Michael Wilson new U of T Chancellor

Author: 
Laurie Stephens

The Honourable Michael H. Wilson, a former Canadian ambassador to the United States and federal Minister of Finance and active volunteer with a range of community and research organizations, has been elected to serve as Chancellor of the University of Toronto.

Wilson is a graduate of U of T’s Trinity College in 1959 and currently Chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc. His term begins officially on July 1, 2012. He will be the University’s 33rd Chancellor since its founding in 1827. Wilson’s range of volunteer activities has been and remains extraordinary. He is widely respected as a tireless champion for mental health awareness and research, and was recently appointed to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"I feel very honoured to be asked to serve my alma mater in this capacity. I very much look forward to working with the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and administration of this great university," said Michael Wilson.

Elected by the alumni's College of Electors for a three-year term, the Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University, presiding at convocations, conferring all University degrees and acting as ambassador to more than 500,000 graduates worldwide and to the wider community. The Chancellor also plays an essential role in advancing the University's interests within the local, provincial, national and international arenas – a role that Mr. Wilson is well-qualified to fill with distinction.

"An exceptional leader in our community and on the world stage, known for his dedication to public service, Mr. Wilson is an outstanding candidate for Chancellor," said David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto. "His energy and experience will be a tremendous benefit to the University community."

In 2005, the University of Toronto conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Mr. Wilson in recognition of his exemplary and long-standing volunteer leadership and outstanding community service.  He served as Chancellor of Trinity College from 2003 to 2006 where his many contributions as ceremonial head of Trinity were appreciated by students, faculty and staff alike.

"The Chancellor works closely with the President and me to advocate for University priorities," said Richard Nunn, Chair of the University of Toronto’s Governing Council. "It will be a great pleasure to work with Mr. Wilson, who will act as an inspiring role model for both members of the University and the broader community."

The election of a chancellor follows a rigorous search process conducted by the University’s College of Electors.  Established in 1971 by the Governing Council, the College comprises members representing the constituent alumni associations of the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) and is charged with the election of alumni governors and the Chancellor.

"The College is especially pleased with the election of Michael Wilson as Chancellor," said Françoise Ko, Chair of the College of Electors. "He is a superb candidate who will serve the University with distinction as a leader of the broad community of the University’s alumni and friends."

Mr. Wilson succeeds The Honourable David R. Peterson, whose second term as Chancellor comes to an end as of June 30, 2012.  At that time the Chancellor will have completed the maximum service length permitted by the University of Toronto Act, 1971.  Chancellor Peterson’s tireless and exemplary work on behalf of the University over the past six years is deeply appreciated by the entire University community.