TORONTO, ONTARIO – Chris Whitaker, the former President and CEO of Humber College, was recognized with the Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of contributions to Ontario’s post-secondary sector. Whitaker led Humber College for ten years, retiring in 2022.  

“While there have been many highlights during my career in post-secondary education, I am most grateful for the opportunity to have had an impact on the lives and educational journey of learners,” said Whitaker. “I am proud of their accomplishments and the role my extraordinary colleagues played in supporting their success.” 

 During his Humber tenure, the College experienced unprecedented enrolment growth of approximately 40 per cent. Other achievements include: 

  •  Development and implementation of Humber’s first institutional Academic Plan and Digital Campus Plan; 
  • Establishment of Humber’s Faculty model and the Centres of Innovation Network; 
  • Development and launch of the Humber International Graduate School in downtown Toronto; 
  • Launch of Unlimited, the College’s first major fundraising campaign; 
  • Creation of countless new programs, including Humber’s first engineering degrees and stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing; 
  • Strengthening Humber’s financial position, building critical infrastructure and innovative system collaborations, and championing sustainability; 
  • Implementing new approaches to continuous professional learning, real estate education and corporate training. 

 “Chris held several roles within the Ontario college system before becoming President which gave him a unique perspective. Across the sector, he was known for breaking down silos within an organization and generating collaboration and trust among colleagues,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, president and CEO, Humber College. “From professor to president, he set the foundation at Humber and left behind a legacy of innovative partnerships, diverse and flexible academic offerings, and spaces and services that put students first.”  

 Whitaker’s legacy is seen across Humber’s campuses. He oversaw the establishment of the College’s Learning Resource Centre at North Campus, the Welcome Centre at Lakeshore Campus, and the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation. His forward-thinking approach to sustainability also saw Humber become a leader in that field with a Fairtrade Campus designation, and Passive House designation at the North Campus, to name a few.  

 Under Whitaker’s leadership, social and cultural awareness was advanced at Humber and across the Ontario College system. Humber was among the first colleges to sign the Okanagan Charter, Indigenous Learning Protocol and the Black North Initiative. During his presidency, Humber launched its Indigenous Education Plan and Equity Diversity and Inclusion Framework and Strategy and installed Indigenous Cultural Markers at the North and Lakeshore Campuses. 

 Prior to joining Humber, Whitaker served as President and CEO at St. Lawrence College. 

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Aaron Rathbone 
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Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning | 647.231.3947