Lynton “Red” Wilson, B.A., M.A., LL.D; Chairman, The Wilson Foundation; Chancellor Emeritus, McMaster University; and Chancellor, Order of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. His support for the establishment of this leadership award is informed by his career in business, public service, and philanthropy.
Founder of The Wilson Leadership Scholar Award
Lynton “Red” Wilson ’62 ’95 (honorary) has long been one of McMaster’s most active and high profile volunteers. He has served on the University’s Board of Governors, chaired the Changing Tomorrow Today Campaign, served on the campaign cabinet executive for The Campaign for McMaster University and served two terms as the University’s chancellor.
He is also one of McMaster’s most generous and diversely interested philanthropists. He created bursaries for student-athletes and gave one of the largest gifts to the Athletics & Recreation Centre and Stadium campaign. His gift of $3.5 million established the Wilson Institute in Canadian History and the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History. He also helped establish the L.R. Wilson/Bell Canada Chair in Data Communications. In 2007, he announced a gift of $10 million in support of a new facility for the faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences. L.R. Wilson Hall, currently under construction, is named in his honour.
Over the course of five decades, Dr. Wilson established storied careers in both public service and the private sector. His career began in the Canadian public service as a foreign service officer with the federal Department of Trade and Commerce, included appointments at the Canadian embassies in Austria and Japan, within the Ministry of State, Science and Technology and as deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Industry and Tourism. In the private sector, he was president and CEO of Redpath Industries followed by his appointment as president and chief executive officer, then chairman, of BCE Inc. He has served as a director on more than 50 corporate boards.
Dr. Wilson served on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Public Service from 2006-2010 and chaired the Government of Canada’s Competition Policy Review from 2007-2008. He also chaired the federal government’s Team Canada Inc. Advisory Board and was a member of ITAC during the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiations. In 1999, he co-founded the Historica Foundation of Canada, which is dedicated to improving Canadians’ appreciation for our compelling history.
He is an officer of the Order of Canada, Chancellor of the Order of the Business Hall of Fame, was awarded the Public Policy Forum’s Distinguished Service to Canada Award and is the 2014 recipient of the Vanier Medal, honouring his contributions to the public service in Canada. He has received honorary degrees from six Canadian universities, including McMaster.
Dr. Wilson, a leader who excels in driving change, innovation and growth, is an exemplary role model for young Canadians.
“My post-graduation career decision was the direct result of mentoring advice from two of my McMaster professors. It’s a pleasure to support dedicated mentorship and leadership opportunities for a new generation of exceptional McMaster students who are ready to forge their own paths.”
— Lynton "Red" Wilson