Senate marks 500th meeting with full-dress ceremony


Above: York Chancellor Avie J. Bennett, centre, entering into the spirit of the 500th anniversary meeting of the University Senate, with fellow senators


Above: York University Senate in all its splendour on June 19, 2003

Never say York University Senate lacks a sense of style and occasion.

When members agreed to mark the 500th meeting of senate on June 19, they entered into the spirit of the day by dressing up in academic robes. As they entered the Senate Chamber, each member was handed a white rose to pin onto their clothing – a symbol of their University.

It took a while for all the pictures to come back, but we can now display them in all their red and blue and purple and orange and black and gold glory.

Right: Ken McRoberts, principal of Glendon College, at left, and H. Ian Macdonald, president of  York from 1974 to 1984

“It seemed like a milestone worth marking,” said University Secretary Harriet Lewis. “It being co-incident with the convocation season, and the academic robes being so colourful and majesterial – as well as being identifiers for the institutions whose graduates are now York faculty – it seemed appropriate to ask senators and guests to gown. Everyone seemed excited and happy to be there, attired in their gowns.”

Left: Edward (Ted) S. Spence, York senior policy advisor, Office of the President

Several special guests attended the historic meeting, including President Emeritus H. Ian Macdonald and a number of past Chairs of senate. Chancellor Avie J. Bennett spoke and Nalini Stewart brought special greetings from the University Board of Governors.

Professor Ted S. Spence received a certificate in recognition of 25 years of membership and service to the York University Senate.

And if you’re wondering whether every senate member’s closet boasts a resplendent gown — not quite. Convocation Office supplied robes and hats to those who did not have their own. But fear not — we’re not naming the ermine-challenged.

Below, left to right: Harriet Lewis, York University secretary and general counsel; Professor C. Ian Greene, incoming Chair of senate; Lorna R. Marsden, president and vice-chancellor of York; Professor Bonnie Kettel, outgoing Chair of senate; and Robert Everett, assistant University secretary