Roy McMurtry reappointed as chancellor of York University

The Board of Governors of York University has announced that Roy McMurtry will be reappointed chancellor of the University for a three-year term, commencing June 2.

“The executive committee of the Board of Governors unanimously recommended that Chancellor McMurtry be reappointed,” said Paul Cantor, chair of the Board of Governors. “He has assisted the Roy McMurtryUniversity in building crucial bridges to the community we serve, and we look forward to continuing to work with him over the next three years,” he said.

Right: Roy McMurtry

McMurtry, York’s 12th chancellor, was initially appointed in May 2008; his current term ends June 1, 2011. As chancellor, McMurtry serves as the honorary head of York, conferring degrees, acting as an ambassador for the University and working to advance its interests. As a member of the President’s Task Force on Community Engagement, he played a key role in the creation of a draft Statement and Principles on Community Engagement as well as the task force’s final report and recommendations, issued in February 2010.

York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri noted that McMurtry has played a pivotal role in York’s successes over the past three years, helping shepherd the University during its milestone 50th anniversary, and telling the York story to the world.

“I was pleased to learn that the Honourable Roy McMurtry was reappointed as chancellor,” said Shoukri. “He is well-respected and extremely passionate about the entire York community, particularly our students. From the outset, his goal has been to encourage and promote the education of students, and help them to become meaningfully engaged with their communities. Through his unwavering commitment, he has certainly accomplished that.

“We are fortunate that he is our chancellor and I am looking forward to his continued friendship,” he added.

McMurtry said that he has felt privileged to act as an ambassador for York over the past three years. “I am honoured to be appointed for a second term as chancellor of York University,” McMurtry said. “In my first term I witnessed first hand how this University serves as an integral part of our community – a vehicle for the building of a more just society, both here in our own backyards and abroad. I’m proud to be associated with York’s remarkable diversity, and look forward to continuing to serve the York community over the next three years.”

During his time at York, McMurtry has been recognized with two awards from the Canadian Bar Association; the 2009 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law, in recognition of his contributions to legal scholarship in Canada, and the 2009 Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) Ally Award for achievements advancing the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people.

More about York’s 12th chancellor

Roy McMurtry, former Ontario chief justice and attorney general and Canadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, is the 12th chancellor of York University. He is a member of Gowlings’ Advocacy Department where he serves as counsel to the firm.

Born in Toronto, McMurtry is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1958. After practising as a trial lawyer for 17 years, he was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1975. As attorney general, McMurtry argued constitutional cases in the Supreme Court and played a key role in the negotiations leading to the patriation of the Constitution with an entrenched Charter of Rights. McMurtry left office in 1985 to become Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom. In 1996, he was appointed chief justice of Ontario after serving as the chief of the Superior Court of Justice.

McMurtry is the founder and president of the Osgoode Society, a body established in 1979 for the writing of Canadian legal history which to date has published more than 80 books. In 2007, his significant contributions to the legal profession were recognized with Osgoode Hall Law School’s Award of Excellence (The Robinette Medal) and the President of the Bar Association’s Award of Merit. He also received an honorary doctorate from York University in 1991. He was invested into the Order of Ontario in January 2008. In 2009, McMurtry was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.