Popular chancellor winds up second term

Admitto te (L. “I admit you”). By the end of UVic convocation ceremonies this month, Chancellor Ronald Lou-Poy will have personally delivered this welcome message to nearly 16,000 students during his six years as chancellor.This simple phrase, uttered by the chancellor, marks the momentous transition from university student to university graduate. When you include graduating students who were unable to attend convocation ceremonies, the total number of degrees, diplomas and certificates he has conferred swells to more than 25,600.

For Lou-Poy, whose term as UVic’s ninth chancellor ends Dec. 31, this is his last convocation. Since 2003, he has presided over more than 70 UVic ceremonies, most in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, but also ranging from the conferring of honorary degrees in China’s Great Hall of the People in Beijing to awarding UVic law degrees to a small group of Inuit students in Iqaluit, Nunavut. “It’s been a terrific experience,” says Lou-Poy. “I really enjoy seeing the smiles on the students’ faces. It gives you some idea of how hard they’ve had to work for this accomplishment.”

“Ron has been an inspiration to all of us at the University of Victoria,” says UVic President David Turpin. “We have benefited enormously from his compassionate leadership and wisdom. Ron is generous and kind and thoughtful, and I see these qualities expressed in his role as chancellor each year at convocation when he engages in a very personal way with every single student who walks across the convocation stage. This very special man makes them feel special, too.”

“Since Ron Lou-Poy is Victoria born and bred and came up ‘through the system,’ attending Vic High, Vic College, and UBC, he has an innate feeling for what UVic was, is and might be,” says University Orator Dr. Anthony Jenkins. “It’s that sense of history which has underpinned his two terms as chancellor and which gives such personal meaning to the way he inducts each new graduate at convocation.”

President of the UVic Alumni Association Kathleen Barnes adds her appreciation, saying, “Throughout his two terms as chancellor, he has never missed attending all our important events. On behalf of the association, I thank him so much for his dedication and his continued support of the university.“

Lou-Poy, senior partner with the law firm of Crease Harman and Company of Victoria, has a long and impressive history as a benefactor to his community and the university. He has served UVic as a member of the board of governors (1972–74 and 1992–95) and as a founding director of the UVic Innovation and Development Corp. The Lou-Poy family supported construction of UVic’s Harry Lou-Poy Infant and Toddler Child Care Centre, named for Ron Lou-Poy’s late father. The family also created the May and Ron Lou-Poy Fund of Excellence in the Faculty of Law.

Lou-Poy has been appointed Queen’s Counsel, an Honorary Citizen of Victoria, and a freeman of the Municipality of Saanich; he has received the Community Service Award from Canadian Bar Association (BC branch), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of Canada, the Leadership Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award and the Golden Mountain Canada-wide Lifetime Public and Community Service Award. Lou-Poy was granted an honorary doctorate of laws from UVic in 2000.

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