Trent Board Member Libby Burnham to be Appointed Next Chancellor of Acadia University


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trent University is pleased to learn that Libby Burnham, CM, QC, DCL and member of the Trent’s Board of Governors, has been appointed as the next Chancellor of Acadia University based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Libby and a wonderful recognition of her lifetime of service to postsecondary education in this country,” said David Morton, Chair of Trent University’s Board of Governors.  “Acadia will be well served by this stellar appointment.”

“It is a special honour to be recognized by my alma mater in this manner,” said Libby Burnham.  “I look forward to serving Acadia as its sixth Chancellor.  My years on the Trent Board have been rewarding and I value the friendships I have made with board colleagues, faculty, students, alumni and in the administration.  Trent is an outstanding university with many similar values as Acadia.”

Libby Burnham graduated from Acadia in 1960 and is the first woman graduate of that university to pursue a law degree which she earned from Dalhousie in 1963.  A lifelong supporter of Acadia, she will be the University’s first woman Chancellor.

She is a senior, well-respected and nationally connected legal, business and political advisor. Counsel to a Toronto based law firm, Morrison Brown Sosnovitch LLP, she specializes in Government Relations. Educated at Acadia University and Dalhousie Law School, she was called to the Bar in New Brunswick in 1963 and Ontario in 1978 and was appointed a federal Q.C. in 1992. She was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2007. She has been honoured for her outstanding leadership, advocacy and community service with an Honorary Doctor of Civil Laws (Acadia University, 2000); the Prestigious Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service (Dalhousie Law School 2001); the Metro Toronto's YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Public Affairs, 1996); the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002); an Honorary Life Director (the Canadian Club of Toronto, 2002); and The Libby Burnham Urban Health Research Award (Wellesley Central Health Corp., 2005).  An experienced corporate director, she completed the ICD Corporate Governance College Directors' Education Program 2006.  Past Directorships include: Minacs Worldwide Inc.; CBC; Life Network; Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Foundation; Past Chair, Wellesley Central Hospital and I Channel. She is a founding member of Equal Voice; International Women's Forum Executive, and was appointed to Board of ECHO-Improving Women’s Health in Ontario in 2007. 

Ms. Burnham began her service on Trent’s Board of Governors on July 1, 2005.  She has served as a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and then served as Chair of that committee continuously from 2007-08 to the present.  Ms. Burnham has been the Board’s representative on the Senate Sub-committee University Honours in 2005-06 to 2010-11.  She was also the Chair of the Board Task Force: Review of Committee Structure in 2008-09.  Her second term on the Trent Board of Governors was extended from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011.

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 new campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.

To read Acadia’s media announcement visit:


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For more information contact:

Don Cumming, Acting Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6181


Kate Shaughnessy, Planning and Administrative Assistant, (705) 6748-1011, ext. 6180