FOA 2013 (Inducted 2015)

Dr. Mary Anne Chambers served as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities in the Ontario government after being elected a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the riding of Scarborough East from 2003 to 2007. Through her leadership, she increased students’ ability to complete their education without undue financial hardship and opened doors for financially trained individuals.

As Minister of Children and Youth Services, Chambers advocated for the protection of children and youth and spearheaded a number of innovative reform initiatives. Before entering politics, Chambers worked in the private sector, serving as senior vice-president of Scotia bank.

Now the incoming President of PACE (Project for Advancement of Childhood Education), Chambers is also involved in primary schools in Jamaica, from which she emigrated in 1976. She is also a member of the boards of the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and former board member of the Rouge Valley Health System and the University of Toronto’s governing council, on which she served as vice-chair from 1998 to 2001. Chambers is also past chair of the United Way of Greater Toronto and former president of the Canadian Club. She was recently named a YWCA Woman of Distinction for community service.

The philanthropic efforts of Chambers have made a positive impact on the lives of many students at all levels of education as she has funded more than 30 scholarships for first-year students at Canadian universities and colleges. She has served as a role model for the Black community in Canada, he noted, and is the recipient of 17 different awards, citations and honors’. At UTSC, Chambers funds the Imani Mentorship program for middle and high school students, in partnership with the IMANI Black Students’ Alliance and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough.

While serving as a Governor of the University, her work on a task force on student financial support contributed to a policy that guarantees no student will be unable to study at the University of Toronto due to inadequate financial resources.  

As of 2011, Mary- Anne has personally funded the education of more than 30 students attending Ontario universities and colleges by awarding scholarships to them. She also continues to sponsor early childhood institutions in Jamaica, the country of her birth. She sponsors students and serves as an Advisor for an Academic Mentorship Program for middle and high school students in partnership with the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

Mary Anne is being recognized for her contributions to the development and education of disadvantaged youths, who through her scholarship programs have been able to access education and pursue their God given dreams.

Read more on the activities of Mary Anne Chambers:  edu.yorku.ca/…/honorary-degrees-at-convocation-today-mary-anne-chambers/