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Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud

Alumni Portraits
Adrienne Clarkson
Current Industry: Arts & Culture, Diplomacy, Journalism / Letters
Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1960, Trinity College
Master of Arts (MA) 1962
Hon. Doctor of Laws (Hon. LLD) 2001

Clarkson came to Canada from Hong Kong as a three-year-old, her family escaping after the Japanese had invaded. She has had a remarkable career, as a broadcaster, author, educator and feminist. In 1999, she was appointed the 26th Governor General of Canada.

Clarkson was a familiar face to Canadians even before assuming the role as Governor General. She was host, writer and producer of several CBC programs, including Take Thirty, Adrienne at Large and The Fifth Estate. She has written five books – including one about Norman Bethune who graduated from U of T in 1916 – and directed several films.

"My experience at Trinity College influenced me for the rest of my life. Trinity educates future finance ministers, not just students. It was terrific."

One of her books, Heart Matters, was “an affecting tale and more than a rags-to-riches story,” a reviewer in Chatelaine wrote. “It’s a story of race and assimilation and the ascendancy of feminism, with many moving lessons about grit, determination and never looking back.”

Clarkson is a senior Fellow at Massey College and an honorary fellow at the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Trinity College and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Published November 2013

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