Thomas Symons

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Thomas Symons

President and vice-chancellor of Trent University
In office
Personal details
Thomas Henry Bull Symons

(1929-05-30) May 30, 1929 (age 90)
Toronto, Ontario
Spouse(s)Christine Ryerson
ChildrenMary, Ryerson and Jeffery

Thomas Henry Bull Symons, CC OOnt FRSC (born May 30, 1929) is a Canadian professor and author in the field of Canadian studies.

Order of Canada Canadian national order

The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.

Order of Ontario order

The Order of Ontario is the most prestigious official honour in the Canadian province of Ontario. Instituted in 1986 by Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier David Peterson, the civilian order is administered by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Ontario residents for conspicuous achievements in any field.

Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Canada judges to have "made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life".


Born in Toronto, Ontario, he is the son of Harry Lutz Symons and Dorothy Sarah Bull, and the brother of Scott Symons. [1] He attended Upper Canada College until 1942, and graduated from the University of Toronto Schools. [2] He subsequently studied at the University of Toronto (B.A. 1951), Oxford (B.A. 1953, M.A. 1957) and Harvard University.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Harry Lutz Symons was a Canadian writer, who won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour in 1947 for Ojibway Melody, a volume of humorous essays about summer recreational life on Ontario's Georgian Bay.

He was the founding president of Trent University, serving as its president and vice-chancellor from 1961 to 1972. [3] He served as chairman of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1975 to 1978.

Trent University is a public university in Peterborough, Ontario, with a satellite campus in Oshawa, which serves the Regional Municipality of Durham. Trent is known for its Oxbridge college system and small class sizes.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) was established in the Canadian province of Ontario on March 29, 1961 to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code. The OHRC is an arm's length agency of government accountable to the legislature through the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Between 1980 and 1986 he served two three-year terms as chairman of the board of the United World Colleges. [4]

UWC is a global educational movement with the mission to "make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future". Originally founded in 1962 to bridge social, national and cultural divides caused by the Cold War, today UWC consists of 18 schools and colleges on four continents, several short educational programmes, and national committees in 159 countries and territories. The movement's international arm is UWC International, a UK registered charity, governed by the International Board and the International Council. The executive arm of the International Board is the International Office, located in London, United Kingdom.

He is the chairperson of the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service. [5]

On August 17, 1963, he married Christine Ryerson. They had three children: Mary, Ryerson and Jeffery. [3]

His contributions to university leadership, Canadian studies, Commonwealth studies, United World Colleges, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and other fields has been discussed in Ralph Heintzman (ed), Tom Symons: A Canadian Life, published by University of Ottawa Press. [6] His leadership in universities and in Commonwealth Studies is discussed in Donald Markwell, "Instincts to Lead": On Leadership, Peace, and Education (Connor Court, 2013). [7]



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  1. "His life was his art. Alas, it was not a masterpiece". The Globe and Mail , February 27, 2009.
  2. Heintzman, Ralph (2011). Tom Symons: A Canadian Life. ISBN   9780776607658.
  3. 1 2 "Thomas H.B. Symons fonds". Trent University.
  4. Peterson, Alexander Duncan Campbell (2003 - 2nd Ed.) Schools Across Frontiers: The Story of the International Baccalaureate and the United World Colleges
  5. "Message from the Chair". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2016-12-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Fellows". Royal Society of Canada .
  9. "Honorary Fellows". Oriel College, Oxford. Archived from the original on 2011-05-26.