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December 2015 – What’s News?

What’s News?

Key board and Association appointments made


Charlie Sims

Three key appointments were made at the community meeting and Association annual general meeting on Oct. 14.

Charlie Sims ’80 was appointed to the board of governors. He’s a member of the advancement committee of the board and served as a trustee on the UCC Foundation board from 2005 to 2014 and from 2014 to 2015 on its investment committee. He was also a member of the foundation’s audit and finance committee from 2006 to 2014, serving as chair from 2010 to 2014.Professionally, Sims most recently served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Mackenzie Financial Corporation and co-president and CEO of IGM Financial.

Matt JohnsonMatt Johnson ’95 was appointed president of the Association. He has been a council member since 2010. He was a co-founder of the Young Alumni Network and served as chair from 2007 to 2009. Johnson also co-founded the Toronto Old Boy Night Out, which is now in its third year, served as chair of Association Day, supported the Blues Booster Club and has volunteered as a mentor with the Common Ties mentorship program.

Zach Schwartz ’05 was elected a member of the Association Council, replacing Chan Sethi ’03, who stepped down from council but assumed the role of Old Boy chair of the UCC Fund. Schwartz has served on Association Council as an ex-officio member through his role as chair of the Young Alumni Network for the past two years.

Campaign declares victory and celebrates with Luminous


A celebratory feeling in the air became official on Nov. 21 with a community-wide closing party at the Upper School, aptly named “Luminous” to mark the wrap-up of UCC’s unprecedented Think Ahead campaign. The final total is an astonishing $104.2 million, which was raised by more than 7,000 supporters.

Old Boys participated in force, with about 3,300 alumni making donations. Parent participation was at 2,500, and the remaining balance was comprised of gifts from faculty and staff members, friends of the College and grandparents.

With the Hewitt Athletic Centre made over as a sparkling nightclub, attendees dined, danced and were thanked in a campaign impact presentation by 13 students, teachers and Old Boys, headed up by Justis Danto-Clancy ’07.

Says board chair Andy Burgess ’83: “The bulk of the campaign happened while I was chair, and it’s so satisfying to finish my tenure on this high note. There are many achievements to reflect on, and I know the community will continue to be strong and cohesive as we move into a new era of progress and generosity. The Think Ahead campaign has clearly shown that when we galvanize into action, wonderful things happen.”


Thank you to our Luminous sponsors:

Norman Hardie logo


CCR logo

“Ultimate volunteer” Piera Morra earns John D. Stevenson Award


It’s always said of exemplary leaders that they make people feel like they’re the only one in the room. All who’ve worked with Piera Morra would agree she has that talent, and so many more. Morra is the 2015–16 winner of the John D. Stevenson Award for outstanding long-term volunteer service.

“Piera is the ultimate volunteer,” says Matt Johnson ’95, president of the UCC Association Council, which bestows the award.

After two decades of volunteer service, Morra remains a member of the Association Council though her three sons (Marco ’08, Alexander ’11 and Nicholas ’13) have graduated.

“Piera is always full of energy and spirit, demonstrating her wonderful character each time she takes on another role,” says Johnson.

Known for her humour, dedication and willingness to take on the smallest tasks if necessary, Morra has been both the Prep Parents’ Organization vice-chair and chair (2003 and 2004). She’s also been the Parents’ Organization vice-president and president (2009 and 2010). She’s been the Association Day committee chair (2009), a member of the governance review committee (2008 to 2010), and served as a volunteer on the last three UCC galas in 2004, 2007 and 2012. These are only a few of the volunteer roles Morra has held in nearly 20 years of involvement with the College.

Along the way she’s earned respect from parents who value her kindness, consideration and magical ability to find time for everyone. “The real deal” is a popular phrase to describe her.

“Piera’s warmth, dedication and compassionate spirit makes her a great role model for any parent looking to involve themselves in volunteer activity as the school,” says principal Jim Power.

The UCC Association Council established the John D. Stevenson Award in 1993 to recognize individuals who’ve provided outstanding volunteer service to the College over a number of years. It recognizes the exceptional contributions of John D. Stevenson ’47. Nominations are elicited annually from all members of the College community. As always, the award will be presented at Founder’s Dinner on Feb. 10 at the College.

Old Boys are valuable partners in boarding admission


Exploring boarding schools can be challenging, as many families need to navigate the process from a distance without the benefit of face-to-face conversations — and sometimes in a second language. In these cases, we rely strongly on our community members around the world to help us connect and communicate with great families who would otherwise not investigate UCC as a boarding school.

Chris Hickman ’84 has hosted an annual “recruitment reception” at his residence in St. John’s, Nfld. since 2012, facilitating introductions between members of the UCC admission team and inquiring families. Hickman’s contributions have been invaluable to the UCC admission team, as three current boarding students were recruited through him.

“This part of the country has traditionally been underrepresented at the College,” says Hickman. “Given my positive experience there and the opportunities that the school could offer others, I thought it fitting to educate other families about the school.”

