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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
UC front enterance & tower

Principal's Message

Professor Markus Stock, Principal, University College, University of Toronto

Principal Markus Stock

Welcome! I am thrilled to serve as the seventeenth Principal of University College, the founding college of the University of Toronto.

University College (UC) was established more than 150 years ago as non-sectarian institution of higher education. The College’s founding values of openness and academic excellence laid the groundwork for the inclusive and stimulating community that our students, faculty, alumni, and staff continue to enjoy today.

Our College is home to 4400 undergraduate students, who may study in any of the 330 academic programs offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto (U of T). The College also sponsors Canadian Studies, Cognitive Science, and Health Studies ––  interdisciplinary programs that challenge our students to excel intellectually –– as well as UC One: Engaging Toronto, seminars for first-year students in which they apply their learning in the city around them.

University College is located at the historic heart of U of T’s St. George campus in downtown Toronto, Canada’s largest city. On behalf of the UC community, I respectfully acknowledge that the lands on which we operate are traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. We are grateful for the opportunity to work and live on this land.

A peaceful oasis in a busy urban setting, our beautiful campus comprises the University College building, an architectural marvel and National Historic Site, as well as our three residences, and the UC Union. Affiliated with UC and sharing our spaces are the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, and the Art Museum.

University College has played a key role in U of T’s evolution into one of the world’s great public universities. Our tradition of welcoming students from all walks of life, regardless of their religious or cultural background, has uniquely positioned us to engage with the wider world, understand today’s problems, and find tomorrow’s solutions. And with more than 50,000 alumni, UC boasts a growing roster of distinguished graduates who have made significant contributions to virtually every field of human endeavour.

As a newcomer to UC, I look forward to working collaboratively with members of our community in the months and years ahead, to further our incredible legacy and ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.


Principal Markus Stock

Professor Markus Stock began his term as the seventeenth Principal of University College in January 2020. Prior to this, he was Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto from 2013 to 2019. He also served as the Vice-Chair of U of T’s Committee on Academic Policies and Programs (2017 to 2019) and contributed to many other committees across campus.

He is the Vice-President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, and served as a member of the Council of Ontario Universities, as well as the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Connection Grants Committee. He also co-edits a leading scholarly journal in his field, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies.

He studied German and English Studies at the Universities of Bamberg, Edinburgh, and Göttingen, and earned his PhD in Medieval German Studies from the University of Göttingen. He held visiting professorships at the University of Freiburg and at Harvard University, and was an Erasmus Mundus Scholar at the Universities of Porto and Palermo.

His research and teaching focus on medieval German language, literature, and culture, with an emphasis on German romance, epic, and love poetry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. His recent co-edited volumes include Practices of Commentary (forthcoming 2020, with Christina Lechtermann), Building Transdisciplinary Relationships: Indigenous and German Studies (2019, with Renae Watchman and Carrie Smith), Medieval Media (2016, with Ann Marie Rasmussen), and Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages: Transcultural Perspectives (2016).

In his spare time, he enjoys mountain hiking in his native Germany and neighouring countries, cooking, and exploring Toronto’s neighbourhoods and natural spaces with his family.

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