Reading Time: 2 minutes

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, recently confirmed that her office has granted viceregal patronage to Pearson College UWC.

The granting of patronage by the Canadian Head of State is a longstanding practice that aligns with the Governor General’s role in promoting national identity by supporting and encouraging Canadian values, diversity, inclusion, culture and knowledge. The Governor General traditionally supports associations and organizations for their outstanding contributions to society and that, like Pearson, have objectives aligned with the role and responsibilities of the here office, are national in scope and “have a solid record of achievement with programs implemented on an annual basis.”

As a 1982 graduate of UWC Atlantic in Wales, the multilingual Mme. Payette is very familiar with the mission and values of both the school and the movement. She also served as a member of the volunteer Board of Directors of Pearson and, in her previous career as an astronaut, honoured the then-upcoming 50th anniversary of the UWC in 2009 by taking the UWC flag into space on a mission to the International Space Station.

As President and Head of College Désirée McGraw, said upon her appointment, “Mme. Payette reflects the very best of Canada and embodies the values of the UWC movement including service to the community, intercultural understanding and challenging one’s self. We are proud that she began her journey of leadership and accomplishment at our sister UWC Atlantic College and continues to this day to support the UWC mission.”

As a constitutional monarchy, the duties of Head of State (Governor General) and head of government (Prime Minister) are distinct in Canada. The governor general exercises the powers and responsibilities of the Head of State, as Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Canada and, as such, is non-partisan and apolitical.