There are many ways in which the UCC community and especially our Old Boys can help us build a strong and diverse boarding community. Please see the Admission section on the website for boarding admission details and contact dmcbride@ucc.on.ca to inquire about assisting with boarding recruitment.


Kaleem Hawa ’12 is UCC’s 25th Rhodes Scholar


Kaleem Hawa ’12 has received a Rhodes Scholarship, perhaps the most prestigious academic award in the world.

Each year, 89 are awarded internationally. Hawa was one of 11 Canadians, including two from Ontario. (Our archivist is working to confirm it, but with 25 Rhodes Scholars to date, UCC may lay claim to more than any other Canadian school since the program’s inception in 1903.)

In his final year at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where he studies global health and international relations, Hawa is also a junior analyst at McKinsey & Company. He’ll head to Oxford University in England this fall.

K_Hawa“I’ll be studying new threats to security, including pandemic preparedness and climate change,” Hawa says.

To that end, he’ll undertake two one-year masters degrees: global governance and diplomacy; and integrated immunology.

Though the task at hand is kind of enormous, Hawa is more optimistic than anxious. In a wide-ranging discussion, it’s clear why Hawa impressed the Rhodes judges at an “interview party” for the 13 Ontario finalists at the University Club in Toronto in November. He was a star debater, chair of the World Affairs Conference and much more while at UCC. He also graduated as a Loran Scholar. Hawa is past president of the Hart House Debates Committee, the University of Toronto Liberals and the university’s international relations society.

Looking back, Hawa credits UCC’s International Baccalaureate Programme for setting him up so well. UCC is celebrating 20 years of being an IB World School.

“The IB prepared me incredibly well for the rigours of university life and study,” he says. “The debate program in particular played a seminal role in growing my confidence and strengthening my knowledge base.”

Jon Pearce, Former Prep English head, passes away


Jon Pearce, a UCC teacher from 1975 to 1996, passed away on Nov. 18 at age 78.

He was the former head of the English department, a beloved form master, member of the Quarter Century Club, author, world-class sculler, one of Toronto’s premier squash players and a champion of Canadian literature.

Jon Pearce

“Jon will be remembered as a legend,” said Chantal Kenny, executive director of admissions, in an email to colleagues. “While his achievements are truly distinguished, it is Jon’s commanding presence and wise counsel that will be missed. As a teacher of English, Jon inspired and mentored hundreds of Prep boys, many of whom have become accomplished writers in different fields.”

For his colleagues, Pearce made time for all, Kenny recounted.

“Jon quietly took many of us ‘newbie teachers’ under his wing and taught us how to write concise meeting minutes and no-nonsense report card comments. When you least expected it, Jon would leave sweets on your desk and shared his passion for jazz artists great and small. Students of Form 4P learned how to care for their black polishable shoes and were proud of it. Mr. Pearce will be missed by all who knew him.”

UCC wins first “Battle of the Blues” against St. Mike’s


If blue is your colour and football is your game, the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium should have been your destination on Oct. 23.

The UCC Blues squared off against the St. Michael’s College School Kerry Blues at the home of U of T’s Varsity Blues in the inaugural “Battle of the Blues” varsity football showdown, and UCC emerged with a 35-17 victory. Read more here.

Student collage beautifies construction zone


You can find art in the most unlikely places.

UCC’s very own version of “graffiti alley” was informally commissioned by none other than principal Jim Power. He approached art teacher David Holt with a request for a student volunteer to beautify the provisional back wall of the Bernick Family Foyer while its new atrium is under construction. Click here to see the result.

Read More »

December 2015 – Alumni Events

Upcoming Events

Save the date for Founder’s Dinner


Dinner chairmen John Mackay ’90, David Morgenstern ’90 and Maurice Siu ’91 invite you to attend Founder’s Dinner on Feb. 10.

Don’t miss an opportunity to hear Old Boy Jameel Jaffer ’90, director of the Center for Democracy at the American Civil Liberties Union, and Michael Duffy, the former general counsel at CSIS and senior general counsel for public safety, defense and immigration at the Department of Justice, discuss civil liberties and national security post-9/11.

Please click here to register.

Young alumni holiday wing night

The UCC Young Alumni Network will host the young alumni wing night for the graduating classes of 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 on Dec. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.
More than 130 young alumni attended last year to catch up with their friends before the Holidays.

Click here to register.

Norval outdoor school winter open house  


Please join the UCC community for a fun afternoon of toboganning, cross-country skiing and winter hiking at UCC’s own outdoor school, Norval. The more, the merrier!

For more details and to register, please click here or call the Association office at 416-484-8629.




Join us to cheer on the UCC Blues as the varsity hockey team plays Nichols School at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 in the William P. Wilder ’40 Arena & Sports Complex.

Come back to the school at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 and play in the annual alumni hockey game. Lunch and beverages will follow in the arena lounge. Please click here for more information and to register, or call the Association office at 416-484-8629.


New York City winter social


A group of UCC young Old Boys will once again participate in the Canadian Association of New York Central Park Charity Hockey Tournament in Central Park’s Lasker Rink on Feb. 13 and 14.

