UVic Torch -- Spring 2003
Spring 2003,
Volume 24, Number 1

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The new chancellor, Ron Lou-Poy Integrity with a smile

The new chancellor, Ron Lou-Poy


HE SMILES A LOT FOR SOMEONE WITH SO MUCH ON HIS SHOULders: senior partner in the province’s oldest law firm, community service commitments, and now the role of university chancellor.

But none of it seems to weigh on Ron Lou-Poy as he sits in the clubhouse at Uplands Golf Course where he and his wife May are long-time members. It’s shortly after his November election by members of convocation has made the news and friends and acquaintances come by the table to offer congratulations. He accepts them all with a gracious smile and a handshake, slightly embarrassed by the attention.

He takes the chancellorship seriously, himself less so. “I am very honoured, proud, and privileged (to be chancellor). I am looking forward to the challenge because Norma Mickelson was such a fantastic chancellor—you could feel she really cared about students, the faculty and the institution.” Earlier, when asked what he hopes to accomplish in his new assignment, he tried to sidestep the question, and said: “I’m just the chancellor. The president’s the boss. But I’ll try to do my bit…tuition is always a concern.”

The chancellor has seats on the senate and the board of governors, and is, of course, the key official at convocation.

Lou-Poy is a third generation Victorian. Neither of his parents finished high school. But they considered education important, so their son completed two years at Victoria College and did his commerce and law degrees at UBC. That’s where he met May. She had grown up in Alert Bay and was one of four students in the community’s first high school graduating class.

When Lou-Poy joined the pioneering Victoria law firm of Crease Harman and Company, colleagues encouraged community involvement. He has never let up. For his efforts, amongst other tributes and recognition, he is an honorary citizen of Victoria and he holds an honorary doctorate of laws from UVic. His family also supports students—funding a scholarship in law and contributing more than $270,000 to UVic Childcare’s Harry Lou-Poy Infant and Toddler Centre.

The new chancellor formally begins his three-year term June 3, at the outset of spring convocation ceremonies. He’ll be gowned in the traditional gold-trimmed purple silk and velvet regalia. It’s a safe bet he’ll be wearing that friendly smile, too.


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