February 2014

What's News

Forget winter, think Joe Cressy Memorial Golf Tournament

While this winter is the harshest in recent memory for folks in Ontario, and many other parts of North America, it won't last forever.

Spring is three weeks away and, in celebration of the 80th Joe Cressy Memorial Golf Tournament, tournament chair Gord Gibson ’83 invites all Old Boys, parents, past parents and friends of the College to come out and enjoy a day of golf, friendship and good times.


The tournament will be held on Wednesday, June 4 at Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinburg, Ont.

We're excited to be able to offer an early bird registration discount before April 1 and further discounts for young alumni who graduated from 1999 to 2013. The cost to play includes a barbecue lunch, golf cart, use of the driving range and dinner.

We encourage those who love UCC and golf to gather your friends and put together a foursome and play at one of the top public golf courses in Canada.

Please click here for more information and to register. Please contact Maria Karakoulas at mkarakoulas@ucc.on.ca if you're interested in sponsoring the event or a hole.



Nominate an outstanding UCC volunteer

Do you know a volunteer who has made a significant contribution to College life? If so, the UCC Association needs to know by Wednesday, March 5.

The Harold A.D. Roberts Circle Award is given annually in recognition of substantial contributions or special service by members of the UCC community, either through short-term involvement or long-term commitment. It recognizes those who go above and beyond the call of duty to significantly improve the UCC Association and the College. The awards will be presented at the annual volunteer reception on Tuesday, May 13.

This award complements the John D. Stevenson Award and expands the ability to recognize outstanding contributions to UCC. The 2013 recipients were Bob Medland ’65, Sandy Mingay, Piera Morra and Linda Pincott-Kitchen.

Nominations are welcome from all members of the College community in written format. They should include some information about the nature and time of the nominee's volunteer service and the reason for the nomination. Please click here to fill out our online nomination form or email Jody Jacobson at jjacobson@ucc.on.ca.

All nominations will be reviewed by the award committee and the recipient(s) will be selected by the Association Council. Nominations must be submitted by March 5.

Old Boy Dominic Atkinson '90 told the Toronto Star why he chose Upper Canada College for his son James' education

Parents do a lot of soul-searching when it comes to choosing the best school for their child. Old Boy Dominic Atkinson ’90 explained why he chose Upper Canada College for son James in a recent Toronto Star article.

UCC’s fantastic extracurricular options and strong academic reputation were key lures for Atkinson, as he explained in the article headlined “Values are priceless when it comes to schooling” in a special section on private schools on Feb. 22. James was in a gifted program at a good public school, but Atkinson thought his potential could be better tapped.

Atkinson praised the music program and the motivating, enriched student experience overall. He also mentioned UCC’s upgraded financial assistance program, which has both spiked the level of diversity and refreshed its image as a “wasp enclave.” Here’s an excerpt from Ron Johnson’s article:

“[My son] is a good student and he is more than happy to put in the work,” says Atkinson.

Although academics were key, the cancellation of extracurricular activities at his son’s public school also played a role in his decision.

“Last year especially, hockey was cancelled, other extras were cancelled, and it was really frustrating,” Atkinson explains. “A school like UCC has such fantastic extracurriculars, it just made it easier. It has a great hockey team; whatever interest a kid has, he can pursue. The music program at the school is fantastic, art, film, theatre, whatever it is, whatever you want to do, you can at the absolutely highest level.”

Atkinson recalls when he and his son visited the school last summer to meet with the music teacher.

“When the teacher talked to James about music, he realized he didn’t know anything,” says Atkinson. “So he said, ‘Here are some instruments’ and James tried a few. He ended up playing clarinet, but I just found it interesting. They really just want the kids to succeed.”

But Atkinson is quick to point out that UCC has changed over the past decades. Like many private schools, UCC has really ramped up its financial assistance program and, as a result, the school is far more diverse, defying the old wasp-enclave stereotypes of a bygone era. 

College Times digital collection now available online

Do you have fond but foggy memories of your time at Upper Canada College, but don't have time to research and clarify who was in your class, on your hockey team or teaching you algebra?

