The University of King’s College welcomed Dr Kevin Lynch as its 14th chancellor at a formal installation ceremony on 10 September 2013. He succeeds Michael Meighen, who served as head of the King’s community for 12 years.
In his installation citation, public orator Dr Peter O’Brien drew parallels between Dr Lynch and the Sumerian king Gilgamesh: "The Honourable Kevin Lynch, whom we welcome today as chancellor, is a man who by his learning, experience, and service has exemplified the wisdom and humanity of ancient Sumeria in their modern Canadian, and indeed, global, incarnations."
Born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Dr Lynch took an honours degree in economics at Mount Allison University, travelled to the University of Manchester as a Commonwealth scholar where he pursued a master’s degree in the same subject, and then returned to Canada to study for his PhD at McMaster University.
He began his career in 1976 as an economist with the Bank of Canada and held many positions in the Government of Canada, including deputy minister of Finance and deputy minister of Industry. In 2006 he was appointed Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet, and head of the Public Service of Canada. While in government, Dr Lynch made his mark in the higher education arena, including making changes to framework policies and new approaches to research that gave rise to the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Canada Research Chairs.
Dr Lynch served as executive director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, in 2005-06. In 2010 he was appointed vice-chair of BMO Financial Group. He also serves on many boards of governors, is a trustee of the Killam Trusts, and currently chairs the board of governors at the University of Waterloo and the Ditchley Foundation of Canada. Dr Lynch holds seven honorary degrees from Canadian universities.
"In taking up his new role at the University of King’s College," said Dr O’Brien in the conclusion to his citation, "Dr Lynch is, like Gilgamesh, like the Greek Odysseus, and like Plato’s philosopher king, coming home. In the literal sense, he is returning to his native province, where he and his wife Karen share a house on the coast. In the mythical–and therefore more real–sense, he returns in the spirit of service to a university that has long nurtured that selfsame spirit in its citizen scholars. We welcome him, proud of our past and, with him as shepherd, hopeful for the future."