U of T and the UTAA honour Margaret McCain for being 'a champion of children and early childhood education'
University of Toronto, November 1, 2021
Excerpt: "The Honourable Margaret L.A. Norrie McCain (BSc in Social Work 1955, Hon LLD 1996, Hon DLitt 2004), a champion of strong families and child development, is the 2021 recipient of the Rose Wolfe Distinguished Alumni Award. McCain, a University of Toronto alumna and long-time volunteer with the University, has worked for almost 25 years as a national advocate for early childhood education.
“On behalf of the University of Toronto community, I am delighted to congratulate the Honourable Margaret McCain on receiving the Rose Wolfe Award,” says U of T President Meric Gertler. “Through her lifetime of public service, philanthropy and volunteer leadership at U of T and across the country, Dr. McCain has made a major difference for the better in the lives of countless children and others in our society.”
The Rose Wolfe Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes exceptional alumni who demonstrate outstanding achievement in their professional lives, dedication to civic, charitable, and social causes, and extraordinary service to the University of Toronto. The award is named for Dr. Rose Wolfe (BA 1938 UC, Dip. Social Work 1939, LLD Hon. 1998) who served as Chancellor of the University of Toronto from 1991 to 1997. She was an exemplary volunteer for the University she loved dearly.
“Margaret McCain embodies the values and principles championed by Rose Wolfe and the highest ideals of the University of Toronto,” says Dr. Rose Patten, Chancellor of U of T and chair of the Rose Wolfe Award selection committee. “Her extraordinary record of service to the University and to Canada is an inspiration to us all, and her tireless advocacy for early childhood education will make an impact for generations to come.”
While Margaret McCain is known today as one of Canada’s leading child advocates, she has also been active throughout her life in organizations that promote women’s rights, social equality, education, and the arts. In New Brunswick, she was a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate family violence through public education and research. McCain chaired the Foundation and established the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research.
“It’s truly an honour to receive this award,” says McCain. “I’ve always been an admirer of Rose Wolfe, and I’ve always believed in the power of higher education. U of T is the best school in Canada and its faculty of social work is among the best in the world. It’s been awe-inspiring to see how far U of T has come since I was a student here. The students and faculty of today never fail to inspire me, and I want to thank U of T and the UTAA for this honour.”"