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Piers McDonald is Yukon College’s new Chancellor
WHITEHORSE—The Yukon College Board of Governors is pleased to announce Piers McDonald as the new College Chancellor. McDonald takes over the role from Geraldine Van Bibber, who has held the post since 2012.
“My daughters attended Yukon College before completing their degrees in B. C. It was a positive entry into post-secondary education for both of them as they could remain in Whitehorse, in familiar surroundings,” said McDonald.
“The College opens up the world to our students and community. It has grown and remained relevant to our evolving community. When Ayamdigut campus was first opened, many felt it was too large a space, but now it is bursting at the seams. I appreciate this opportunity to support Yukon College,” added McDonald.
“Piers brings to this role a wealth of experience from his time as Premier, Minister of Education, and a business leader. He has dedicated his life to improving the lives of Yukoners and the College will certainly benefit from his advice and counsel,” said Paul Flaherty, Chair of the Yukon College Board of Governors.
The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the College. They are appointed by the Board of Governors and act as a bridge between the institution and the students, and the broader community. The Chancellor is responsible for conferring credentials on each student at convocation. The position is voluntary for a term of two years.
Following the late Pierre Berton, Pearl Keenan, Ken MacKinnon, Sam Johnston, Rolf Hougen and Geraldine Van Bibber, Piers McDonald is the seventh well-respected Yukoner to serve in this honorary capacity since 1988.
Piers McDonald began his career as a miner at United Keno Hill Mines in Elsa before entering politics. He was Premier of Yukon from 1996-2000 and as Minister of Education from 1985-1992 McDonald was responsible for the passage of the Yukon College Act, the construction of Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse and oversaw the expansion of community campuses to Carmacks, Haines Junction, Old Crow, Pelly Crossing, Teslin, Faro and Ross River. He also initiated the research role of the College, the Northern Studies program and several university transfer programs.
McDonald is founding partner and Chair of the Board of Northern Vision Development which has developed and constructed multiple commercial and residential buildings in Whitehorse since 2004. McDonald was volunteer president of the 2007 Canada Winter Games Host Society. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was named 2007’s businessperson of the year by Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.