Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 30, 2006

Chancellor Finalist for Greatest Hamiltonian

University of Guelph Chancellor Lincoln Alexander is one of two finalists for the honour of “Greatest Hamiltonian of All Time.”

The contest, sponsored by the Hamilton Spectator newspaper, is based on CBC’s Greatest Canadian project. It aims to inspire discussion and debate about important figures from the city’s past and present and recognize Hamilton natives who have had a lasting effect on the region.

Two months ago, the newspaper proposed a list of candidates, both living and deceased, and asked readers to vote for their top choice. The names of two finalists — Alexander and Arthur Weisz, a philanthropist and founder of the Effort Trust Company — were released today. The winner will be announced June 10 in a special section of the Spectator that will commemorate the 160th birthday of the city and newspaper.

Alexander has served as Chancellor at U of G since 1991, having been reappointed to an unprecedented fifth term in 2003. He serves on the University’s external relations committee, Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, and has been an active public supporter of the University.

Alexander was appointed Ontario Lieutenant Governor in 1985. Prior to that, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1968 as Member of Parliament for Hamilton West and became federal Minister of Labour in 1979. He is the first Black Canadian to hold all three positions.

Born in Toronto to West Indian immigrants, he was the first member of his family to receive a university education. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Upon his return to Canada, he entered McMaster University, graduating in 1949. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1953. He has served as a Queen’s representative, a lawyer, cabinet minister, United Nations observer and chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. In 1992, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada and to the Order of Ontario.

In 2002, the University established the Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarships to reflect his commitment to enhancing the diversity of Canada’s university student population.

Voting for “The Greatest Hamiltonian” concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday. Ballots may be cast online at or by email: Ballots may also be mailed to “Greatest Hamiltonian,” c/o the Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid Street, Hamilton, ON, L8N 3G3.

The “Greatest Hamiltonian” is part of Hamilton’s Memory Project, which is collecting anecdotes, artifacts and trivia about all aspects of the city’s history.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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