In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we're highlighting the contributions of two of the College's outstanding volunteers: the UCC Association Council’s current president, Matt Flynn '96, and incoming president, J.P. Mackay '02.
The UCC Association represents Old Boys, parents, members of the Board of Governors and the UCC Foundation, faculty and staff, and other community members with demonstrated interest in the College; the council serves as a link between the school and the association's membership.
Flynn has been involved in volunteering at UCC since he was "fresh out of school."
"I was looking for ways to give back and so I reached out, wanting to be involved," he says. "I was asked, 'Why not chair Association Day?' That’s how it started, and I got more and more ensconced as time went on."
Flynn doesn't regret a minute of the time he spends on UCC endeavours.
"It's a wonderful place that is made that much better by the many, many volunteers who give their time and energy,” he says. “It’s the true model of how an institution should work." Flynn "feels honoured to have been allowed to lead council” and is proud of its "tremendous reinvigoration" under his leadership, as well as its ongoing support for the College’s mission to provide transformational learning experiences.
"We increased awareness and focus within the governance of the College," Flynn says, "and we established wellbeing and events committees. We also take our responsibility for appointing three members of the Board of Governors very seriously, and we built out the rubric for making that process repeatable and as transparent as possible."
Flynn says that leading the council was "about giving back, having fun and making it meaningful for everyone involved." He’s happy to know that Mackay will succeed him.
"He’s a well-connected, well-respected guy," Flynn says. "I can’t think of anyone better positioned to take the lead."
Mackay is glad to return the compliment.
"I intend to build on the great work Matt and others have done," he says. “Matt has been transformational in establishing an exciting vision for council."
Mackay began volunteering with UCC shortly after university graduation, supporting the Barbara A. Barrow Foundation and its work providing financial assistance to students. He joined the Association Council four years ago and is currently serving as vice-president and chair of the governance committee.
"My volunteer work has always been a response to the wonderful experience I had as a student," Mackay says. "I want to demonstrate my appreciation and gratitude to those who afforded me the opportunity to attend the school through its financial assistance program and to give back to the community that has given me so much. It’s very rewarding being involved with the College and surrounding myself with such a diverse, talented group of individuals."
Mackay’s father taught at UCC and, as an infant, he lived on campus with his family. He returned as a boarder during his high school years and has a special fondness for the boarding staff who were "our parents away from home and the unsung heroes of our community." As a dedicated alum, Mackay is committed to "creating mechanisms that meaningfully increase access to the College for boys across Canada and around the world."
Hearing from both Flynn and Mackay, it’s clear that the Association Council is in dynamic and caring hands — now, and in the future. Says Brendan Dellandrea, Advancement vice-principal, "At its heart, UCC is a community of extraordinary people who share a desire to do good in the world and support one another in the process, and Matt and J. P. exemplify this spirit of service and togetherness. We’re so fortunate that they choose to lend their boundless energy and ingenuity to the high-impact mentorship, wellbeing and engagement programs powered by UCC Association volunteers."