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UCC hosts the Synapse Conference, founded by Year 12 UCC student Surya Pandiaraju

On April 24, UCC hosted more than 150 high school students from across the GTA for the Synapse Conference on mental health and neuroscience.

The conference’s four goals were to decrease the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health and illness; elucidate the connection between neuroscience and mental health; educate Toronto teens on cutting-edge neuroscience research; and allow students to meet researchers and other peers in a community of like-minded individuals.

Speakers Dr. Jeff Daskalakis (father of Taso Daskalakis ’17), Dr. Brandon Walters, Dr. John Cunningham and Pete “Furious Pete” Czerwinski all talked about mental health and the brain on both a personal and neuroscientific level. At workshops hosted by representatives from the national mental health network Jack.org and post-secondary students, participants engaged and reflected on mental health awareness in their communities and assessed what could be done to improve it moving forward.

“Having been exposed to a variety of messages about mental health awareness over my time at UCC, I strongly feel that stories of personal encounters with mental illness resonated with my peers and me the most,” said Year 12 student Surya Pandiaraju, who founded the conference and co-chaired it with University of Toronto Schools student Rachel Sava.

Thank you to the following UCC community members for generously supporting this initiative:

Lead Sponsor
Dan Andreae ’72

Speaker Sponsor
Members of the Class of 1975

Event Sponsors
Kevin and Melanie McCreadie
Schwartz Family: David, Barbara and Zachary ’05


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Dr. Jean Twenge kicks off inaugural Power Speaker Series and speaks at annual Parent Luncheon

Named in honour of Jim Power, UCC’s 18th principal, the inaugural Power Speakers Series on May 3 in Weston Hall featured smartphone-use guru Dr. Jean Twenge. The professor of psychology at San Diego State University led a data-driven presentation called “iGen: The Smart Phone Generation”, comparing three decades of generational differences. Twenge proposes that smartphone use strongly correlates with increased unhappiness and a lack of preparedness for adulthood.

Twenge started her talk by sharing an anecdote about a conversation she had with her 11-year-old, who was complaining that she was the only person in her class who didn’t have a smartphone. Twenge noted that this was very likely true, as the current average age for getting one’s first smartphone is, surprisingly, 10.

Over the last 20 years, Twenge showed, teenage behaviours such as driving, dating, drinking, and having part-time jobs plummeted around 2010. As well, indicators of unhappiness and anxiety, such as getting fewer than seven hours sleep and lack of face-to-face interaction with friends and family, have risen steadily in the same time period. The common factor? Around 2010, smartphones became ubiquitous.

Twenge noted that the news is not entirely dire — and encouraged parents to live by the motto of making smartphones a tool they use, not a tool that uses them. She suggested some leisurely screen time was good for teens — up to two hours per day. But she also urged parents to enforce limits like banning smartphones in bedrooms, and insisting that all phones be put away one hour before bedtime.

At the annual Parent Luncheon on May 4, Twenge spoke on the same theme. Both events were sponsored by the Prep Parents’ and Parents’ Organizations.


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Common Ties continues to provide programming, events, and irreplaceable connections

The Common Ties Advisory Committee steers UCC’s Common Ties mentorship program to ensure it meets the needs of all constituents and continues to support the annual Common Ties events and programming. The current committee chair is Michael Carmichael ’97.

It’s been a busy year for Common Ties as we embarked on adding a new career path — entrepreneurship — which complements our already existing finance, legal and real estate events.  On June 6, we held the inaugural entrepreneurship networking event where Christian Lassonde ’93 discussed the risks, rewards, challenges and benefits of entrepreneurship through the lens of both a founder and venture capitalist. We’re anticipating hosting more events about emerging and growing fields as we look to future trends in the business world.

While we live in a time of unprecedented access to people and opportunities through online networks, Common Ties offers the irreplaceable connection that comes from a one-on-one interaction with someone who shares your values and can relate to your experiences. There are many ways to get involved:

  • Become a Mentee or Mentor: Click here to register for UCC’s alumni mentoring online platform.
  • Join the UCC Alumni LinkedIn Group.
  • For more information or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Manager of Alumni Relations and Common Ties Samantha Kerbel at skerbel@ucc.on.ca.

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84th Joe Cressy Memorial Golf Tournament was on par

The 84th Joe Cressy Memorial Golf Tournament held on Thursday, May 31 was an absolutely amazing event. Under the guidance of co-chairs Charlie Deeks ’00 and Colin Deeks ’02, 94 Old Boys, parents, past parents and friends of Upper Canada College came out for great company, perfect weather and a challenging course, not to mention a whole lot of fun.

A big thank you to our sponsors – you can see the complete list here. Without them, we wouldn’t have had such a successful event.

If you’re interested in chairing the Cressy tournament for 2019, please contact Events Manager Maria Karakoulas at mkarakoulas@ucc.on.ca.


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Young Alumni Network hosts another lively Young Old Boys Night Out

On Wednesday, June 13, more than 130 Young Old Boys from the Classes of 2003-2017 gathered at Leña Restaurante for the annual Young Old Boys Night Out, hosted by the Young Alumni Network (YAN) and generously sponsored by Andrew Oliver ’02 and Tom’s Place. This is the signature event that closes out our annual young alumni programming. YAN is busy planning the roster of events for the next school year, including a new softball game for young alumni on Association Day (Sept 29, 2018), our speaker series in the late fall, and wing night in late December for the classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and our newest Old Boys who graduated on May 22.

For more information about the Young Alumni Network or if you’d like to get involved, please contact Manager of Alumni Relations Samantha Kerbel at skerbel@ucc.on.ca.


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It’s time for Old Times

Watch your mailbox for the latest issue of Old Times. The theme is “Design Thinking” and we’re saluting our alumni who work in architecture, product design and more. Design Thinking is an important part of our Strategic Directions as we nurture the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Watch for articles about:

  • Alexis Rivas ’11, who’s working to solve the housing shortage in Los Angeles with seriously small homes.
  • A reunion of our Olympic and World Champion rowers as they take on the Head of the Charles Regatta — in their 50s.
  • The celebration of some incredible Old Boy friendships, including Jack Schneider ’65 and his class, plus Chris Cruz ’02 and Adrian de Valois-Franklin ’02, boarding roomies who kept it going.

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Upcoming Events

September 28 & 29
Reunion Weekend, celebrating the following years:
1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013

Saturday September 29
Association Day 2018
9a.m. – 4 p.m., Upper Canada College

Friday October 12
Battle of the Blues
7:00 p.m., Varsity Stadium, U of T

Friday October 19
Boston Branch Reception:
6-8 p.m., The Harvard Club of Boston

Thursday October 25
London, ON Branch Reception:
6-8 p.m., The Wave, Western University

Thursday November 8
Remembrance Day Ceremony:
8:30 a.m., Prep School, 10:30 a.m., Upper School

Wednesday November 21
Kingston Branch Reception:
6-8 p.m., The University Club at Queen’s

Thursday November 22
Montreal Branch Reception:
6-8 p.m., Le Mount Stephen


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Too much unused LEGO kicking around? Donate it to our LEGO Drive for Association Day!

LEGO is great, until it’s just one more thing gathering dust in your closet. Please consider donating it to our A-Day LEGO drive.

In honour of this year’s “Makers and Innovators” theme at A-Day, we’re giving tours of the new design lab at the Upper School, and building a whole lot of LEGO stuff —including clock towers! — on the Avenue on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Drop off your LEGO any time over the summer in the designated box in the Upper School foyer. All LEGO will be donated to Horizons to share with our partner schools after the big day.


