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Campus Bulletin

June 23, 2006

Chancellor Receives Inaugural Leadership Award

The University gave an Outstanding Leadership Award to Chancellor Lincoln Alexander Thursday night and announced that the award will be an annual honour bearing his name.

President Alastair Summerlee presented the award during a dinner hosted by the College of Management and Economics (CME) and the Centre for Studies in Leadership. Summerlee said it’s fitting that the new award is named for Alexander and that the chancellor is also the first recipient.

Alexander is an exemplary leader, he said. “Not only has he been our chancellor for an unprecedented five consecutive terms, attending almost every convocation, but he also spends virtually all his waking hours in public service.”

Alexander said he was surprised by the award. “I came here tonight not knowing what was going to happen. Leadership is a great word; it means so much. A few leaders are born, and some are taught to be leaders. I always strived for excellence, and I think I reached some of that.”

Michael Cox, associate director of the Centre for Studies in Leadership, said the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leadership Award will be bestowed each summer. “The University of Guelph is committed to building the best leadership program in the world,” he said.

Summerlee added: “The whole concept of the leadership program centres around engaging our students in learning in order for them to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Established in 2003, the leadership centre undertakes and promotes research on leadership issues, develops new educational programs and participates in community outreach and promotional activities.

It also brings together the University’s interdisciplinary research expertise and programming, including the CME’s master’s degree in leadership studies. First- and second-year students enrolled in the executive MA leadership program also attended Thursday’s event.

This is the third U of G honour to carry Alexander’s name. The University also has the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service and the Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarships, which reflect his commitment to enhancing the diversity of Canada’s university student population.

Alexander, a lawyer who has served as chancellor since 1991, was also recently named “The Greatest Hamiltonian.” He was elected to the House of Commons in 1968 as member of Parliament for Hamilton West, became federal minister of labour in 1979, and was appointed Ontario lieutenant governor in 1985. He was the first black Canadian to hold all three positions. Alexander also served as a United Nations observer and as 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.

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