Test out UPEI’s new website!
Our new UPEI.ca is launching soon. Get a sneak peek now with this demo version.

Hon. Catherine Callbeck to be installed as UPEI’s ninth Chancellor

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Honourable Catherine Callbeck will be installed as the ninth Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island on Saturday, September 29. Dr. Callbeck is a retired business leader and senator, and former premier of the province of Prince Edward Island. The native of Central Bedeque, PEI, was unanimously elected to the volunteer position earlier this year by UPEI’s Board of Governors.

As Chancellor, Callbeck will preside over the University’s Convocation ceremonies each spring, conferring degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

Callbeck has had a long and active involvement in business, politics, and charitable and public service groups at all levels, and has received many honours for her contributions.

She received her early education in Central Bedeque and Summerside, and went on to earn commerce and education degrees Mount Allison University and Dalhousie University respectively. After a period of teaching, Callbeck returned to PEI where she became involved with her family’s business—Callbeck's Limited and Callbeck's Furniture.

She was the second woman ever elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island and, from 1974-78, served as the first female Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Disabled, and Minister Responsible for Non-Status Indians. In 1978 she left politics and returned to her family’s business.

In 1988, she re-entered politics, this time on the federal level. She was the first woman elected as the Member of Parliament for Malpeque, making her the second woman ever to be elected to the House of Commons from PEI. She returned to provincial politics in 1993 when she was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of PEI, and soon after, became the first woman in Canada to be elected as premier of a province. In 1997, she was called to the Senate of Canada where she served until her retirement in July 2014.

Callbeck was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 and Order of PEI in 2017 and holds honorary doctor of laws degrees from both Mount Allison University (1996) and the University of Prince Edward Island (2015).

Callbeck replaces UPEI’s eighth chancellor Dr. Don McDougall. She is the second woman to hold the post; Doris H. Anderson was UPEI’s first female University Chancellor from 1992–96.

UPEI’s Chancellors and their installation dates
• The Honourable Thane A. Campbell, CC, MA, LLD – May 14, 1970
• Gustave Gingras, CC, MD, FRSA, LLD, FRCP(c) – May 12, 1974
• David Macdonald Stewart, OC, CStJ, KLJ, FRSA, FHS(c), LLD, DBA – October 1, 1982
• The Honourable Gordon L. Bennett, OC, BSc, MSc, LLD, DCL – March 9, 1985
• Doris H. Anderson, CC, BA, LLD – October 24, 1992
• Norman Webster (chancellor emeritus), CM, BA, MA, DCL – November 2, 1996
• William (Bill) Andrew, DipEng, BEng – March 6, 2005
• Donald (Don) McDougall, BA, MBA, LLD – March 30, 2014

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.


Nicole Phillips
Marketing and Communications
(902) 566-0947
Contact UPEI