As a former provincial Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and vice-chair of the University of Toronto’s governing council, Mary Anne Chambers knows and appreciates the value of post-secondary education.
For the past 65 years, the University of the West Indies (UWI) has provided nearly 6,000 scholarships and many of its faculty members of medicine completed graduate studies at the University Health Network (UHN) – which comprises Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret hospitals and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – in a variety of specialties, including internal medicine.
These are a few reasons why Chambers is so elated to be a recipient of a Vice-Chancellor Award to be presented at the fourth annual UWI Toronto benefit gala in May.
“I am not a UWI graduate, so I am particularly humbled by the generosity of this award,” said Chambers, a former Scotiabank senior vice-president prior to entering politics a decade ago. “The University of the West Indies has contributed immensely to the Caribbean region and to the rest of the world through the quality of their graduates.
“As an example, I often wonder what Canada’s health system would be like without the outstanding nurses and doctors who were educated there. That is a great source of pride for me. The respect that exists for the UWI is also reflected in the many partnerships that exist between Ontario universities and the UWI. As people from the Caribbean, we should all be very proud of the University of the West Indies.”
Other Vice-Chancellor Award winners are Brigitte Shim, Nicholas Brathwaite Jr., Douglas Orane and Dr. Jamal Deen.
An Order of Canada recipient, Jamaican-born Shim is a tenured professor at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design, where she has taught since 1988 and an engaged faculty member leading several design and research studios. She has also been a Yale, Harvard and Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne visiting professor.
Brathwaite, the son of former Grenada Prime Minister, Nicholas Brathwaite, has spent the last 25 years developing and evaluating technology while Orane – the non-executive chair of Grace Kennedy Ltd. – was presented with a UWI honorary doctorate in 2008. The Douglas Orane Scholarship in Science, Technology & Engineering is also available to undergraduate applicants at the UWI.
Deen is a professor and senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology at McMaster University and director of the Micro and Nano Systems Laboratory.
The University of Toronto will receive the Chancellor’s Award while 1988 super heavyweight Olympic gold medallist, Lennox Lewis, who won 41 of his 44 professional fights with 32 knockouts before hanging up the gloves nine years ago, is this year’s Luminary Award recipient.
Shortly after his retirement, the Harry Jerome Award winner established the Lennox Lewis Foundation, that’s dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and their families in Canada, Jamaica, England and the United States.
Funds raised from the Toronto gala over the past three years have delivered 75 scholarships for UWI students.