Michael Wilson, the University of Toronto’s 33rd chancellor—who served as Canada’s minister of finance and ambassador to the United States—has passed away at 81 years old.

In a public statement U of T President Meric Gertler said, “The University of Toronto deeply mourns the loss of our Chancellor Emeritus, the Honourable Michael Wilson. A proud and accomplished Commerce alumnus and a trinity grad, he was our tireless advocate and our global ambassador.”

As a Trinity College alumnus, Wilson graduated in 1959 with a degree in commerce. He was elected to Parliament in the late 1970s and, beginning in 1984, served seven years as finance minister. He was named Canada’s ambassador to the United States in 2006.

“A ‘triathlete’ par excellence—in public office, business, and volunteer work, he was a great Canadian who improved the lives of so many,” continued Gertler. “From spearheading public policy of the highest significance to publicly confronting the challenge of mental illness, Michael Wilson was a true champion.”

In 2015, Wilson became the chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. His advocacy efforts increased when his son, Cameron, took his own life after suffering from depression.

“On behalf of the entire University of Toronto community, I extend heartfelt condolences to Michael’s beloved wife, Margie, and their family at this sad and difficult time. Thank you for sharing your husband, father and grandfather with us so generously.”

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