Cape Breton University Celebrates Installation of Dr. David Wheeler as its Sixth President

Today, at the official installation ceremony and in front of a capacity crowd at the Boardmore Playhouse, Chancellor Annette Verschuren and the Cape Breton University (CBU) Board of Governors together with the campus and broader Cape Breton communities celebrated Dr. David Wheeler’s investiture as the University’s sixth President. Worldwide Earth Day is also celebrated today, making the ceremony extra special for Dr. Wheeler who has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment.

In his first official address as President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Wheeler spoke to The Butterfly Effect metaphor used by systems thinkers to describe the potential for massive change in complex systems through small initiating actions in diverse contexts. He suggested that the principle has powerful and positive applications for CBU, noting  “The small things we do at Cape Breton University are already having extraordinary local, national and global impacts in science, in the arts and humanities, in business and in professional studies, achieved directly and indirectly through our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Through our unique strengths in aboriginal studies, sustainable energy and heritage, to our entrepreneurial approach to internationalization, we have already touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the world.”

Characterizing Cape Breton University as one of the most ambitious universities in Canada,

Dr. Wheeler, in collaboration with members of the university community, intends to leverage the unique strengths of CBU and use them to affect change in Nova Scotia, Canada and the world. “In the future, because of our values, our spirit and our ambition, I believe we will make the lives of millions of people around the world better, through who we educate, how we do our research, and what global challenges we seek to address and solve,” said Dr. Wheeler.

From inception, Cape Breton University has always been closely connected with the community at large Island wide. Dr. Wheeler’s address today clearly reflected his understanding of the deep roots the university has with local communities and long standing cultural values and the intrinsic connection each has to one another. He also praised the university’s resilience and adaptive abilities during challenging and changing times in the university sector and he spoke proudly of the strengths distinct to CBU and the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead.

The installation ceremony took place at 11 a.m. in the Boardmore Playhouse with CBU Chancellor, Annette Verschuren presiding and administering the Oath of Office. Greetings were shared by members of the university community and representatives from other Canadian universities and colleges. Music was provided by Kyle and Stewart MacNeil of the Barra MacNeils and Rita Rankin, with an Honour Song by CBU student Jeff Ward of Membertou. Following the ceremony a reception was held in The Pit Lounge, giving guests an opportunity to personally congratulate Dr. Wheeler.

“I believe that our students, staff and academics will be steadfast in their pursuit of our vision, through the CBU Butterfly Effect,” said Dr. Wheeler.

CBU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. David Wheeler can be followed on Twitter at @DrDavidWheeler1. Read his blog at

President Wheeler's Installation Remarks available here.