Yesterday, The Right Honourable Herb Gray quoted words from former British prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli when he promised to help maintain and strengthen Carleton as a “place of light, of liberty and of learning” for all of its present students and faculty and the many yet to come.
Mr. Gray made the comments just after he was installed as Carleton University’s 10th chancellor at a formal ceremony at the Museum of Civilization.
“Herb Gray’s outstanding career sets an example for all of us,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “He will carry on the proud tradition set by our previous chancellors.”
Mr. Gray said he has been asked to do more than award degrees twice a year, one of the main functions of a university chancellor. He plans to help the university carry out its new strategic plan, Defining Dreams: “Not just to define your dreams but to have input into implementing the dreams of the entire Carleton community for the university, this capital city, our country and perhaps even the world.”
Mr. Gray noted the many connections he has had with Carleton. His sister-in-law is an alumna. Both his son and daughter, who attended yesterday’s ceremony, participated in the experimental pre-school and sports camps. Mr. Gray has lectured at Carleton and the university was chosen as a backdrop for a photo shoot during his first federal political campaign. Full-page ads showing Mr. Gray and other new candidates at Carleton were published in various newspapers and reprinted as a campaign flyer that was dropped at every household in his riding.
“I felt that my campaign gained momentum only after these flyers were distributed. So I was elected in 1962 and 12 more times, consecutively, thereafter. Therefore, I submit, Carleton (or at least its first buildings on your present campus), was itself linked in a totally non-partisan way to my, and to some at the time, surprisingly successful entry, on my first try, into federal elected politics.”
Attending yesterday’s ceremony were Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre, Jim Watson, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean, the Honourable John Milloy, minister of training, colleges and universities, who addressed the crowd, all Carleton graduates, as well as the Honourable Laurier L. LaPierre, a former senator.
Mr. Gray succeeds former Carleton chancellor Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount, who also participated.
Jacques Shore, Chair of the Board of Governors, offered the official words: “Sir, you are now formally to assume the functions of the Office of the Chancellor of this University to which you have been duly appointed by action of the Board of Governors at its meeting of November 28, 2008. You will now swear to keep and preserve, well and faithfully, during your term of office, the statutes, customs, privileges, and liberties of this University and promote its well-being and that of its members in so far as in you lies…I now install you, Herb Gray, as Chancellor of Carleton University, with all the rights and privileges of that position.”
Biography of The Right Honourable Herb Gray
Mr. Gray was born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1931. He is a graduate of the School of Commerce of McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School and is a member of the Ontario Bar. He was first elected to Parliament as a Liberal member for Windsor West in 1962 and was re-elected in 12 subsequent federal elections – a record for consecutive victories in the same riding – and served 39 years, six months and 26 days, an unequaled record for continuous days of service in the House of Commons. Mr. Gray worked extensively as a Minister and as an MP in the fields of parliamentary affairs, economic and industrial development, foreign investment, finance, consumer protection, competition, international trade, federal law enforcement, the environment and climate change and Canada-U.S. border issues. In 1997, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister; he was the first to occupy that position as a full-time cabinet post. Mr. Gray resigned from the House of Commons on Jan. 14, 2002 to become the full-time Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission, an autonomous international organization which prevents and resolves disputes about fresh waters that comprise 40% of the boundary between the U.S. and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. On Jan. 15, 2002 the Governor General bestowed on Mr. Gray the title “Right Honourable.” Mr. Gray, who is a Companion of the Order of Canada, lives in Ottawa with his wife, Sharon Sholzberg. He has two children and four grandchildren.
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