GUELPH, Ontario June 13, 2012 - University of Guelph News Release - David Mirvish, a Canadian theatre producer, art collector and lifelong arts supporter, was installed today as chancellor of the University of Guelph.
He is the eighth person to hold the position since the University’s founding in 1964.
He was installed by president Alastair Summerlee, on behalf of the University’s Senate, during convocation ceremonies for the College of Arts. The event was attended by government officials; representatives of the Council of Ontario Universities, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and other Canadian universities; and members of U of G’s Board of Governors.
Summerlee described Mirvish as a cultural icon and visionary leader well-suited to be at U of G’s helm.
“Guelph is known for its creativity and engaged inquiry," said Summerlee. "It’s the perfect place for a leader known for his passion, imagination and devotion to artistic discovery and new ideas.”
During his convocation address to graduating students, Mirvish said being named U of G’s chancellor was “an honour and a privilege.” He said he was drawn by the challenge of continuing to learn new things and by the qualities that distinguish U of G:
“I am proud to become a member of a university community that is making a difference in the world,” he said. “I look forward to getting to know the students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to being an ambassador for Guelph’s people, ideas and innovations.”
He encouraged students to take pride in what they have learned and accomplished.
“While you will be faced with challenges going forward, because of your experiences here at this university, I believe you will be successful in meeting those challenges.”
He added: “With some knowledge, we are brave enough to attempt what people with too much knowledge fear to do…do not fear failure. I do not believe that anyone who has ever succeeded has not experienced failure along the way.”
As chancellor, Mirvish will preside at convocation ceremonies, confer all University degrees and act as an ambassador. As the University’s senior volunteer, he will represent its interests to all government levels.
A longtime arts patron, Mirvish is an internationally renowned collector of modern art, and a supporter and developer of Canadian theatre productions and emerging visual artists.
He owns and operates Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre) and Panasonic Theatre. He also operated the renowned Old Vic theatre in London, England.
Mirvish ran David Mirvish Gallery, which supported contemporary art and Canadian artists, and operated an art bookstore for 38 years. He is the son of the late Ed Mirvish, a Toronto businessman and arts patron, and artist Anne Lazare Macklin.
He has been named to the Order of Ontario and to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, and has received honorary degrees from several universities. He has served as a trustee of the National Gallery of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Guelph’s former chancellors and their years of service are:
...Pamela Wallin, journalist, diplomat and entrepreneur, 2007-11;
...Lincoln Alexander, former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, 1991-2007;
...Edmund Bovey, past president of the Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989-1990;
...William Stewart, former Ontario minister of agriculture, 1983-89;
...Pauline McGibbon, former Ontario lieutenant-governor, 1977-83;
...Emmett Hall, former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, 1971-77; and
...George Drew, former mayor of Guelph, premier of Ontario and Canadian high commissioner, 1965-71.