A warm invitation went out on October 20th to Glendon students, faculty and staff. Distinguished Fellow and former federal cabinet minister David Collenette invited the community to drop by his office in York Hall to view his historic photo collection and other political memorabilia, and to chat with him in an informal setting.
The response to this invitation was overwhelming and people felt very comfortable approaching him with questions or just friendly chat. The framed photos cover Collenette’s office walls and chronicle the times and events that his political career has spanned so far. Pictures show him with the Queen, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chrétien, and many other prominent politicians and public figures. Entering this room is like moving into a different time zone with other terms of reference. But there is no pretence of status or hierarchy. One of the prized possessions Collenette displays is his armchair from the House of Commons. It was a farewell gift from his parliamentary staff and it has a prominent place in his office. Visitors enjoyed the opportunity of being photographed while sitting in it – no doubt a great addition to many family photo albums.
Collenette’s presence on campus provides enrichment to the Glendon experience in a number of ways: academically, since he is teaching classes in the Political Science Department, as well as organizing a symposium on international security. Just as importantly, as a Glendon grad he is a role model, an outstanding example of the value of a Glendon education and a direct link to public affairs, one of the founding aspirations of Glendon’s mandate.
By Glendon Communications Officer Marika Kemeny