Mr. Tom Jackson Appointed Chancellor of Trent University


Award-Winning Actor, Producer, Musician and Social Advocate to Serve as Tenth Chancellor

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, Peterborough, ON

The Senate of Trent University is pleased to announce its unanimous decision to approve the appointment of Mr. Tom Jackson, award-winning actor, producer, musician and social advocate, as Trent University’s tenth chancellor.

In commenting on his appointment, Mr. Jackson said, “The Creator has blessed me, challenged me, and given me the opportunities that allow me to effect change, to help improve the quality of life for those who are needy and hungry, not just for food, but also for knowledge. It is with honour that I accept this new challenge and I look forward to a collaboration that will feed the need and the hunger. I feel truly blessed.”

Bonnie Patterson, president and vice-chancellor of Trent, praised the Senate for their selection. “Tom Jackson is recognized at an international level for his artistic talent as a producer, actor and musician. Equally important, his humanitarian work and community activism is legendary on a range of important issues including hunger, homelessness and advocacy for youth. He is an inspiration to many people and communities in this country,” President Patterson said. “His engagement in so many extraordinary causes and his Canadian identity make him an ideal fit with the Trent community. We’re fortunate to have his commitment.”

Mr. Jackson’s three-year term runs from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012. The appointment is renewable. He will be installed in his new role in a special ceremony on September 24, 2009. Dr. Steven Franklin, who assumes the role of president and vice-chancellor of Trent University on July 1 will also be officially installed in the same ceremony.

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, Mr. Jackson has recorded 14 albums, two of which have received Juno nominations.  His rich bass baritone is recognizable to music fans and concertgoers 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.   From Shining Time Station to Star Trek to Law & Order, Mr. Jackson is no stranger to television and film and notes his favourites films - three North of 60 movies, The Diviners, Grizzly Falls, Mee-Shee The Water Giant and Skinwalkers.  Mr. 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, Mr. Jackson is well known to Canadians as an accomplished musician and actor dedicated to helping the less fortunate.

At the 2007 Junos, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) bestowed Mr. 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. Mr. 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 Mr. Jackson an honorary degree in 2000.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River. Together with its satellite campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.


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Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6185

Photo Credit: Courtesy Alberta Filmworks