Dr. Wesley Hall named new chancellor of U of T

by Ron Fanfair
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Dr. Wesley Hall

By RON FANFAIR
Jamaican-born business and equity-focused leader Wes Hall will serve as the next Chancellor of the University of Toronto. He was elected by U of T’s College of Electors to serve a three-year term effective July 1, 2024. 
Hall will be the university’s 35th Chancellor since its founding in 1827.
“As I take on the role of the Chancellor at the University of Toronto, I am deeply privileged and humbled to carry forward the institution’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and advancement, values that strongly align with my personal beliefs,” said Hall who was conferred with a U of T honorary degree in 2023.
“I take on this role with a vision where every voice resonates, every perspective is honoured and appreciated, and every opportunity is open to all, regardless of background or experience. Rooted in the belief that education is a fundamental human right, this esteemed position is about dismantling barriers and paving the way toward a more inclusive and equitable future for everyone.
“We are living in a diverse world, but there is still more work to be done. Together, let us champion inclusivity, ensuring that the university remains a beacon of excellence, progress and limitless possibilities.”
Elected for a three-year term, the Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university, presiding at convocations, conferring all university degrees and acting as ambassador to the wider community and alumni worldwide. The chancellor also plays an essential role in advancing the university’s interests within the local, provincial, national and international arenas.
“Dr. Wesley Hall is a widely respected and inspirational business leader and he is deeply committed to creating opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and communities,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “His professional and personal accomplishments and talents make him eminently qualified to take on the position of chancellor. I am delighted that he has accepted this key role, and on behalf of the entire University of Toronto, I thank him for his willingness to contribute his immense talent and experience to the advancement of our academic mission.”
Hall is Executive Chairman and Founder of WeShall Investments, Kingsdale Advisors and the BlackNorth Initiative. WeShall Investments is a private equity firm with a diverse portfolio of companies predominantly led by BIPOC entrepreneurs. The BlackNorth Initiative is committed to removing systemic barriers impacting the Black community.
He has improved the lives of thousands of children in the Caribbean and Canada, donating both his money and time. And he has been instrumental in mentoring many of Canada’s Black entrepreneurs and leaders. 
“I am delighted with Dr. Wesley Hall’s appointment as Chancellor-elect,” said Anna Kennedy, Chair of U of T’s Governing Council. “Dr. Hall’s remarkable achievements in the business world and unwavering dedication to empowering marginalized groups resonate deeply with the University of Toronto’s values of equity and inclusivity. He is an authentic leader and a community builder, and we anticipate his transformative leadership will enrich our institution’s culture and the experience of our students.”
In 2021, Hall partnered with the Rotman School of Management to introduce a new course on Black entrepreneurship and leadership, the first of its kind in North America. Developed in partnership with the BlackNorth Initiative, and with Hall as the lead instructor, the course has proven to be highly successful. 
Coming to Canada in 1985 to join his father who was a factory worker, he completed high school three years later and rose from a junior mailroom clerk at one of Canada’s top business law firms to become a Relationship Manager at CIBC Mellon, Business Development and Sales Manager at Georgeson Canada where he saw the huge potential in advising on proxy wars and the founder of Kingsdale Shareholder Services that changed its name to Kingsdale Advisors at the beginning of the year.
Hall will succeed Chancellor Rose Patten, whose second term ends on June 30, 2024.

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