U of T news
  • Follow U of T News

In memoriam: Peter George

photo of Peter George

photo courtesy Council of Ontario Universities

The University of Toronto is remembering alumnus Peter George, the former president and vice-chancellor of McMaster University and former president of the Council of Ontario Universities.

George died on April 27 at the age of 75.

“Peter was not only a champion of McMaster, he was a dedicated community-builder committed to improving the City of Hamilton,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

The renowned economist was McMaster’s longest-serving president and a member of the Order of Canada.

“He was well-respected, appreciated and admired by his colleagues, who recognized the effort and dedication behind his actions, as well as his wry, self-deprecating sense of humour that always put others at ease,” said David Lindsay, president of the Council of Ontario Universities. 

George had been ill in the weeks leading up to his death and The Hamilton Spectator, which once ran a headline that dubbed George “a superhero president,” reported that the university held a special ceremony to award him an honorary degree in March – more than 50 years after he first taught at McMaster.

Under George’s watch, McMaster’s student population more than doubled and the university expanded to include “a new football stadium, athletic and student centres, an engineering building, research park and medical research facility,” the Spectator recalled.

Read the Hamilton Spectator tribute

"Peter was a very fine person and leader and a loyal graduate of U of T,” said U of T President Emeritus Rob Prichard. “He held four degrees from U of T: BA, MA, PHD and LLD.  ‎He was also a strong supporter of U of T both as president of COU and later as President at McMaster.

“And he was a good and loyal personal friend as well.”