NYC Hockey 2015

Ryan Adams ’05, John Thorp ’05, Dario Walos ’96 (owner of Tacombi and El Presidente), Charlie Iscoe ’05, and Hassan Kassam ’06 at last year’s event

The post-tournament celebratory event will be held on Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at El Presidente in the Flatiron District on 30 West 24th St. El Presidente is the second restaurant location for Old Boy Dario Walos ’96, and this will be the fifth year that the Association has hosted this event.

Please click here to register for this event.


Please click here for a full list of upcoming events.

Past Events

Remembrance Day 


“We appreciate your service and are honoured by your presence,” said principal Jim Power at a Remembrance Day assembly on Nov. 11. Veteran guests included Michael Smith ’00, Fraser McKee ’43, John Gillespie ’44, James O’Reilly ’43, Edward Saunders ’43 and Douglas Scott ’47.

Reunion 2015

Reunion 2015 was a well-attended weekend of friendships that go the distance.
Various Toronto beverage establishments were alive with the very distinct sound of Old Boys reconnecting and rekindling lifelong friendships on Sept 25. It was the informal kick-off to a well-attended reunion weekend.

More than 300 Old Boys, ranging from the graduating classes of 1965 to 2010, attended a dinner in the Hewitt Athletic Centre at the Upper School after taking a trip back to their school days with a special assembly in Laidlaw Hall. Good times were had and remembered by all.

Class of 2006 memorial basketball tournament


Members of the Class of ’06 held their annual basketball tournament on Nov. 28 in memory of deceased classmate Tyler Mulcahy ’06, who loved basketball. Old Boys and other friends who participated were encouraged to make a charitable contribution toward Yorktown Family Services in Mulcahy’s name.

Class of 06 Basketball

Old Boy night out


Sixty Old Boys came out for a night of friendship, reconnecting and reminiscing at the Calvin Bar in Toronto’s Trump Tower on Nov. 5. Click here for photos of the event.

Read More »

December 2015 – Common Ties Mentorship

Common Ties Mentorship

The Common Ties Mentorship Program saw a big change at the beginning of September with the launch of a new mentor/mentee online platform.

The online database now sits with Firsthand, making it easier than ever to give next-generation talent the opportunity to learn and grow from your experience..

Have you registered with the new platform yet?

How often do you get calls asking for career advice or networking contacts? And how do you find the time? Why not make your mentoring truly count by connecting with your alma mater — a qualified community with a well-earned reputation for high-potential, talented and driven alumni.

No long volunteer training sessions are necessary. In just minutes you’ll be registered and an active member of our network.

Make your volunteer hours count by mentoring with our exceptional community of high-potential talent. After all, one of the most rewarding parts of climbing the career ladder is pulling up those behind you. Wouldn’t it be fun to say you taught the next Steve Jobs everything he knows? Please follow these simple instructions to register:

1. Visit http://commonties.evisors.com and click “Become a Mentor.”

2. If you have a LinkedIn profile, log in using your LinkedIn credentials and your profile will be imported. It’s that easy.

3. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, log in with your preferred email address and create your password. You’ll then be prompted to input your work experience, education and skills.

4. However you register, make sure to identify what services you’ll provide to mentees. Select from career conversations, resume critiques and/or mock interviews.

5. Set your preferred times for meetings and you’re done. Thank you for becoming a mentor.

If you’re interested in participating more actively with Common Ties, please contact associate director of alumni relations Jeff Ball directly by phone at 416-488-1125, ext. 3357 or by email at jball@ucc.on.ca.

Read More »

December 2015 – Annual fund

As we wrap up the calendar year, many Old Boys have decided to include the UCC Fund as a priority in their charitable giving.

They’ve directed their gift to areas such as financial assistance, boarding, facilities, arts and athletics.

Annual giving is a vital source of institutional momentum and the primary way that Old Boys, parents and friends can help sustain the special features that set the College apart. It also provides a margin of excellence. More than $1.6 million was raised last year.

As Old Boys who benefitted from a UCC education, our support of annual giving is especially important. The success of the UCC Fund reflects the spirit of shared experience and mutual encouragement, as each generation of Old Boys preserves the legacy of opportunity it received, strengthens it, and passes it on.

We hope you’ll participate in this year’s UCC Fund.

You can donate by:

  • calling us with your credit card number at 416-488-1125, ext. 2000;
  • mailing a cheque payable to Upper Canada College;
  • going online at www.ucc.on.ca/makeagift;
  • directing your gift through the United Way campaigns;
  • providing gifts of publicly traded securities (email jweedmark@ucc.on.ca for more information);
  • and doubling your impact with your gift to UCC and a matching contribution by your employer. Click here to see if your company has a matching gift program.

Please contact annual giving manager Joanne Weedmark at 416-488-1125, ext. 2000 or jweedmark@ucc.on.ca for further information on how to donate.

P.S. Get your donation in by Dec. 31 to receive a 2015 receipt for income tax purposes.

Thank you to all Old Boys who’ve made a gift this year.

Read More »