Our Chancellor


Kelly Meighen, Western’s 24th Chancellor

Western University has announced Kelly Meighen as the university’s twenty-fourth Chancellor, effective July 1, 2023, for a four-year term.

Meighen, BA’71, LLD’13, is president of the Meighen Family Foundation, a position she’s held since 1990, following more than ten years serving on its board.

Through both the foundation and her individual efforts, Meighen has made a profound impact on youth mental health, the arts, and non-profit governance in Canada. She has also led the Foundation’s new strategic focus to support organizations and initiatives that improve access to safe housing, healthy food and services for vulnerable children.

“We are so fortunate to have Kelly serve as our next Chancellor,” Western President Alan Shepard said. “Kelly is highly regarded by the leaders she has supported and worked with across multiple organizations, including Western, where she’s made valuable contributions as a board member, chair of the development and fundraising committee and as vice-president of Western’s Alumni Association. She’s also a great humanitarian, moved to improve the health and wellbeing of others.”

Meighen has chaired the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) board of trustees, the CAMH Foundation, McGill University’s Academic Advising and Mentoring Advisory Board and the Stratford Festival. She has held board positions with Evergreen, Jack.org, Upper Canada College, the Wellesley Hospital, Huron University College and The Royal Conservatory of Music.

In each of these roles, Meighen focused her efforts on strengthening governance and assessing the organizations’ responsibility to and impact on the broader community.

Deep ties to Western

As Western’s Chancellor, Meighen will be the honorary and symbolic head of the university, presiding over convocation ceremonies to admit candidates to degrees, diplomas and certificates. She will also serve as an ex officio voting member of the board of governors, university senate and certain committees of both governing bodies.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to take on this role,” Meighen said. “I look forward to reconnecting with Western and representing the university from different perspectives. My first job will be to arm myself with information so I can be an effective and supportive advocate, in whatever way the university needs.”

Meighen grew up in London, Ont., where her father, Richard Dillon, BA’48, LLD’79, was Western’s first dean of engineering. Western is also where Richard met Meighen’s mother, Elizabeth Dempsey, BA’41.

“I was lucky to have two very supportive parents, who were great role models,” Meighen said, crediting them for inspiring her volunteerism, and instilling in her a sense of optimism and hope.