With the election of celebrated writer, volunteer, philanthropist and alumna Anne Mahon as its new chancellor, the University of Manitoba affirms its abiding commitment to forge empowering connections with communities near and far.
Ms. Mahon’s election as the University of Manitoba’s 14th chancellor was announced on November 20, 2018, by Jeff Lieberman, Chair of the Board of Governors. Effective June 1, 2019 for a three-year term, she succeeds the current chancellor, Dr. Harvey Secter.
“I am honoured to share the news today of the election of Ms. Mahon as the next chancellor of the University of Manitoba,” said Mr. Lieberman. “I know she will serve as a tremendous champion of this institution and of higher education generally.”
“As historian W.L. Morton once explained, the chancellor is ‘the University’s best friend in the world,’” said Dr. Secter, who has served as chancellor with distinction since 2010, “and Ms. Mahon will certainly serve in this important role with strength and passion.”
The chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university, responsible for conferring all degrees and diplomas. The Chancellor Search Committee identified the capacity to serve as an ambassador for the University in the broader community and to contribute meaningfully to University governance as key election criteria.
Ms. Mahon has demonstrated the ability to connect with people and build trusting relationships. Her two books of oral history amplify the voices of the disempowered (former Winnipeg gang members and African refugees) and speak eloquently to their strength and resilience.
In her volunteer work, Ms. Mahon has lent considerable time and effort to international development, through Humankind International, and to supporting immigrants and refugees through the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. She has also been involved in numerous philanthropic causes, including UNICEF Canada and the United Way of Winnipeg. She is the founder and co-facilitator of the Book Mates Book Club at the Women’s Correction Centre.
“Anne Mahon’s reputation in the community as a bridge-builder of integrity and follow-through will enable this university to lead, listen and act in partnership with the populations it serves,” said President and Vice-Chancellor David T. Barnard. “I am confident she will inspire a bright future that enhances the institution’s community relevance and engagement.”
Anne Mahon holds a Bachelor of Human Ecology from the University of Manitoba, and has remained connected to the institution and higher education, including as a donor to the University of Winnipeg, the Asper School of Business, St. Paul’s College and the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre Campaign.
Anne lives in Winnipeg with her husband Paul Mahon, also an alumnus of the University of Manitoba. They have three children.
“I know the University of Manitoba as a graduate, a parent, a donor, and a Manitoban,” Ms. Mahon shared in response to her election. “This institution offers the power of education and opportunity, while being an indispensable intellectual contributor and employer to our city and province. The University’s diversity and inclusion, its possibilities of hope, and its efforts as a catalyst for broad-minded thinking are of great importance to me.”
Anne Mahon will be installed as the University of Manitoba’s next chancellor in a ceremony to be held as part of Spring Convocation in June 2019.