Toronto lawyer and community leader Noella Milne serves as an ambassador for the college by sharing its mission and vision for the future and promoting its vital position in the community. An equally important part of her role involves celebrating student success by presiding over convocation ceremonies, conferring degrees, diplomas and certificates to our graduates.
Milne began her three-year term as George Brown College Chancellor on May 3, 2019. She succeeds Sally Horsfall Eaton, who served as the first Chancellor of George Brown and of an Ontario college.
“It’s such a great opportunity. It’s a gift to me,” Milne says of her role. “I feel I can be of use to the students and hopefully they can identify with me as a young immigrant who came to a country with nothing and worked myself into a role.”
An inspiring story
Mine’s story, her passion and drive certainly resonate with many of our students. She immigrated to Canada from Mumbai, India, alone, at the age of 17. She worked days and attended classes in the evenings to earn a college diploma and then a university degree. Her hard work led her to law school and ultimately to her role as senior partner at Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG).
While her professional achievements are impressive, so too are her efforts in the community. Milne serves as a champion for youth as an active volunteer and mentor. (See a list of Ms. Milne’s professional and community achievements below.)
Milne’s career and community efforts reflect a commitment to the mission and values of George Brown, and she has a deep connection to the college.
Milne’s history working with George Brown College
Milne served consecutive terms on the Board of Governors (2003-2009) and the Foundation Board (2010-2018). She completed her term as Chair of the Foundation Board in 2018.
“I was fascinated with what a force George Brown College was in the city. For me, it was just heaven sitting on the board of George Brown College,” she said.
She has made donations to the college, including a scholarship aimed at students who are single mothers. The award is named in honour of her late sister, Lorna D’Souza.
“When I walk through the campuses and feel the energy of the very diverse student body,” Milne says. “I see the diversity of our wonderful city reflected in the faces of our students.”
Professional and community accomplishments and honours
- Member of the Order of Ontario
- Recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Recipient of an RBC Top 25 Immigrant Award
- Recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award
- Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children’s Aid Foundation
- Recipient of an Ontario Volunteer Service Award
- Recipient of an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto
- Recognized by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women
- Member of Order of Ontario Advisory Council
- Member of Children’s Aid Foundation Advisory Board
- Former President and Honorary Life Director of the Canadian Club
- Past Chair of UNICEF Canada
- Past member of the Board of Directors for St. Michael’s Hospital, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and the Ontario Science Centre, among others
- Mentor for young lawyers and young women through the WXN and the Children’s Aid Foundation
Sally Horsfall Eaton, Chancellor 2012-2018
Sally Horsfall Eaton served as the first Chancellor of George Brown College and hers marked the first chancellorship at an Ontario college.
Horsfall Eaton presided over convocation ceremonies, providing her trademark mix of wisdom and humour, and served as an ambassador for George Brown College, enhancing its profile in the community.
As Chancellor, Horsfall Eaton ushered in important new traditions for convocation, including George Brown’s ceremonial mace and coat of arms.
George Brown College’s Nursing School was renamed in Sally Horsfall Eaton’s honour following a $4-million gift she and her husband, John C. Eaton, gave to the program. Horsfall Eaton has a long and distinguished record of volunteerism, philanthropy and public service.