Campus News

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

News Release

June 12, 2006

Chancellor Named 'Greatest Hamiltonian'

University of Guelph Chancellor Lincoln Alexander has been named the “Greatest Hamiltonian of All Time” in a contest sponsored by The Hamilton Spectator newspaper.

The announcement was made over the weekend in a special section of The Spectator that commemorated the 160th birthday of the city and newspaper.

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. Based on CBC’s Greatest Canadian project, the contest aimed 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.

The newspaper had proposed a list of candidates, both living and deceased, and asked readers to vote for their top choice. Last month, the names of two finalists — Alexander and Arthur Weisz, a philanthropist and founder of the Effort Trust Company — were released and readers were asked to select their top choice.

Some 2,200 ballots were cast, with Alexander receiving 1,333 votes.

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.

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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