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

Principal's Message

Professor Markus Stock, Principal of University College

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 on principles of openness and diversity and was the University of Toronto’s founding non-denominational college. The College’s founding values and support for academic excellence have 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 over 5500 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 –– and a suite of small seminar courses called UC One: Engaging Toronto, which enable first-year students to apply their learning to 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. Recognizing the importance of education to reconciliation, UC commits to learning and teaching that interrogates the ongoing impact of colonialism, and builds towards a more equitable and just society.

Our beautiful campus comprises the newly renovated 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 a wide range of ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds has made our architecturally iconic spaces lively incubators of discovery, debate, and diversity. Our UC community has uniquely positioned us to engage with the wider world, so as to examine today’s problems, and to contribute to tomorrow’s solutions. We believe that equity and access for all form the pillars of UC’s post-secondary experience, in which we strive to nurture our students’ academic and personal growth within a closely knit and supportive community. 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.

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 is the seventeenth Principal of University College and a professor in the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. He was the Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures from 2013 to 2019. He is the President of the German Studies Canada (2021–2023). He served as Vice-Chair of U of T’s Committee on Academic Policies and Programs (2017–2019), as a member of the Council of Ontario Universities (2015–2018). He also served on and chaired SSRHC Connection Grant adjudication committees, and contributed to many other committees across campus and in his field.

    He studies 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 in 2000. He held visiting professorships at the University of Freiburg and at Harvard University, and was a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies as well as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar at the Universities of Porto and Palermo.

    Markus Stock research and teaching focus on medieval German language, literature, and culture, with an emphasis on German romance, epic, love poetry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He also co-edited, with Carrie Smith, a leading scholarly journal in his field, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies (University of Toronto Press, 2017–2022). His new edition and commentary of thirteenth-century German poet Burkhard von Hohenfels was published in an interactive digital edition in 2020. He is also the editor of Konrad von Würzburg: Ein Handbuch (forthcoming 2023) and Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages: Transcultural Perspectives (2016). His recent co-edited special journal issues include Commenting and Commentary as Interpretive Mode in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2022) and Practices of Commentary (2020, both co-edited with Christina Lechtermann), Building Transdisciplinary Relationships: Indigenous and German Studies (2019, with Renae Watchman and Carrie Smith), and Medieval Media (2016, with Ann Marie Rasmussen). He serves as co-PI on the SSHRC Insight Grant Practices of Commentary (2020–2025)

    In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and exploring Toronto’s neighbourhoods and natural spaces with his family. Variations of his home-made gluten-free pizza have been rated excellent by his family for over ten consecutive years.  

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