Carleton formally installs Dr. Garneau as ninth Chancellor

From former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson to fellow Nobel laureate Gerhard Herzberg and veteran politician and journalist Pauline Jewett – Carleton University’s Chancellors have traditionally been senior statespeople with numerous achievements to their name. With a demanding job as President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Carleton University’s newly appointed Chancellor, Dr. Marc Garneau is certainly no exception to the tradition.

Dr. Garneau will be formally installed as Carleton University’s ninth Chancellor at the 9:00 a.m. Convocation ceremony on November 16. Dr. Garneau will also deliver the Convocation address.

At the age of 54, Dr. Garneau has packed in more experience – in and out of this world – than most people could hope to accrue in a lifetime.

By the time he was 21 and a graduate of the Royal Military College, he had already sailed twice across the Atlantic Ocean on an 18-metre yawl. Thirteen years later, when he was one of six Canadians selected for astronaut training, he held a Ph.D. from England’s Imperial College of Science and Technology, and as a naval commander, was a skilled specialist in simulator, communications systems and electronics design. In October 1984, Dr. Garneau became Canada’s first man in space, clocking more than 197 hours aboard the Challenger space shuttle. Since then, he has participated in two more shuttle missions and garnered a wealth of honours and awards, including NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal and honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa, le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, l’Université Laval, the Technical University of Nova Scotia as well as the Royal Military College. Earlier this year, he was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, having already been named an Officer of the Order in 1984.

Dr. Garneau lived in Ottawa for nine years before going to Houston, Texas, and says he visited Carleton on a number of occasions, either to give presentations, and in one case acting as a judge for an airplane design competition.

In an interview at his CSA office in St. Bruno, south of Montreal, Dr. Garneau reflected on his selection to succeed the late Ray Hnatyshyn as Carleton’s ninth chancellor.

“Obviously, I’m very honoured to have been asked. I deal a lot with universities as part of my job and I find it energizing to be in that environment. I feel very strongly about interacting with young people,” he says. “It’s exciting to be with them because they’ve got the fire.”

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