March 28, 2007

Noted business leader and historian appointed McMaster Chancellor

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University has appointed Canadian business leader Lynton Ronald (Red) Wilson, O.C., B.A.,M.A.,D.h.c.,LL.D.,D.C.L., as its 17th Chancellor.

Wilson, a distinguished McMaster graduate with an honours BA in economics (1962) and an MA in international economics from Cornell University, is chairman of CAE Inc. and a founding co-chairman of the Historical Foundation of Canada. His career spans both public service and the private sector, including appointments as Ontario Deputy Ministry of Industry and Tourism; president, CEO and chairman of Redpath Industries Ltd.; president, CEO and chairman of BCE Inc., and chairman of the board of Nortel Networks Corporation.

“It is a distinct honour to be appointed McMaster’s chancellor,” says Wilson. “I am a proud alumnus of this great university and I very much look forward to serving.”

Wilson is an Officer of the Order of Canada, (1997), and holds six honorary university degrees, including one from McMaster in 1995.  Born in Port Colborne, Ontario, he is married to Brenda Jean Black, has two daughters and one son, and resides in Oakville, Ontario.

Elected by University Senate, the chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University elected for a three-year-term. In addition to presiding at convocations and conferring all university degrees, Wilson will act as ambassador to students and graduates worldwide and the wider community.

Dr. Wilson embodies a strong combination of knowledge, compassion, experience and vision,” says McMaster President Peter George. “His generous support to McMaster has already fostered a more stimulating and innovative learning environment and we are fortunate to be represented by such an inspiring ambassador.”

Wilson has been a generous supporter of McMaster. In 2004 he donated $1 million to establish the L.R. Wilson Professor in Canadian History in McMaster’s Faculty of Humanities. He has been a benefactor of student scholarships and has supported an endowed chair in data communications in the Faculty of Engineering. He also chaired the Changing Tomorrow Today campaign and is currently a member of the Campaign Cabinet Executive Committee for the Campaign for McMaster University.

Wilson will confer degrees on McMaster graduands beginning with Fall Convocation. He succeeds Melvin Hawkrigg, a 1952 McMaster graduate and Canadian business leader, who held the post for nine years. Hawkrigg steps down on Aug. 30, 2007, as the second longest-serving chancellor since the role was reconstituted in 1950 as an “unpaid friend” and titular head of the university.


McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 125,000 in 125 countries.