UPEI announces the Honourable Diane Griffin as Chancellor-Elect

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Retired senator and UPEI alumna the Hon. Diane F. Griffin will become UPEI's 10th chancellor.

The Honourable Diane Griffin, alumna, honorary degree recipient, and retired senator, has been unanimously elected as the 10th Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island for a four-year term. An installation ceremony will be held early in 2024.

The University Chancellor is a volunteer, titular role that presides over convocations and confers degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

“It is an honour to officially announce the Honourable Diane Griffin as the University’s Chancellor-Elect,” said interim UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Greg Keefe. “The unanimous decision and positive comments regarding Dr. Griffin’s leadership experience, reputation, and dedication to the University are clearly indicative of the high esteem in which many hold her. I congratulate Diane on her new role as Chancellor and thank her sincerely for her commitment to UPEI during this important time in our history.”  

Dr. Keefe chaired the Chancellor Electoral Committee, which is made up of 12 members appointed by the University Senate and 12 members appointed by the Board of Governors, including Chair Shannon MacDonald.

“UPEI will benefit greatly from Dr. Griffin’s vision and inspiring leadership,” said MacDonald. “Diane’s roles in the community are well known, and I thank her for committing to share her time, wisdom, and generous spirit with the University in this meaningful role for the coming years. Congratulations!”

Griffin, who resides in Stratford, PEI, has a long and active involvement in public service, and charitable and public service groups at all levels. She is currently the chair of Health PEI, the health authority responsible for the delivery of publicly funded health services in Prince Edward Island. She spent five years representing Prince Edward Island in the Senate of Canada from 2016 until 2022, and has served on and chaired many local, regional and national boards and committees over an extended career. She has worked at all three levels of government, serving as a town councillor for the Town of Stratford from 2006 until 2016. Prior to serving as a town councillor, Griffin served as a deputy minister for Fisheries and Environment for the Government of Prince Edward Island.

A recipient of the Governor General’s Conservation Award and the Order of PEI, Griffin is known across the country as an environmental and conservation activist. She worked with the Prince Edward Island Nature Trust, was the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s program manager for PEI, and served on national boards and advisory groups such as Nature Canada. She is a graduate of UPEI (BEd ’73) and Saint Dunstan’s University (BSc ’69), and received an honorary Doctor of Laws from UPEI in 2013.

Griffin is passionate about literacy, history, agriculture, birdwatching, and preserving and protecting the environment, and is the recipient of many environmental awards. She has lectured at several universities including UPEI; has published several papers; and has presented and been consulted on a wide range of topics including agricultural and trade policies, eco-economics, national forest strategy, natural heritage, and protection and conservation.

“This great opportunity—to serve as Chancellor—was unexpected. I am so very honoured to serve my alma mater in this way,” said Chancellor-Elect Griffin. “Not only am I committed to fulfilling the ceremonial aspects of the role, but I also hope to be an excellent ambassador for UPEI, reflect our values, and contribute to advancing the University’s mission in meaningful ways. At this stage of my life, it’s all about how I can make an impact and support UPEI’s wonderful community of students, staff, faculty, and alumni.”

Griffin will replace the University’s ninth chancellor, the Honourable Catherine Callbeck, who was installed in 2018 and whose extended term ended in June 2023. Dr. Griffin is the third 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 Honourable Catherine Callbeck, CM, OPEI, BComm, BEd, LLD – September 29, 2018

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