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U of T’s three campuses bid farewell to the university’s 15th president

David Naylor thanks all those responsible for U of T’s progress over the past eight years

Members and friends of the U of T community gathered recently at each of the university’s three campuses, to thank David Naylor for his service as president since 2005. Naylor’s term ends on October 31.

“David Naylor has worked tirelessly to elevate the University’s global standing, promoting its excellence and enhancing its accessibility, while facilitating and celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of the University’s worldwide community,” said Judy Goldring, chair of the Governing Council, at the St. George reception October 16. “As a result, today U of T is extremely well-positioned across every meaningful measure.”

The principals of University of Toronto Scarborough and University of Toronto Mississauga paid tribute to Naylor’s contributions to the flourishing of each of the university’s campuses, and the development of its unique tri-campus system.

Vice-president and UTSC principal Franco Vaccarino said Naylor’s vision and leadership had been instrumental during a period in which the campus added several new buildings and academic programs.

“David is a strong promoter of UTSC and a big believer in the tri-campus system,” said Vaccarino, at the reception held on the Scarborough campus, on September 24. “He set goals that are already being realized and has truly helped transform UTSC into an intellectual and cultural hub of the Eastern GTA.”

Vice-president and UTM principal Deep Saini noted Naylor’s presence at key moments in the rapid growth of the Mississauga campus.

“He has provided inspiring guidance,” said Saini of Naylor, at the reception held on the Mississauga campus, on October 10. “He is a true champion of our tri-campus system, forges strong internal and external ties, and he is a joy to work with.”

In his remarks at the Scarborough reception, Naylor thanked Vaccarino, the UTSC leadership team, and all members and friends of the UTSC community, for their hard work, and praised their accomplishments.

“UTSC is leveraging its singular strengths to enhance its graduate program offerings and enrolment in environmental sciences, conservation and climate change, as well as clinical psychology and brain imaging,” said Naylor. “Its long-standing involvement in co-operative education gives it another key advantage, differentiating it from its campus siblings – and from most other universities in Ontario.”

Addressing the reception at U of T Mississauga, Naylor thanked Saini and his team, Saini’s predecessor Ian Orchard, and the UTM community for their dedication, and highlighted their achievements.

“You’ve worked tirelessly to support our brilliant faculty, staff, and students,” said Naylor. “To my colleagues and friends at UTM, let me say that this is a truly remarkable collegium, going from strength to strength in teaching, research, and innovation – not least pedagogical innovation.”

At the St. George reception, Naylor expressed his gratitude to the university’s vice-presidents, principals and deans, and emphasized his gratitude to the entire U of T community.

“It has been a privilege for me to meet and work with literally thousands of exceptional individuals who are part of the university’s immediate and extended family – faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters and partners. It’s their company – your company – above all that has made the presidency such a wonderful journey over the last eight years,” he said.

At each of the receptions, Naylor offered his best wishes to his successor, Meric Gertler, who will take office as president of the University of Toronto on November 1, hailing him as “an outstanding scholar, a seasoned administrator, and a globally renowned expert in urbanism.” 

President-designate Gertler was able to attend both the UTSC and St. George farewells, where Naylor called on the audience to show their support for the incoming President – and Gertler received enthusiastic and sustained ovations.  

In his closing remarks at the St. George reception, U of T Chancellor Michael Wilson acknowledged that Naylor has always insisted that countless thousands are responsible for the university’s progress since 2005.

“David, you have said, constantly and emphatically, that leadership is distributed, and credit must rightly be shared,” said Wilson. “But we all know how much you have contributed to the flourishing of this University in recent years. You have contributed directly, in specific accomplishments, and indirectly, through the direction you have set and the support you have given to so many individuals and groups.

“And so, on behalf of the University of Toronto community, as Chancellor I would like to recognize your outstanding record of leadership and service, and your inspiring example of excellence in all things.”

See a photo gallery of the farewell events.