Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison C.C. was appointed Chancellor of Victoria University in May, 2004. He is the 12th Chancellor in Victoria’s history, succeeding former Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Taylor who served as chancellor from 1998-2004.
“The Chancellor is the human face of Victoria University, the embodiment of its proud history”, said President Paul Gooch. “For 168 years, Vic has stood for a passionate and creative concern for human values, and Norman Jewison has always demonstrated that concern in his life and work. He will represent us splendidly as Chancellor and inspire our students.”
Jewison, who graduated from Victoria College in 1949, is recognized as one of the most significant filmmakers in North America. Noted for dealing with complex social issues in his films, such as bigotry, political tyranny and corruption, his wide-ranging body of work includes In the Heat of the Night, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar, Moonstruck, A Soldier’s Story, In Country, The Hurricane and The Statement. His films have captured 12 Academy Awards and 46 nominations. He has been nominated for three Best Director Academy Awards and, at the 1999 Academy Awards ceremony, he received the prestigious Irving Thalberg Award.
Throughout his filmmaking career, Jewison has maintained strong ties with Canada and the University of Toronto. He is chair of the university’s Annual Fund and received an honorary doctor of sacred letters from Victoria University in May 2001. Jewison is also chair and chief executive officer of Yorktown Productions Inc. and founder and co-chair of the Canadian Film Centre, an institution specializing in training and production in film, television and new media. Previous chancellors of Victoria University include Northrop Frye and Lester B. Pearson.
Jewison was invested as an officer of the Order of Canada in 1982 and promoted to companion in 1992, the highest distinction within the order. He was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2003. He holds honorary degrees from several Canadian and American universities, including an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Toronto in June 1985 and an honorary doctor of sacred letters from Victoria University in 2000.
As well as Kenneth Taylor, previous chancellors of Victoria University include former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson Vic 1T9 and literary critic and scholar, Northrop Frye Vic 3T3 Emm 3T6.