U of T welcomes our first cohort of Pearson Scholars

October 24, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


This afternoon, along with all of my colleagues
from across the university, we celebrate you: The 35 extraordinary recipients of the 2017
Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship program. I am from Jamaica. I hail from San Francisco. I was born and raised in Nigeria. Toronto is arguably the world’s most multicultural
urban region, where fully one half of the people who live here were born outside of
this country. Just ponder that for a second: 50% of the
people who live here were born outside of Canada. I can tell you there is no other city region
on the face of the Earth that has that kind of diversity. Coming from San Francisco, I knew that I wanted
to live in another cosmopolitan, multicultural city, and of course Toronto fit the bill perfectly. These students who are here as part of the
first cohort of the Lester B. Pearson Scholarship are truly fantastic. I knew that after being exposed to the American
viewpoint on international relations my whole life, I wanted a change of perspective. They are opinionated, they are rigorous, they
are willing to learn, they are curious… they are the kinds of students that we at
the university just love to work with. Last year, I visited some top high schools
in Shanghai, where we do a lot of recruiting of fantastic students. And in the Q&A session, a student asked me
straight up, why she should come to U of T and study here instead of studying at one
of China’s great universities. So I said to her, well, by coming to U of T,
you can study with the world.