Sunshine floods through a series of skylights hidden in an oddly shaped ceiling.

Royal Society of Canada Fellows and Medalists reception

Let me begin by offering my congratulations to all University of Toronto faculty members recognized by the Royal Society.

Once again, U of T scholars have had a remarkable year. An unprecedented four faculty members were recognized with medals and a research award; and nine more have joined the ranks of the nation’s premier scholarly society as fellows.

This fantastic showing—and the fact that these honours recognize a remarkable breadth of scholarship—is testimony to the enduring excellence and impact of our research community.This extraordinary achievement reflects first and foremost the calibre of the faculty of this institution. The entire University – across three campuses and in every discipline – is lifted by the accomplishments of our remarkable collegium.

It also reflects the commitment of Professor Young as Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and that of his outstanding team, as well as the efforts of the Deans, Chairs, and other colleagues who have worked so hard on nominations, to ensure that members of our professoriate receive the recognition they deserve.

Recognition by the Royal Society of Canada is a great milestone in the life of a scholar so honoured. And it brings reflected glory to his or her university. This is especially true in the case of this University, which is privileged to have the largest contingent of RSC Fellows in the country. Our total number of RSC inductees since 1980 now stands at 351.

In turn, the University of Toronto is honoured to make a robust contribution to the activities sponsored and organized by the RSC. I have always been very pleased to see our faculty members working on expert panels and committees and otherwise advancing the important work of the Royal Society.

And this would seem to be a graceful segue to the Royal Society of Canada’s Walter House Campaign!

As you know from our recent letter, the Royal Society is asking its university partners to help finance the restoration and renovation of this heritage home through the sponsorship of meeting rooms. Given our prominent standing in the RSC, we selected the Council Boardroom, the most prominent meeting space in Walter House.

The room will be named The University of Toronto Boardroom, in your honour and in honour of the hundreds of our colleagues whose scholarly accomplishments have been recognized to date by the Royal Society of Canada. When not in use by the RSC and fellows, this room will be available to the public — providing the local community with a much-needed, high-end meeting space and the Royal Society with a source of revenue. Walter House will also be home to the RSC archives, making this resource more accessible to fellows and the general public alike.

In closing, I would like to thank our colleagues and partners at the Royal Society. I thank all of you for joining us this evening.

And, on behalf of the University of Toronto community, as President I offer warm congratulations, again, to our newest Fellows and Medalists of the Royal Society of Canada.

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