Author, activist Barlow named Brescia Chancellor

Award-winning Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow has been named Chancellor of Brescia University College, the Board of Trustees announced today. Barlow will serve a three-year term in this honorary position, acting as an ambassador and inspirational leader for the Western affiliated college.

“Maude’s commitment to activism and dedication to women’s leadership initiatives are especially aligned with the values of Brescia’s foundresses, the Ursuline Sisters,” said Brescia Principal Susan Mumm. “Maude leads with wisdom, justice and compassion, inspiring others to respond to critical issues facing the world today. As Brescia embarks on our next century, we know Maude’s influence will help us continue to empower young women leaders.”

Barlow is the recipient of 14 honourary doctorates and numerous awards recognizing her commitment to social justice and environmental activism. She is the Honourary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, supporting a case for the human right to access clean water. She has written numerous books, including her latest, Whose Water is it Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands.

Barlow is Chair of the Board of the Washington, D.C.-based organization Food & Water Watch, and served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 and 2009.

“Maude’s accomplished career and unwavering commitment to social justice initiatives to improve the lives of others qualifies her as an ideal role model for Brescia’s students,” said Karen McKay, Chair of the Brescia Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled she has accepted the Chancellorship and welcome her as a valued member of the Brescia community.”

As Chancellor, Barlow will preside over Brescia’s Baccalaureate and Magisterial ceremonies and will support its mission of educating future women leaders.

As part of Brescia’s International Women’s Day celebrations, Barlow will be the keynote speaker at the annual Dr. Hanycz Leadership Lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5 in the St. James Building Auditorium at Brescia.

Barlow is the third chancellor in Brescia’s history, as she follows Justice Eileen Gillese, former Dean of Western Law, and inaugural Chancellor Joan Francolini to the position.