dr. Cheryl Pauls as the university’s second president.  Pauls, who is currently a faculty member of CMU, assumes her new duties November 1, 2012. She follows President Dr. Gerald Gerbrandt, who retires June 30, 2012.

“Our Board is excited to appoint Dr. Pauls to this role,” says CMU Board of Governors Chair Marlene Janzen.  “We are grateful for the careful discernment and thorough process of the Search Committee that identified Pauls as both analytical and visionary, with a strong commitment to the mission and core values of CMU. Our Board is confident in her abilities to find creative ways to strengthen and broaden our student base, programming, funding structures, and constituent relationships.”

“I consider it an honour and joy to accept this position,” says Pauls, who is a graduate of one of CMU’s predecessor colleges, Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC), and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia. “I welcome the opportunity to engage in the CMU’s visionary commitment to ‘radical dialogue and generous hospitality’ in ways that are at once bold and compelling for the highly diverse groups of people that this university draws together.”

Currently a professor in Piano and Music Theory, Pauls is a well-established solo and collaborative pianist, known particularly for performances of new music and for multi-media worship events. Pauls has also undertaken research projects focused on the interface of studies in music theory and performance with those in memory, physiology, liturgy, and cultural expression.

Pauls’ administrative and leadership gifts have been recognized and utilized throughout her time at CMU.  From 2000 to 2007 she served as Coordinator of the Music Department, and played a key role in program development.  Since 2008 she has been Chair of the Shaftesbury Campus and member of the President’s Council.  Her keen sense of performance resulted in her regularly playing a lead role in planning major public events.

“The primary imperative of my role as CMU’s next president,” says Pauls, “is to support and sustain the impulse of the university’s mission so that it resonates both within and beyond the institution, and to work collaboratively to sustain the will and the capacities of our CMU community to achieve the university’s strategic goals and mission.”

“Each area of studies is vital to animating the CMU mission,” says Pauls. “The more the mission is put through the wringer of the rigorous beauties and strange apprehensions of each discipline, the more effectively that mission and its participants will act within today’s most urgent challenges and generous hopes.”

Search Committee Chair Ron Loeppky, who responded to the Board’s invitation in summer 2010 to lead the selection process, comments:  “In Dr. Cheryl Pauls, we are delighted to present a person who is well qualified academically, well connected with the church, has a clear understanding of the constituency, and a strong passion for the institution and for CMU’s vision and mission.”

Pauls’ nomination came from multiple sources, notes Loeppky.  “She was recognized both internally and externally for her special gifts and abilities in leadership.  Given her commitment to the institution, her passion for what CMU is and can become, her vast talents, and the personal leadership gifts she brings, our Committee feels she is well positioned to serve this institution.”

The Search Committee began its work in the fall of 2010. Loeppky notes: “We cast a wide net, advertised extensively, and received interest from across North America. We’re absolutely delighted with Cheryl Pauls’ qualities, enthusiasm, energy, and vision.”

Says Janzen: “We are pleased that in Cheryl Pauls we have found a president who creates an exciting dynamic for growth by building on legacy, living faithfully, inspiring creativity, and pursuing excellence.”

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Pauls grew up in Grantham Mennonite Brethren Church.  Pauls has made her home in Manitoba since 1983. She and husband Bryan Harder have two boys, Nicholas and William. The family attends River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg where she recently completed a term as church moderator. 

Audio Faculty interviews Sunday@CMU Radio

Cheryl Pauls – Piano Performance as Worship

[audio: CherylPauls1.mp3]
“Music performance as worship”

Dr. Cheryl Pauls is Associate Professor of Music and incoming President of CMU.  She  joined David Balzer on the Sunday@CMU radio program in June 2010 for a conversation about music theory, faith and teaching.

Cheryl holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of British Columbia. She completed undergraduate degrees in Religious Studies and Music at Concord College, University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba and a Master of Music degree at the University of British Columbia. At UBC she studied extensively with Jane Coop, Douglas Finch, John Roeder and Robert Silverman.

Cheryl and her husband, Bryan Harder, are kept busy with their two young sons, Nicholas and William. Cheryl is also actively involved in music and worship at her home congregation, River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg.