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OISE honours one of Ontario's most respected education ministers

By Sabrina Persaud

December 10, 2012


William Noiles Bill Davis Julia O'Sullivan and Jeff Myers

From left to right: Student Teachers' Union president William Noiles, The Honourable William G. Davis, OISE dean Julia O'Sullivan, and Graduate Student Association president Jeff Myers.

The Nexus Lounge was filled with alumni, students, friends, current and former faculty and staff, University of Toronto’s top leadership and many prominent political and education leaders from across Ontario on December 3 for a special ceremony dedicating OISE’s stunning new 12th floor community lounge, Nexus, to the Honourable William G. Davis, 18th premier of Ontario (and Minister of Education from 1962-71), whose historic contributions to education in Ontario, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education are widely celebrated.

“There was no competition needed when it came time to decide the dedication, from the start there was only one name that belonged on top of the door and that was that of Premier Davis... This is our tribute, to say thank you to Premier Davis for your vision, your leadership, and your contributions to education in Ontario, the University of Toronto, and OISE in particular,” said Dean Julia O’Sulllivan in her introductory remarks.

University of Toronto President David Naylor recounted Premier Davis’s remarkable achievements, three of which stood out: establishing the community college system, introducing TVOntario with a mandate to produce excellent educational programming, and founding the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, one of the world's most respected names in education. A steadfast friend of the University, Premier Davis who holds 13 honorary doctorates, served on the Governing Council for nine years, among other things.

"The University of Toronto is extremely proud to claim the Honourable William G. Davis as a member of our family. As a tribute to your vision and leadership, we are all thrilled to dedicate this community lounge to you. It's a space that has an extraordinary view, a vision worthy of yours – a place of reflection. Just as the name Nexus suggests – a bond to promote connections that produce inclusive excellence, the hallmark of OISE and this great institution, and may I say, a hallmark of your extraordinary career in public service," Professor Naylor said.

Reflecting on his public career, contributions, and relationship with education, Premier Davis focussed his remarks on the collaborative nature of his work with colleagues across the political spectrum, family, and love of education, “I feel very keenly, and I hope that we are all aware about the role that OISE has played and will continue to play. I hope you all understand something fundamental – that OISE is what I still regard is one of the finest educational systems at all levels. The future of this country is very simple: there is nothing more fundamental to the future of this province than what we do in the field of education.”