Featured Alumni
Photo of Adrienne Clarkson

Trinity College | Faculty of Arts & Science | School of Graduate Studies

Adrienne Clarkson

Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1960, Master of Arts (MA) 1962, Hon. Doctor of Laws (Hon. LLD) 2001

Adrienne Clarkson has written about immigrants to this country who struggled, survived and ultimately thrived.  As an immigrant herself, she’s helped transform Canada.

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 ThirtyAdrienne 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 Nov. 27, 2013.

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