“The World Needs You”: Chancellor Michael Wilson, BCom ’59, Addresses the Rotman Commerce Class of 2018

Presiding over his final convocation ceremony as Chancellor of the University of Toronto, the Honourable Michael H. Wilson, BCom ’59, exhorted the Rotman Commerce Class of 2018 to contribute to a better world through volunteerism and community service.

The Honourable Michael Wilson addresses Rotman Commerce graduates at their 2018 Convocation ceremonyAddressing the nearly 400 new Bachelor of Commerce graduates assembled in Convocation Hall, the Chairman of Barclay’s Capital, former federal Finance Minister, and former Canadian Ambassador to the United States encouraged them to “find a cause that you can identify with” and give back through volunteering. Wilson’s own illustrious career – one spent in high-profile positions in business and politics – was augmented, he said, by the rewards he gained personally through his volunteer work. A long-time volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society, Wilson became a tireless advocate for mental health in Canada following the death of his son Cameron, who took his own life after battling severe depression. Of all his endeavours, volunteering, he told the graduating class, has brought him the most personal growth and satisfaction.

Quoting the Rotman Commerce Mission Statement, Wilson urged new graduates to take seriously the challenge of becoming “engaged citizens who contribute to the success of organizations and the betterment of communities in Canada and around the world.” Noting the difficult diplomatic relationships in politics and trade that are at the forefront in the news, he encouraged the assembly to work towards building strong communities in these complex times through community service. “This is what I’m asking of you,” he concluded. “Please do not give up on [volunteering]. Our world needs you.”

Chancellor Wilson is the 33rd Chancellor of the University of Toronto. His term concludes on June 30, 2018. An archive of Chancellor Wilson’s June 21st remarks to the Rotman Commerce Class of 2018 may be found at http://uoft.strmstr.com.