Their professional backgrounds maybe very different, but William Crothers and John Switzer both share a passion for public service – which they bring to U of T’s senior governing body, Governing Council. Their three-year terms as alumni representatives began in July.
Established in 1971, Governing Council is responsible for overseeing the academic, business and student affairs of the university, and consists of students, administrative staff, alumni, government appointees and teaching staff.
Over the last two decades, Crothers has served on boards of directors for a variety of causes and as a trustee for the York Region District School Board. Crothers says he is approaching his Governing Council responsibilities with an open mind: “I want to do whatever I can – I’m not going in with an agenda,” he explains.
Crothers sees his term on council as a way to give back to the institution that fostered his academic and athletic careers. He graduated with a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1963 and trained at the university as a middle-distance runner, eventually running 800 metres to a silver medal in Tokyo’s 1964 Games. Crothers and his wife settled in Markham, Ontario, where he ran a successful pharmacy until his retirement in 1988.
Switzer, too, sees serving on Governing Council as a way of giving back to his alma mater. He graduated from University of Toronto Mississauga in 1970 with a BA in economics and math, and pursued a career in the financial industry. A few years later, Switzer started volunteering on committees for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and the United Church of Canada. Since 1996, he has also been a Principal’s Advisory Council member at University of Toronto Mississauga.
Switzer initially developed an interest in participating on Governing Council 15 years ago. When he retired last fall, he finally felt he had the time to devote to this commitment. Switzer says he is “over the moon” about the opportunity to help U of T “establish new sustainable sources of funding” through community partnerships and alumni.
Governing Council’s six other alumni governors are Stefan Larson, Timothy Reid, Stephen Smith, Maureen Somerville, John Stewart and Elizabeth Vosburgh. Read more about them at www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca.
Nominations for three alumni governor seats will open in January 2010. Anyone interested in submitting a nomination can contact the Secretary of the College of Electors at (416) 978-6576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.