Northrop Frye is recognized as one of the most accomplished Canadian professors of his generation. Frye entered Victoria College in the University of Toronto in 1929, graduating in Honours Philosophy and English in 1933; he then completed the theological course at Emmanuel College, and was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1936. He attended Merton College, Oxford, receiving his Oxford M.A. in 1940. In 1939, he joined the Department of English at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, and remained there for the rest of his life. He served as Chancellor of Victoria from 1978 until his death in Toronto on January 23, 1991.
The establishment of the Norman Jewison Stream for Studies in the Arts and Society is inspired by the creativity and vision of renowned filmmaker, and Victoria University’s 12th chancellor, Norman Jewison. His work has continually elevated the public consciousness of pressing social issues. Jewison’s 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, about an African American detective investigating a murder in a racist Southern town, was a watershed moment for civil rights in the United States. His other movies, such as '..And Justice for All', 'A Soldier’s Story', 'The Hurricane' and 'The Statement', to name a few, further exemplify Jewison’s use of cinema to address issues of racism, prejudice and equality, and matters of truth and honour.
The Pearson stream is named in honour of former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson (1897-1972) whose efforts in creating the United Nations Emergency Force, the first modern peacekeeping force, were rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize (1957). Mr. Pearson completed undergraduate studies at Victoria College. Lester Pearson (Vic 1T9), was one of Canada's most internationally respected diplomats and prime ministers who helped redefine Canada's role in foreign affairs. The Pearson stream, focusing on the life of public service and responsible citizenship, draws upon historical and social scientific disciplines consistent with Pearson's interests.
The Ryerson stream is named after the first Victoria College Principal, Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882) who exemplified a remarkable dedication to education. He secured the College's royal charter in 1836, and became the founder of the public education system in Ontario. His legacy as a visionary and enthusiastic proponent of high-quality public education is an example to all students seeking an undergraduate education with the goal of entering the teaching profession.
The Arthur Schawlow Stream for Physical and Mathematical Sciences is named after the inventor of the laser, and Nobel Laureate, who graduated from Victoria College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1941. Dr. Arthur Leonard Schawlow (1921-1999) had an illustrious career in Physics, which culminated with the award of the Nobel Prize in 1981.
A pioneer in the medical sciences profession and a trail-blazer for change, Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen (1857-1943) was the first woman to receive a medical degree from a Canadian medical school (at the time, Victoria College granted medical degrees). Dr. Stowe-Gullen was a medical doctor, lecturer and suffragette who challenged popularly-held notions in the scientific community. The Stowe-Gullen stream aims to explore the ethical, social and political consequences of scientific advancement. Her groundbreaking efforts were the inspiration for the Vic One Stowe-Gullen stream.