Shelagh Rogers named as next Queen’s Chancellor


Shelagh Rogers named as next Queen’s Chancellor

University Council appoints esteemed Canadian broadcaster and Queen’s alumna as the university’s 16th Chancellor.

By Dave Rideout

April 26, 2024


Shelagh Rogers in the CFRC radio studio.

Chancellor-Designate Shelagh Rogers in the CFRC radio studio on the Queen's campus. (Photo by: Johnny C.Y. Lam)

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane has announced that award-winning broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers (Artsci’77) will become the 16th Chancellor of Queen’s University. University Council members confirmed her selection in a meeting today following a process led by an advisory committee with wide-ranging representation from across campus.

Chancellor-Designate Rogers will begin on July 1, 2024. She will succeed outgoing Chancellor, The Honourable Murray Sinclair, who will become Chancellor Emeritus and a Special Advisor to the Principal on Reconciliation.

“I am very pleased to share that Shelagh Rogers will be joining us as the 16th Chancellor of our university,” says Principal Deane. “Shelagh’s remarkable career, wide-ranging experience, and her roots at Queen’s make her an ideal representative for our institution and its values.”

While a student at Queen’s, Chancellor-Designate Rogers got involved with the campus radio station CFRC, sparking a new and profound interest in broadcast journalism. She would eventually go on to spend 40 years as a CBC radio broadcaster, working on notable programs like Morningside, The Arts Tonight, This Morning, and The Next Chapter. During those years she became a recognizable voice for countless Canadians, and she was ultimately recognized with the John Drainie Award for her significant contribution to national broadcasting.

Beyond her career achievements, Chancellor-Designate Rogers has been a vocal activist for mental health awareness and care, especially for youth, earning several accolades from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), as well as earning the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

In 2011, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture, for her mental health advocacy, and for her work in the areas of adult literacy, and in supporting truth and reconciliation.

That same year, she was also inducted as an Honorary Witness to the testimonies of residential school Survivors and their families, shared at the national gatherings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada.

She has since devoted her focus to amplifying Indigenous voices and narratives, serving as co-editor of a series of books published by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation called Speaking My Truth. She has been recognized with an Achievement Award from Native Counselling Services of Alberta for her dedication.

“Shelagh was one of the Honorary Witnesses for the TRC and dedicated much of her time and effort to communicating to the public what she had heard Survivors saying,” says Chancellor Murray Sinclair, who chaired Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “I am pleased that she has agreed to accept the position of Chancellor at Queen’s University as her public reputation and communication skills will greatly assist the university in its work and reputation.”

Chancellor-Designate Rogers has been recognized with an honorary doctorate from Queen’s, as well as by seven other universities, and served as Chancellor of the University of Victoria for two terms spanning from 2015 to 2021.

“I have such fond memories of my time here as a student and look forward to rejoining the campus community ready to contribute to our university’s bright future.”

– Shelagh Rogers, Queen's Chancellor-Designate

“I am honoured and excited to be appointed to this important role at Queen’s,” says Chancellor-Designate Rogers. “I have such fond memories of my time here as a student and look forward to rejoining the campus community ready to contribute to our university’s bright future.”

Selecting a Chancellor

The Chancellor role entails several duties, including service on both the University Council and Board of Trustees and related committees for each body. Chancellors also preside over convocation ceremonies, confer degrees, and serve on the Senate committee that deliberates the bestowing of honorary degrees each year. The Chancellor also plays a central role in connecting with Queen’s alumni, hosting dignitaries, and selecting the institution’s Principal.

The selection of Chancellors is led by an advisory committee chaired by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane and composed of voting and non-voting members from a wide set of groups across campus, including from university governance bodies, student representatives, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors. Non-voting members include a representative from the University Secretariat and the Office of the Vice-Principal (Culture, Equity, and Inclusion).

The advisory committee assesses each candidate, and recommends one who meets requirements, such as having a significant relationship with the university, representing the institution’s values, and being a person of national presence, among others. The committee then recommends a candidate to the Principal, who carries forward the recommendation to University Council for its vote.

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