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Vic Alumnus Blake Goldring Receives U of T Honorary Degree

Jun. 17, 2024

Photos by Lisa Sakulensky/University of Toronto.

By Leslie Shepherd 

The University of Toronto conferred an honorary degree on Vic 8T1 alumnus Blake Goldring at the Victoria College convocation on June 17 for his outstanding service to the university and impactful community contributions. 

This is the second honorary degree from the U of T community for Goldring, a philanthropist and accomplished business leader. He received a Victoria University honorary degree in 2021 for his work in the business community and for his philanthropy. 

Goldring is the executive chairman of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian investment management firm, and he sits on a number of not-for-profit boards related to causes he champions.
He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2018 for his contributions to philanthropy and to business, most especially for his work in founding the Canada Company, an organization that awards scholarships to the children of fallen soldiers and helps veterans find meaningful employment in the civilian workforce. He was named to the Order of Ontario in 2024. 

Goldring has deep ties to the Victoria community, having graduated from Victoria College with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981. He funded the Norman Jewison Stream in the Vic One program and enabled, along with his sister Judy Goldring Vic 8T7, the creation of the Goldring Student Centre at Victoria College. Goldring also gave to the Vic One Paul Gooch Stream and named an endowed professorship in the Norman Jewison Stream with a further significant gift. 
He has been an active alumni volunteer and was a member of the Advisory Council to the President during Vic’s Imagination Unbound campaign (part of U of T’s Boundless Campaign) which raised $70 million, exceeding its goal by $10 million. 
“Blake’s focus at Vic U has been thoroughly student-centred,” Victoria University President Rhonda McEwen said in her nominating letter, noting the Goldring Student Centre is an important campus location where community is built and where all Vic students—both residence-based and commuter—can connect outside classes.  
In his acceptance speech at Convocation Hall, Goldring said this was an exciting time to be graduating because of all the change that is occurring around us. 
“Change brings opportunity,” he said. “By leveraging your tech-savvy, your AI skills and familiarity, your curiosity and critical thinking, you are very well equipped to seize those opportunities. There’s an opportunity for each and every one of you to leverage the latest tools and innovations to become innovators yourselves.” 
Think of the world we are entering, he said. 
“You don’t have to squint too hard to see we’re on the verge of transformational change powered by the latest technological advancements. The potential of new tools and technologies is enough to get anyone excited.” 
Goldring urged graduates to have empathy, which he said was one of the top qualities he looks for when assessing leadership candidates on Bay Street. 
“I would encourage you all to think about how you too can give back in your own way, whether it’s through the work you do – or outside of work altogether. You, as leaders, have the ability to effect change and make an impact on the lives of others.  And like me, I suspect you’ll also find that giving back and making an impact is its own reward.” 

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