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Michael Wilson ’55 and Max Bruce ’05 to receive Old Boys of Distinction Awards; Jill Adolphe to receive John D. Stevenson Award

It’s a point of pride that Upper Canada College has graduated Old Boys of distinction who’ve made their mark on every facet of public life for close to 200 years.

The UCC Association will officially unveil its new alumni recognition program, the inaugural “Old Boy of Distinction” and “Young Old Boy of Distinction” awards, at Founder’s Dinner on Monday, Feb. 12.

The Hon. Michael Wilson ’55 and Max Bruce ’05 will be the first recipients. Wilson will also deliver the evening’s keynote address.

Michael Wilson“Michael H. Wilson is a distinguished Old Boy who has contributed greatly to his school, community and country,” says Ed Bracht ’55, UCC class president and head of the peer group that nominated Wilson.

“Michael certainly has exemplified the principles and values of the College throughout his life. His father, Harry Wilson ’22, former chair of the UCC Board of Governors from 1962 to 1967, would have been very proud of him.”

Wilson is chairman of Barclays Capital Canada, a former chairman of UBS Canada and a Companion of the Order of Canada. In the political realm he was, most recently, Canadian ambassador to the United States. He was minister for international trade, minister of industry, science and technology, and minister of finance before that.

After retiring from Washington, he became chancellor at Trinity College and then the University of Toronto. That appointment ends this year. Among many volunteer activities, he’s most closely associated with his outstanding work on the issue of mental illness, with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, as vice-chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and as chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Wilson has honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, York University, Trinity College at the University of Toronto and an honorary doctorate from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Max BruceBruce is an explosives technician with York Regional Police. After joining the force in 2010 as a front line uniform officer, he worked his way up to the emergency response unit, where he’s responsible for high-risk search warrants, weapons calls, hostage rescue and terrorism response.

Bruce was designated one of nine members of the explosives disposal unit last year. He received the Lightning Bolt Award for saving a man’s life while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

“What has impressed me about Max since his time at UCC is his willingness to follow his own path,” says university counselling director Katherine Ridout in her nomination.

Bruce combines his career with service work with Ontario Special Olympians and the Southlake Regional Hospital in Newmarket, Ont. He frequently mentors young people who are interested in a police career and coaches football in and outside of the UCC community.

“His gentleness and caring personality is equalled, if not surpassed, by his strengths — his physical strength, but more importantly his strength of character,” says Bruce’s godfather, Vahan Kololian ’73.

Jill Adolphe to receive John D. Stevenson Award

Capping off more than a decade of volunteer service to UCC, Jill Adolphe has earned the 2017-18 John D. Stevenson Award. She was nominated by 20 peers who unanimously agreed that everyone in the UCC community benefits from her hard work.

The Parents’ Organization’s co-vice-president is also the incoming PO co-president for 2018-19. The mother to twins Nicholas and Alexander ’17 and Christopher ’20’s dedication to the College has been an inspiration to many for 11 years.

“Volunteering at the College has been a privilege,” says Adolphe. “It has provided me the opportunity to: partner jillwith fellow parents, many of whom I am fortunate to call my friends; collaborate with school administration and staff; and engage with students on initiatives focused on enhancing the overall student experience for the boys.”

Adolphe has been both a form and year representative, a team parent, and a committee member for the Prep Parents’ Organization, PO, the Blue Ties Gala and Grandparents’ Day. She was Association Day committee co-chair twice and both vice-chair and chair of the PPO. Under her leadership, the Prep locker rooms and entrance hallways received a long-awaited facelifts. She introduced and chaired the Blue Ties Breakfast and co-chaired the inaugural Grade 7 graduation committee at the Prep. She was a member of Association Council for six years.

“She’s a true leader who always has a smile and is ready to take on any challenge brought her way,” say her nomination. “No volunteer job is too big or too challenging for her.”

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. Last year’s winner was Louden Owen ’76. Past parent winners have included Piera Morra and Holly Miklas.

Please register at events.ucc.on.ca to join us at Founder’s Dinner.


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