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At Convocation on Nov. 17, Concordia will recognize Hilary Weston with an honorary doctorate to celebrate her long and storied career as a public servant, benevolent philanthropist and generous volunteer.
Weston served as the 26th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. Prior to her appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Weston had a career in business and in the fashion industry, including 10 years as Deputy Chair of the Board of Holt Renfrew, a Canadian tradition that she helped revitalize by promoting Canadian designers and merchandise.
As the queen’s representative in Ontario, Weston was responsible for the Crown’s provincial constitutional and representational roles. While Lieutenant Governor, Weston was integral to supporting causes and groups related to women’s issues, volunteers and youth. She further displayed her kind nature by donating her annual salary to provide business internships and job training for 88 students, and supported organizations helping street youth.
Through her volunteer and charity work, Weston has supported cultural projects, and research into breast cancer and AIDS. In 1979, Weston founded the Ireland Fund of Canada and continues as honorary patron of the non-partisan, non-denominational organization that funds community projects in Ireland to promote peace.
Weston was appointed a Member in the Order of Canada in 2003, received the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal and was invested as Dame of Justice in the Venerable Order of St. John in 1997. She also served as the first Chancellor of the Order of Ontario and received the honour in 2001.
Since leaving public office, Weston has adopted the role as Chair of the Renaissance ROM Campaign – a program aiming to transform Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum through the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian cultural history. As well, Weston continues to serve as patron of several organizations helping to address important social issues, such as the Hospice Association of Ontario, the Landmine Survivors Network and the Ontario March of Dimes.