University of Toronto

Office of the Chancellor

Staff retirement reception

May 28, 2013

The Hon. Michael Wilson, P.C., C.C., B.Com., LL.D.
Chancellor of the University of Toronto

Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be here, to honour your years of service as employees and as members of the University of Toronto community. It is wonderful that so many of you have been able to join us, together with your families and friends, as we celebrate this milestone.

You have provided a great service to the people of the Toronto region, of this province, and of our country, in helping form generations of leaders in every field. In the course of your work here, you have witnessed the comings and goings of many thousands of young people from across Canada and around the world, who are now contributing to society in every walk of life. Their success is due in no small part to your excellence and dedication. You have also been indispensible coaches and mentors to newer faculty and staff who have joined us during your tenure. We have come to rely upon your institutional memory, and your wisdom; you are truly invaluable and irreplaceable.

Over the years and certainly during my time as Chancellor so far, I have been struck by the high calibre and strong commitment of those who work at the University of Toronto. U of T is consistently named one of the Top 100 Employers in Toronto and in Canada. But while it is indeed a great, good place to work, that fact depends upon the great, good people who work here.

U of T is also consistently ranked Canada’s leading institution of advanced research and research-intensive education, and one of the finest universities in the world. But regardless of how high we place in the rankings, a more immediate and compelling indicator of our success is the loyalty and hard work you have shown consistently over the years, in advancing our common goals. The University is proud to have won your enthusiasm and dedication, however long you have served – whether for a short portion of your career, or for decades, some of you for more than four decades.

I expect that this is a bittersweet occasion for many of you.  I know that it is for the University community. While we are pleased that you will now be free to enjoy the benefits of retirement, we are saddened at the departure of so many, who have contributed so much, to making the University of Toronto what it is today.

But of course, you will always be a part of the fabric of this place. Your lives have been interwoven with U of T, and you are as much a part of it, as it is of you. I expect that your many colleagues and friends here will continue to see you on campus, and, perhaps not infrequently, call on you for advice. Please do keep up your contacts here, knowing that you are still very much a part of our community.

Ladies and gentlemen, as Chancellor, on behalf of the University community, I thank you for your great work, in building up the University of Toronto, and in so doing, in advancing its mission of higher education and advanced research. And, finally, let me say simply: Congratulations! And enjoy your retirement – you have earned it!