Dick Pound to preside over his last McGill Convocation

Published: 28 May 2009

Outgoing Chancellor will continue to play important role at University

By a rough estimate, he has sent more than 25,000 McGill graduates into the wider world beyond the University's gates with a traditional tap on the head or handshake.

Richard W. Pound, OC, OQ, QC, LLD, the University's 17th Chancellor, will arrive at the end of his second five-year term in the last days of June, 2009. Prior to that decade of service to McGill, Mr. Pound, known around the world for his work as a leading member of the International Olympic Committee and past chairman the World Anti-Doping Agency, served the University for five years as Chairman of its Board of Governors.

As Chancellor, he will preside over his final Convocation ceremony on Friday, May 29, at 2:30 p.m., when graduating students from the Schulich School of Music parade on the stage under a massive white tent on the McGill's leafy lower campus in downtown Montreal.

"It's a great feeling," Mr. Pound said, reflecting on the Convocation ceremonies and his tenure as Chancellor. "The occasion is wonderful. As I said when I got installed, I've gone from being terrified I wouldn't get one degree to giving out thousands of them."

Mr. Pound has, in fact three degrees, two from McGill - Bachelors of Commerce (BCom'62) and Civil Law (BCL'67) - and a Bachelor of Arts (BA'63) from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University). He also received a Licentiate in Accounting from McGill in 1964.

"Dick Pound has made an extraordinary contribution to McGill over many, many years," said Robert Rabinovitch, Chairman of McGill's Board of Governors. "He has dedicated enormous amounts of time and energy to his alma mater and set a sterling example of service - all while devoting much time to other very worthy and demanding endeavours. He has been a great mentor to us all."

As a successful tax lawyer and partner at the Stikeman Elliott law firm, as well as a published author of books on tax law and an occasional biography, Mr. Pound has made an immense contribution to McGill, said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum.

"Our Chancellor has literally served the University since coming here as a student-athlete in the late 1950s through to today. And he will continue to serve the University as he moves into other roles. He's a McGill icon and a Canadian icon," she said. "That he's been so devoted to McGill over all these years at the same time that he's been a major player with the International Olympic movement, carried out a distinguished legal career and published numerous books is nothing short of spectacular. He's set a high bar for all of us."

Mr. Pound, who will become Chancellor Emeritus, expects to continue serving the University in a variety of ways. A fervent believer in the importance of combining academic achievement with solid participation in university athletic programs, he remains an active member of McGill's Athletics Board.

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