Honouring UCC’s 15th principal: Dick Sadleir, 1929–2021

A community message from Principal Sam McKinney.
It is with great sadness that I share the news of Dick Sadleir’s passing on Feb. 12 in Toronto. An esteemed leader in Canadian education, Mr. Sadleir served as the 15th principal of Upper Canada College with the utmost dedication from 1975 until 1988. He also played a pioneering role in the founding of Trent University in 1963. 

Mr. Sadleir’s career as an educator started right here at the College, where he taught mathematics and English during the 1953–54 academic year. After earning his MA from Cambridge, he returned to UCC in 1956 as an English teacher and junior housemaster of Seaton’s. In 1963 Mr. Sadleir left to lend his talents to Trent as head of English and acting president, among other roles. He remained there until his return in 1975, when he became the first Torontonian to lead our school as principal. 

Our community remembers Mr. Sadleir for his steadfast commitment to fostering educational excellence, as well as the joy he took from his interactions with students, faculty and staff. He remained an engaged and active presence at College events in the decades after his retirement, including Association Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. I fondly recall a wonderful afternoon spent together during Association Day in 2019. As we observed all that was happening around us from the library at Grant House, Dick reminisced about his time living on campus and leading our school community. I will treasure both the memories he shared and the generous advice he offered.   

Mr. Sadleir’s obituary in The Globe and Mail can be found here. The flags on campus have been lowered to half-mast in honour of his dedication and service to the College. Please join me in extending deepest sympathies to Mr. Sadleir’s wife, Joan, and children Tom ’78, Mary and Kate and their families. 

He will be greatly missed. 
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