Peter deCarteret Cory installed as York’s 11th chancellor

Peter deCarteret Cory, former Supreme Court of Canada justice and distinguished international jurist, was installed as the 11th chancellor of York University on Saturday, June 12, during convocation ceremonies at the Glendon campus. 

Cory took the oath of office for his new role as York’s chancellor from Eileen Mercier, vice-chair of York University’s Board of Governors.


Above: Peter deCarteret Cory (left) takes the oath of office from Eileen Mercier, vice-chair of the Board of Governors of York University

York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden then assisted Cory as he donned the chancellor’s robe. Representatives from Brock University, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Carleton University, University of Manitoba, University of Prince Edward Island, Simon Fraser University, McGill University and the Council of Ontario Universities attended the ceremony.

“This is truly a great honour to be here today,” said Cory in his address. “I will try to fulfill the trust that you have placed in me.”

Right: York’s 11th chancellor is congratulated following his installation

Cory commended the graduates for their hard work, perseverance and dedication toward achieving their degrees. “You will be tomorrow’s leaders. Each one of you can and will make a difference in your family, your community and this magnificent country of ours,” he said. “You have been given the great gift of a university education.”

Right: Members of the Class of 2004 listen to the new chancellor. Photo by Paul Yelle.

He thanked the spouses, partners, families and friends of the graduates for their support, patience and love, so essential, he said, to the successful completion of studies. “Their achievements are in part your achievements because of your love and support which has brought these graduates to the completion of their studies.”

The new chancellor also paid tribute to York’s faculty. “To the faculty of this fine university, you have demonstrated how to solve problems, the essential nature of reading and how wonderful Canada is and how, truly, it is the best country in the world.”

Cory went on to thank the staff of York University for the hard work they put into organizing the convocation ceremonies and his installation as chancellor.

He then invited graduates to put their skills and knowledge to work to make Canada and the world a better place. “You as graduates will make that difference perhaps by ensuring that all who thirst for education and knowledge will obtain it, perhaps in ameliorating the suffering of the sick and injured, the weak and the hungry.

Left: York Chancellor Peter deCarteret Cory. Photo by Paul Yelle.

“There is so much to be done and so little time to do it, by working as individuals and by working together we can and will make a difference,” said Cory.

Cory, who studied at Osgoode Hall Law School and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1989, is highly sought-after by governments and international leaders for his legal and public policy expertise. In 2002, he was appointed commissioner by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to investigate six controversial murder cases involving alleged collusion by security forces in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republican Army. Following intense interest from parties involved in the peace process, Cory reported his findings in October 2003 to the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, urging judicial inquiries into several of the cases.

In recognition of his legal contribution and record of public service, Cory was appointed as a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2002.

Cory succeeds Avie Bennett as chancellor. Bennett, the chairman of the board of McClelland & Stewart Ltd. and chairman of the Historica Foundation of Canada, had served as York’s chancellor since 1998.

See the archived Webcast of the June 12 Glendon ceremony (when posted) at the Convocation Web site.