The College Times digital collection, generously sponsored by the leaving class of 1972, may be just what you need. It's easily accessible, features yearbooks dating from 1894 to 2013 and is intended for the use of Old Boys and students.

Visit the College Times online resource page to access your digital yearbook. You'll be prompted to log in to Bluenet using your unique name and password. Early editions aren't available digitally but may be viewed in person at the archives. Contact College archivist Jill Spellman for more information.

Please contact Samantha Kerbel if you're an Old Boy and don't have an account on Bluenet. Please email helpdesk@ucc.on.ca if you know your login but have misplaced your password. 

Dr. Catherine Zahn is appointed as new UCC governor

Dr. Catherine Zahn is the newest appointee to Upper Canada’s College’s board of governors.

Zahn is president and chief executive officer of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and a UCC past parent (Michael Zahn ’01 and William Zahn ’09).

“I’m extremely honoured to be involved once more with UCC,” says Zahn. “My sons benefitted enormously from their experience, and it’s time for me to give back and contribute to College life through this appointment.”

Zahn has been a driving force behind the transformation of Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. This includes CAMH’s ambitious redevelopment public education efforts to challenge the stigma attached to mental illness and addictions.

“Catherine’s appointment is a tremendous asset for the board of governors and, by extension, for the direction of the College and the boys’ experience,” says principal Jim Power.

Zahn was previously executive vice-president of clinical programs and practice at the University Health Network, where she held various senior leadership roles for 12 years. She's a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine.

“UCC is delighted to have Catherine on the board and looks forward to working with her to achieve the College’s strategic objectives and outcomes moving forward,” says board chair Andy Burgess.

2014 reunion activities will be better than ever

Reunion and Association Day activities will keep Old Boys busy and entertained on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27.

This is the reunion year for the graduating classes of 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Class presidents from those years, along with their planning committees, are hard at work on this year's activities.

Events kick off with class-specific evening events on Sept. 26. Association Day and the reunion dinner take place on campus on Sept. 27. This reunion isn't to be missed. It's an opportunity to catch up with classmates and revisit the old times you shared at UCC.

Visit us online for more information. See you in the fall.

Please contact alumni relations and Common Ties manager Lindsay Tarvit at ltarvit@ucc.on.ca if you're interested in getting involved with the planning of your reunion.

What's new with the Young Alumni Network 

The Young Alumni Network (YAN) has had a leadership change in the last six months and has a lot of momentum to build on.

Zach Schwartz ’05 has taken over as chair from Blair Guilfoyle ’99, who held the position for two years. Schwartz will work with Ryan Adams ’05, who will serve as events chair, and Gord Cheesbrough ’01, who will serve as communications chair. They'll make up the executive of YAN and work with a small group of other Old Boys spanning a 15-year age range.

With a refocus on giving back to the school, more communications will be developed to increase participation in the Crown Links Society. This society recognizes Old Boys who've cumulatively given $500 back to the school in their first 15 years out of UCC. To commemorate their inclusion, a set of crown cufflinks are presented to them at the "Old Boys Night Out" in the spring.

YAN co-hosted “Under the Rainbow: Gay Rights at Sochi 2014” with Branksome Hall and The Bishop Strachan School in January. The event was a panel discussion with Olympians Lucie LaRoche (UCC parent) and Martha Henderson (Branksome ’87), human rights lawyer Katherine Pollock and TSN producer Mike Farrell. The panel was moderated by Heather Wright, a reporter with CTV Barrie. We welcomed 25 Old Boys to the event, with 75 in attendance from all three schools. This is the second panel event hosted by YAN and plans are already being made for next year’s.

The annual Old Boys Night Out event will be held in early June again this year. The location and exact date are still being determined, but a save-the-date will be sent shortly.

Please contact alumni relations and Common Ties manager Lindsay Tarvit by phone at 416-488-1125, ext. 3357 or by email at ltarvit@ucc.on.ca if you're interested in further information regarding YAN or want to get more involved.

Registration for UCC summer camps is open

UCC summer day camps are celebrating their 36th year of outstanding summer camps for children aged four to 16.

The camps strive to offer young people exciting learning opportunities in a variety of disciplines. They concentrate on participation, cooperation and fun. Please visit here to register and find out more information.