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John A. Pollock
John A. Pollock

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John A. Pollock appointed chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 24/08| For Immediate Release

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Kevin Crowley, Associate Director
News & Editorial Services, 519-884-0710 ext. 3070

WATERLOO — Businessman and philanthropist John A. Pollock has been appointed chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Laurier’s Board of Governors, with the unanimous support of the university Senate, has approved the appointment. It takes effect March 31, 2008. Pollock will be officially installed as chancellor of the university at Laurier’s spring convocation on June 4, 2008.

Pollock succeeds the Honorable Robert (Bob) Rae, who has served as Laurier’s chancellor since September 1, 2003.

“Bob Rae has been a wonderful friend and ambassador for Laurier, and we thank him for his leadership and dedication to the university,” said Dr. Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor of Laurier. “We are fortunate to have another accomplished and respected leader accept the post of chancellor. With his extensive involvement in business and the community, John Pollock is an ideal choice to serve in this important role as the university prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011.”

Rae said he enjoyed his role at Laurier and looks forward to maintaining the many friendships he made during his association with the university.

“Laurier is in a very exciting period right now as it looks forward to its centenary and beyond,” said Rae. “John Pollock is an excellent choice for chancellor, and I wish him and the university well as they prepare to celebrate Laurier’s past and to plan its future.”

Pollock becomes the seventh chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University since the university became a public institution and was renamed in 1973. Laurier’s history dates back to 1911 when it was founded as a Lutheran seminary in Waterloo.

Chancellors generally serve for four years and may be appointed to a second term. As chancellor of Laurier, Pollock will provide leadership and guidance to the campus community through involvement in various aspects of university life. He will be a member of the Board of Governors and the Senate, and will serve on the senate honorary degree committee. He will also preside over graduation ceremonies and officially bestow all diplomas and degrees.

“I am honored and pleased to be invited to serve as chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University,” said Pollock. “A strong post-secondary education system is required if Canada is to have a meaningful place in today’s changing world. Laurier has grown in size, reputation and scope over the past 10 years and is today providing a range of quality education in many different disciplines. As such, I believe Laurier has a very bright future.”

Pollock is the third generation of his family to run Kitchener-based Electrohome Ltd., a company founded by his grandfather in 1907. Electrohome became an international manufacturer of home electronics, starting with phonographs, radios, small electric motors and furniture, and evolving with the times into televisions and high-resolution projection systems. It later added broadcasting properties, including television and radio stations. The company has since divested itself of these operations and now is a holding company with investments in high-technology enterprises.

Pollock earned a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard University. He has also received Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from both Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.  He joined Electrohome in 1962, was elected president in 1971 and is now chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Pollock has served on the boards of numerous companies and is currently a director of Mechdyne Corp., Canadian General-Tower Ltd. and S.C. Johnson and Son Ltd. He is also active in many non-profit organizations, serving as a trustee with the Art Gallery of Ontario and as a board member with Cambridge Memorial Hospital, the Grand River Conservation Foundation and Junior Achievement of the Region of Waterloo. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Western Ontario, the Board of Directors of the University of Waterloo, the Science Council of Canada and the Trillium Foundation of Ontario. He has also served as chairman of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and St. John’s-Kilmarnock School, a private school serving the Waterloo Region area.

Pollock and his wife, Joyce, live in Cambridge, Ontario. They have four adult children.

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