Media Releases

Michael Wilson re-elected U of T Chancellor

January 27, 2015

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

Mr. Wil­son is a grad­u­ate of U of T’s Trin­i­ty Col­lege in 1959 and cur­rent­ly Chair­man of Bar­clays Cap­i­tal Cana­da Inc. His first term began offi­cial­ly on July 1, 2012. He is the University’s 33rd Chan­cel­lor since its found­ing in 1827. Mr. Wilson’s range of vol­un­teer activ­i­ties has been and remains extra­or­di­nary. Among his many vol­un­teer lead­er­ship posi­tions, he is Vice Chair of the Cana­di­an Insti­tutes of Health Research and Hon­orary Chair of Brain Cana­da. He is also wide­ly respect­ed as a tire­less cham­pi­on for men­tal health aware­ness and research.

“It is a very great priv­i­lege to serve as Chan­cel­lor of my alma mater, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to,” said Mr. Wil­son. “Our bril­liant stu­dents, alum­ni, fac­ul­ty, and staff are a con­stant source of inspi­ra­tion, and it is immense­ly enjoy­able to sup­port them in their work and to cel­e­brate their accom­plish­ments. I am very grate­ful to the Col­lege of Elec­tors for their con­fi­dence in me.”

The Chan­cel­lor is elect­ed by the alum­ni’s Col­lege of Elec­tors, and is eli­gi­ble for re-elec­tion for one addi­tion­al three-year term, the max­i­mum ser­vice length per­mit­ted by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Act, 1971. As the cer­e­mo­ni­al head of the Uni­ver­si­ty, the Chan­cel­lor pre­sides at con­vo­ca­tions, con­fers Uni­ver­si­ty degrees and acts as ambas­sador to its more than 540,000 grad­u­ates world­wide and to the wider com­mu­ni­ty. In this role, Mr. Wil­son has ini­ti­at­ed a series of round­table dis­cus­sions with alum­ni from across the University’s cam­pus­es and divi­sions, and has met with grad­u­ates from around the world. The Chan­cel­lor also plays an essen­tial part in advanc­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty’s inter­ests in the local, provin­cial, nation­al and inter­na­tion­al are­nas – a role Mr. Wil­son has filled with great dis­tinc­tion, draw­ing on his exten­sive, unique, and superb record in pub­lic life.

“Michael Wilson’s ser­vice as Chan­cel­lor has been dis­tin­guished by his extra­or­di­nary loy­al­ty and ded­i­ca­tion,” said Mer­ic Gertler, Pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. “His mar­vel­lous record of lead­er­ship in pub­lic life, busi­ness, and not-for-prof­it work is both an inspi­ra­tion and a tremen­dous asset to the Uni­ver­si­ty com­mu­ni­ty. I am delight­ed that the Col­lege of Elec­tors has re-elect­ed him to a sec­ond term, and I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with him in advanc­ing the University’s teach­ing and research mis­sions.”

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.

“Chan­cel­lor Wil­son con­tin­ues to demon­strate his pas­sion for and com­mit­ment to the Uni­ver­si­ty,” said Judy Goldring, Chair of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil. “He has a gen­uine­ly warm and wel­com­ing approach and has made a con­sis­tent­ly pos­i­tive impact on those with whom he has come in con­tact.”

“Chan­cel­lor Wil­son has, in his first term, exceed­ed the College’s expec­ta­tions in his own excep­tion­al way,” said Scott MacK­endrick, Chair of the Col­lege of Elec­tors. “He has engaged with alum­ni all over the world and is an exem­plary can­di­date for re-elec­tion by the Col­lege.”

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has assem­bled one of the strongest research and teach­ing fac­ul­ties in North Amer­i­ca, pre­sent­ing top stu­dents at all lev­els with an intel­lec­tu­al envi­ron­ment unmatched in breadth and depth at any oth­er Cana­di­an uni­ver­si­ty.

