Dr. Tom Jackson, award-winning actor, producer, musician and social advocate, has renewed his term as Trent University’s tenth chancellor for one year, extending his role until June 2013.
“It fills me with great pride and gratitude knowing that the community of Trent has extended my tenure as Chancellor,” said Dr. Jackson. “The recent years have been an absolute blessing for me, having had the chance to connect one on one with the Graduates at convocation.”
“Trent University is very fortunate that Tom Jackson will remain as chancellor for an additional year,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Dr. Jackson’s presence in the Trent community is warmly felt by students, faculty, staff and alumni on campus and extends into our surrounding community. His humanitarian work and community activism set excellent examples for students and keep our community engaged with important issues including youth advocacy, poverty and homelessness.”
During his time as chancellor since the Fall of 2009, Mr. Jackson has presided over two sets of convocation ceremonies and made numerous visits to campus events as well as alumni gatherings at various chapter locations. He most recently attended the recent annual Elders Gathering hosted by the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent, for which he was the plenary speaker.
One of Dr. Jackson’s ongoing legacies is the Trent University Dreamcatcher Series which has provided unique opportunities for dialogue on important issues with the chancellor. The Dreamcatcher Series has included events such as the Panel Discussion about Social Responsibility, a Celebrity Pool Tournament for Kids Help Phone, and a workshop titled Water Matters: Protecting, Conserving and Sharing Our Water.
Born on the One Arrow reserve in Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg, Tom Jackson left school at the age of 15 and spent seven years living on the back streets of Winnipeg. This experience built the foundation of his character – a tenacious leader determined to succeed with an altruistic capacity to care for others. As a singer and songwriter, Dr. Jackson has recorded 15 albums, two of which have received Juno nominations. His rich bass baritone is recognizable to music fans and concert-goers across the country. He is also an award-winning actor. Fans of the CBC hit television series North of 60 will know him as Chief Peter Kenidi, a role he portrayed for six seasons. The series was an inspired perspective on the lives of a First Nation community and Dr. Jackson inadvertently became a role model because of it. Taking the responsibility and possibility from that profile has led to extraordinary achievements in community service, professional development and global change. From Shining Time Station to Star Trek to Law & Order, Dr. Jackson is no stranger to television and film and notes his favourite films – three North of 60 movies, The Diviners, Grizzly Falls, Mee-Shee the Water Giant and Skinwalkers. Dr. Jackson’s gifted voice can also be heard narrating television projects such as Life & Times, The Snow Eater and Great Canadian Rivers.
Appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 for his music and humanitarian work, Dr. Jackson is well known to Canadians as an accomplished musician and actor dedicated to helping the less fortunate. Recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2012, Dr. Jackson has raised approximately $200 million in combined cash/in-kind value for food banks and disaster relief to date. At the 2007 Juno Awards, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) bestowed Dr. Jackson with the Humanitarian Award in recognition for his positive contributions to the social landscape of Canada. The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television also presented him with their prestigious Humanitarian Award at the 2007 Geminis. Dr. Jackson also received the Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2002 and Centennial Medals from Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2005. Time Magazine named him one of Canada’s best activists, and honorary degrees have been conferred upon him by the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lakehead, Laurentian, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, and Victoria. Trent University granted Dr. Jackson an honorary degree in 2000.
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012.