U of G Honours Lincoln Alexander

November 03, 2010 - News Release

The University of Guelph's cutting-edge $33.6-million environmental teaching and learning hub will be called Alexander Hall to honour the University's chancellor emeritus, Lincoln Alexander.

"It's the perfect name for a facility that is all about innovation, change and world improvement," said president Alastair Summerlee.

“Lincoln Alexander has devoted his life to making a difference and to being an advocate for education. He has been a phenomenal role model for Guelph students for nearly two decades, always encouraging them to use their skills for the betterment of society. It’s a fitting tribute to a venerable leader.”

Alexander Hall will bring together the University’s expertise in environmental research and teaching to help address climate change, water resource management and land stewardship, Summerlee said. The building will also showcase innovations and green technologies, and facilitate future opportunities to improve air, water and soil quality.

Construction started in 2009 with retrofitting and renovation of the Axelrod Building and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Funding was provided under the government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program, an economic stimulus measure to enhance post-secondary infrastructure, with the federal and provincial governments providing equal support.

The revamped 130,000-square-foot building will eventually house faculty and students from a variety of campus departments, including the School of Environmental Sciences, the School of Engineering, the School of Fine Art and Music, and the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. It will also support the Guelph Institute for the Environment.

By replacing many units currently housed in portables or older greenhouses, the building will help reduce the University’s deferred-maintenance costs and improve energy efficiency.

The University’s Board of Governors has supported renaming the Axelrod Building as Alexander Hall.

“Lincoln exemplifies the University’s desire and ability to improve life in Canada and beyond,” Summerlee said. “His professional success and personal reputation are a testament to the value of education and the importance of working for the common good.”

A former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, Alexander was appointed U of G chancellor in 1991 and served an unprecedented five terms, a record among Canadian universities. In 2007, he was named chancellor emeritus to recognize his years of dedication to the University.

Alexander was first elected MP for Hamilton West in 1968. He was Canada’s first black MP, the first black chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board and the first visible minority to hold the post of lieutenant-governor.

Ontario schools and buildings and a highway have been named after him. Three U of G awards also carry his name: the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leadership Award, the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service and the Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarship.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or dhealey@uoguelph.ca.

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