Dr. Mary Anne Chambers appointed Chancellor of the University of Guelph | News
Jamaican-born former Ontario cabinet minister Dr. Mary Anne Chambers has been named the next chancellor of the University of Guelph.
In a statement to media, the university noted that Chambers was unanimously elected chancellor by the university senate at its April 7 meeting and would be installed in a ceremony in June.
“Mary Anne Chambers embodies our university’s purpose and promise to ‘enhance lives,'” said U of G President Dr. Charlotte Yates.
“She has dedicated her life to improving the lives of others. She has worked tirelessly to make higher education accessible and inclusive for all and to improve the situation of children, youth and families, especially in racialized communities in Canada and around the world. Mary Anne is the perfect choice for our Chancellor.
After immigrating to Canada from Jamaica with her husband and two young sons in 1976, Chambers held progressive positions at Scotiabank and eventually served as Senior Vice President. She took early retirement in 2002 and ran for public office the following year.
She was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Liberal in 2003 and appointed Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, then Minister of Children and Youth Services.
“I have always been passionate about education as the doorway to opportunities for a better quality of life for individuals, their families, communities and ultimately our entire world,” Chambers said.
“This university has so much to contribute to realizing the ambitions of the people of this province, our country and beyond, given its areas of specialty and its long-standing commitment to sustainability in its broadest sense. I am truly honored to have been chosen to serve the University of Guelph as Chancellor.
The release noted that as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Chambers announced the largest multi-year investment in post-secondary education in four decades and made major improvements to student aid policies and funding. .
Chambers has personally funded over 60 scholarships for students at Ontario universities and colleges, including at the U of G where she established an entrance scholarship for black students at the College of Social Humanities and applied.
As a member of the U of G’s Board of Governors from 2010 to 2016, she served on the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee and Physical and Property Resources Committee and chaired the Task Force on responsible investment. She currently sits on the External Advisory Board of the Guelph Institute of Development Studies and serves as a member of the External Advisory Board of the GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group.
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Chambers received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, University of Toronto, York University and Lakehead University.
Among her honors, she was appointed to the Order of Ontario and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals, the Jamaican Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation, a Vice-Chancellor’s Award from the University of the West Indies and a YWCA Toronto Woman’s Award of Distinction.
Chambers is currently Governor of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, Senior Fellow at York University’s Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, and Special Advisor for the City of Markham’s Anti-Black Racism Strategy.