For the last several years, McLaughlin College has held a Year-End Student Dinner for all of its affiliated students, and, most especially, its graduating students. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory “lockdown” of the University, this year the event will be delivered remotely via Zoom on March 25. Delivering the keynote address will be one of McLaughlin College’s most distinguished College Fellows, Justice Michael H. Tulloch, who is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Economics and Business degree program at York University.
Tulloch is an award-winning and highly regarded jurist and the first Black judge to serve on the Ontario Court of Appeal. He has received the Harry Jerome President’s Award (2012); the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers Achievement Award (2012); the Osgoode Hall Law School Lincoln Alexander Award (2013); the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession (2017); and the Ontario Bar Association Distinguished Service Award (2018). In addition, he has honourary doctors of laws from both Ryerson and Guelph Universities and an honourary doctor of divinity degree from Tyndale University and Seminary. Tulloch has been involved with judicial education with the National Judicial Institute and with international justice reform through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada.
In 2016, the Ontario Government appointed Tulloch to conduct an independent review of the Special Investigations Unit, Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. In 2017, he was appointed by the Ontario Government to conduct an independent review of Ontario’s regulation on police street checks or what is often called “carding.” Both of these reviews led to much needed legislative reforms.
In addition, Tulloch has an outstanding record of community service that includes being the founding member and patron of the Second Chance Scholarship Foundation that provides young people who have had conflict with the law or who have at-risk backgrounds with scholarships to be able to attend post-secondary institutions.
“We are delighted that Justice Tulloch will be this year’s keynote speaker for our Year-End Student Special Event,” said James C. Simeon, Head of McLaughlin College, who will host the event. “The title of his address is ‘Be an Agent of Change.’ Justice Tulloch is a wonderful role model for all our students at McLaughlin College, many of whom aspire to go to law school and/or pursue a public service career. I know that Justice Tulloch will deliver an inspirational address, especially for our graduating students.”
Simeon said that it was important to recognize students’ efforts over this past academic year. He noted that first-year students were disappointed because they were not able to attend their first-year university classes in person on York’s campuses. Likewise, graduating students will have to have a virtual convocation service because of pandemic restrictions.
“Our students have had to endure the challenges of staying at home and maintaining their social distance, while also adjusting to having their courses delivered online, whether synchronously or asynchronously,” he said, adding that he hoped this virtual special event will help to inspire students while, at the same time, acknowledging their hard work and dedication over this challenging and difficult academic year.
York University President Rhonda Lenton and Dean JJ McMurtry, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, will also be in attendance. More information and registration details for the Year-End Student Special Event at McLaughlin College are available on the college’s website.