Environmental Hub Officially Opens, Honours Lincoln Alexander

November 11, 2011 - News Release

The University of Guelph today officially opened Alexander Hall, a cutting-edge, $33.6-million environmental teaching and learning hub that honours the University’s chancellor emeritus, Lincoln Alexander.

Alexander, who served an unprecedented five terms as U of G’s chancellor, attended the event along with government and University representatives.

“I am honoured to have this building named for me and very proud to be a member of the University of Guelph community,” Alexander said.

President Alastair Summerlee said naming the building after Alexander is a fitting tribute. “He has devoted his life to making a difference and to being an advocate for education, and this building will stand as a symbol of his contributions and dedication. It’s the perfect name for a facility that is all about innovation, change and world improvement.”

Alexander Hall brings together the University’s expertise in environmental research and teaching. Construction started in 2009 with retrofitting and renovation of the Axelrod Building. Federal and provincial funding was provided under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, intended to enhance post-secondary infrastructure.

The revamped 130,000-square-foot building houses 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.

The building showcases innovations and green technologies, and will support research to improve air, water and soil quality. 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.

Alexander, a former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, was appointed U of G chancellor in 1991 and served for 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, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@uoguelph.ca.

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