His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the 28th Governor General of Canada, is recognized for his distinguished achievement as a national trailblazer in scholarship, public service, Canadian unity and the nation's national sport.
Born in Sudbury, Ont., His Excellency received his A.B. degree from Harvard University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1963. He then earned his LL.B. from Cambridge University in England. In 1966, His Excellency received his LL.B. from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., He remained at Queen's University as an Assistant Professor in their Faculty of Law, a position he later held at the University of Toronto before becoming a full professor there in 1972. In 1974 he became Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Waterloo. Five years later, he was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor at McGill University. He held that office until 1994. He continued to teach law at McGill until he returned to the University of Waterloo in 1999 to become President and Vice-Chancellor.
Recognized as visionary throughout his career, His Excellency has authored or co-authored over two dozen books, as well as numerous reports, academic articles and conference papers. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada.
His service to governments and public agencies, and his contributions to communities throughout Canada are too numerous to list in full. He has served academic associations like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He also shared his wisdom and expertise with public institutions, chairing numerous advisory panels, committees and task forces. To name a few: The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy; the National Task Force on High Speed Broadband Access; the Advisory Committee on Online Learning; and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He also acted as an Independent Advisor to the many Task Forces.
At Harvard University he played defence on the school's hockey team and was recognized for his extraordinary ability to balance athletics with academics. Indeed, he was a member of the All-American Hockey Team for two seasons in the early 1960s. In 1988, His Excellency was inducted into the Harvard Sports Hall of Fame.
At his installation as Governor General, His Excellency spoke eloquently of the honour of public service and the need for Canada to embrace three principals in order to become the smart and caring nation Canadians desire. Canada, he said, must support families and children. It must also reinforce learning and innovation, and it must encourage philanthropy and volunteerism. The University of Manitoba shares these visionary values with His Excellency as they are elements in the university's mission to learn, discover, and serve.
His Excellency the Right Honourable