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Alumni weekend in Toronto

Alumni gathered in Toronto in June for three days of events around the bi-annual General Council meeting.

Alumni weekend in Toronto

Ties between the University and North America were strengthened this June with a series of exciting and engaging events held in Toronto.

Over 100 alumni travelled from across North America and from as far as Europe to attend the General Council half-yearly meeting and associated events.

The future of the union

The weekend's opening event saw alumni gather to engage in discussion around the future of Scotland and the UK.

The scene was set by Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Principal of Public Policy and Impact whose role at the University includes advising the representatives from Scottish, UK, and European Union political institutions on on policy matters of interest to the University.

This was followed by a panel discussion with special guests Professor Guy Lachapelle from Concordia University, Montreal, and Professor David Cameron from the University of Toronto.

The lively debate was chaired by the Canadian journalist and news anchor, Brian Stewart.

Canadian achievement

The stunning Art Gallery of Ontario was the setting for a special ceremony of achievement where Principal Sir Timothy O’Shea awarded honorary degrees to General John de Chastelain, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and business leader, Garrett Hermann.

Panel discussion

Beverley McLachlin spoke passionately about her love of the law and how her career has involved continually finding herself in new and uncomfortable situations, and simply adjusting to them.

The following evening continued this celebration of all things Canadian with award-winning author Margaret Atwood awarded an honorary degree at a special gala dinner.

She entertained guests with a witty after dinner speech where she spoke of her long standing relationship with Edinburgh and her affection for men in kilts.

Sharing knowledge

Margaret Atwood

Saturday's agenda included an opportunity for alumni to ask the Principal and senior staff about the University and its plans for the future. The meeting is a key part of the University's governance and was webcast live via the General Council website.

The weekend was brought to a close by Professor Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, the Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, at the Aga Khan University and the Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

His moving address regarding global child health provided a thought-provoking end to a weekend of knowledge, debate and celebration.

Images from the weekend

You can view a full gallery of images from the weekend by following the links below.

Images from General Council meeting (Flickr)

Please note that the images are not located on this website and are hosted externally on the Edinburgh Alumni Flickr account.