In research out­put and research impact (total pub­li­ca­tions and num­ber of cita­tions), U of T ranks sec­ond in the world after Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty. U of T fac­ul­ty are also wide­ly rec­og­nized for their teach­ing strengths and com­mit­ment to grad­u­ate super­vi­sion. Estab­lished in 1827, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to today oper­ates in down­town Toron­to, Mis­sis­sauga and Scar­bor­ough, as well as in nine renowned part­ner hos­pi­tals.

U of T attracts under­grad­u­ate, grad­u­ate and pro­fes­sion­al pro­gram stu­dents from across Cana­da and abroad. Stu­dents at the Uni­ver­si­ty have unique oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn from top researchers. On cam­pus, stu­dents are able to craft inti­mate learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties with­in a unique under­grad­u­ate col­lege sys­tem, par­tic­i­pate in more than 1000 clubs and co-cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties, and com­pete on a wide vari­ety of intra-mur­al and inter-col­le­giate sports teams. 


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Biog­ra­phy of The Hon­ourable Michael H. Wil­son, P.C., C.C., LL.D.

Michael Wil­son cur­rent­ly serves as the Chair­man of Bar­clays Cap­i­tal Cana­da Inc. where he is respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing client rela­tion­ships in Cana­da. Pre­vi­ous­ly, he was Canada’s 22nd Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca from March 13, 2006 to Octo­ber 9, 2009. Pri­or to tak­ing up this posi­tion, Mr. Wil­son was Chair­man of UBS Cana­da, an oper­at­ing divi­sion of UBS AG. Before join­ing UBS in July 2001, he was respon­si­ble for RBC Finan­cial Group’s Insti­tu­tion­al Asset Man­age­ment busi­ness and also served as a Vice Chair­man of RBC Domin­ion Secu­ri­ties.

Mr. Wil­son was elect­ed to the House of Com­mons in 1979. In Sep­tem­ber 1984, he was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Finance. In May 1991, he became Min­is­ter of Indus­try, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy and Min­is­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Trade. Dur­ing his tenure as a mem­ber of the Cab­i­net, he had respon­si­bil­i­ty for the NAFTA nego­ti­a­tions and rep­re­sent­ed Cana­da at the G7, IMF, World Bank, OECD, GATT and oth­er inter­na­tion­al meet­ings.

Pri­or to his career in pub­lic life, Mr. Wil­son worked in invest­ment bank­ing and was charged with var­i­ous respon­si­bil­i­ties in cor­po­rate, gov­ern­ment and inter­na­tion­al finance. He was also direc­tor of sev­er­al com­pa­nies, includ­ing BP p.l.c. and Man­ulife Finan­cial.

Mr. Wil­son has been active in a num­ber of pro­fes­sion­al and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the Cen­tre for Addic­tion and Men­tal Health, the Cana­di­an Can­cer Soci­ety, the Cana­di­an Coun­cil for Pub­lic-Pri­vate Part­ner­ships, and the Cana­di­an Coali­tion for Good Gov­er­nance. He was instru­men­tal in estab­lish­ing the Cameron Park­er Hol­combe Wil­son Chair in Depres­sion Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Cur­rent­ly he is Vice Chair of the Cana­di­an Insti­tutes of Health Research and Hon­orary Chair of Brain Cana­da. He has received numer­ous awards for his work in these fields, includ­ing hon­ours from the Con­fer­ence Board of Cana­da, Canada’s Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Forum, the Cana­di­an Asso­ci­a­tion of For­mer Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, and the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment. Mr. Wil­son is a Com­pan­ion of the Order of Cana­da and holds hon­orary degrees from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Trin­i­ty Col­lege at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, York Uni­ver­si­ty, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary, and the Roy­al Mil­i­tary Col­lege of Cana­da. An alum­nus of Trin­i­ty Col­lege at U of T, he grad­u­at­ed with a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce degree in 1959.