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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
UC Alumni Spotlight

UC Alumni Spotlight

To help keep everyone connected and pass the time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we'll be sharing films, TV shows, and books that feature UC alumni, along with details of where you can find them online. 

If you have any questions or would like to connect, please reach out to us at uc.alumni@utoronto.ca


alumni spotlight

Did you know that a UC grad is behind Love Story, one of the most romantic and highest-grossing movies of all time? The late Arthur Hiller (BA 1947 UC) directed the film based on the novel of the same name.

Also check out some of Hiller's other films like The Americanization of Emily and Silver Streak.

UC Alumni Spotlight

Actor and UC Alumni of Influence Award winner Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (1994 UC) stars in the comedy series Kim's Convenience, about a Korean-Canadian family who run a corner store in Toronto.

Lee can also be seen in Train 48 or as the voice of Chef Jeff on Abby Hather.

UC Alumni Spotlight

The Student, a novel by Cary Fagan (BA 1980 UC) opens in the late 1950s with a U of T student named Miriam, whose dreams of grad school are crushed when her professor says women have no place in higher education. The book was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

Fagan's novel My Life Among Apes was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and he has published more than 25 children's books, many of which are available on OverDrive.

UC Alumni Spotlight

For story time with your kids, Frances Gilbert's (BA 1992 UC) children's book Go, Girls, Go! puts girls in the driver's seat of race cars, planes, and other big machines.

Gilbert also wrote a book inspired by the velveteen rabbit called I Will Always Be Your Bunny.

Intelligence: Where we Were, Where we Are, & Where we’re Going

Brendan Kelly (BSc 1967 UC) is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Toronto. Though non-fiction, his book Intelligence: Where We Were, Where We Are, & Where We’re Going is situated in the Arbor Room at Hart House and features conversations shared among four math, physics, and chemistry students through the 1960s to the present. 

The book is available on Amazon, although Prof. Kelly has graciously offered to send free Kindle copies to UC alumni who are interested. If you would like to request a copy, please contact uc.alumni@utoronto.ca.


Trillium book cover

UC Alumni of Influence Award winner Margaret Lindsay Holton is the author of Trillium, which portrays the intertwining evolution of three very distinct families in the wine-making region known as Niagara in the Golden Horseshoe region, Ontario, Canada.

Rambihar cover

Tsunami Chaos Global Heart: Using Complexity Science to Rethink and Make a Better World, is a reflection on the chaos of the 2004 tsunami and the global "heart" that developed afterwards, with ideas that can help us understand this pandemic.

The author is renowned cardiologist and UC Alumni of Influence Award winner Dr. Vivian Rambihar (BSc 1972 UC), with co-authors Dr. Sherryn Rambihar (BSc 2001 UC) and Dr. Vanessa Rambihar, a U of T grad.


Fugitive Pieces Anne Michaels

Anne Michaels (BA 1980 UC), whose award-winning novel Fugitive Pieces explores the legacies of the Holocaust, was adapted into a film starring Stephen Dillane. Michaels is a UC Alumni of Influence Award winner and served as Toronto’s fifth poet laureate.

Tim Southam

Grammy-nominated filmmaker and TV director Tim Southam (BA 1984 UC) is the executive producer of the supernatural drama Locke & Key, which was just renewed for a second season. The UC Alumni of Influence Award winner has also worked on the series Lost in Space, among many other TV shows, films, and documentaries.

No Is Not Enough Klein

Naomi Klein (1989 UC) is one of the world’s most influential thinkers and author of the international best-seller No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. A frequent commentator in print, radio, and TV and winner of the UC Alumni of Influence Award, her most recent book is On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a New Green Deal.

Shaffer as Hermes

You probably know Paul Shaffer (BA 1971 UC) from his 33 years as band leader and sidekick on the Late Show with David Letterman. But did you know that the UC Alumni of Influence Award winner also lent his voice to the animated children’s film Hercules, as the character Hermes?

Chiling Lin

Taiwanese model and actress Chiling Lin (BA 1997 UC) makes her home in Japan. But before the UC Alumni of Influence Award winner became one of the most famous faces in Asia, she studied art history and economics at our College. Lin stars in the Chinese epic war film Red Cliff, about one of the most decisive battles in Chinese history.

Hart Hanson

Television writer and producer Hart Hanson (BA 1981 UC) is the creator of the hit TV series Bones which follows a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent who team up to solve cases by examining human remains. The UC Alumni of Influence Award winner is also the author of The Driver, which was named one of the best crime novels of 2017 by The New York Times.

Sweetness in the Belly

Camilla Gibb (BA 1991 UC) is the author of four novels, including Sweetness in the Belly. It centres on Lilly, the daughter of hippies who is orphaned in Morocco at age eight and raised by a Sufi scholar. The book was a finalist for the Giller Prize and was recently made into a film starring Dakota Fanning.

Big Comfy Couch

Some of UC’s younger alumni might remember watching the children’s TV show Big Comfy Couch, about a girl and her doll who solve everyday problems from their couch. It was produced by UC Alumni of Influence Award winner Cheryl Wagner (BA 1970 UC), who was also a puppeteer for Fraggle Rock and Mr. Dressup.


Jacqueline Gélineau (BA 1978 UC) plays the daughter of the main character in the film Krieghoff, the true story of the 19th century Dutch-Canadian painter Cornelius Krieghoff. Renowned for his storybook imagery of daily  in rural French Canada, Krieghoff's paintings are full of joy, humour, mystery, and lavish colour. 

Skating To The End Of The World

Timothy Bentley (BA 1965 UC) wrote Skating To The End Of The World: Stories From A Country Childhood , a collection of true stories about growing up in the countryside during the 1950s.  A series of readings narrated by the author is also available on YouTube . The title episode is a tale of ultimate childhood freedom on ice, backed up by loving parental support.

Weekend at Bernies

Film and TV director Ted Kotcheff (BA 1952 UC) brought us the comedy flick Weekend at Bernie’s, about two insurance salesmen who make some unorthodox choices upon the sudden death of their boss.

William B. Davis

Actor and theatre director William B. Davis (BA 1959 UC) is best known for his villainous role as the Cigarette Smoking Man on the hit sci-fi TV series The X-Files. You can learn more about Davis and his career in his memoir, Where There’s Smoke… Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man.

Austin Clarke

UC Alumni of Influence Award winner the late Austin Clarke (1959 UC) was a celebrated author of novels, essays, and short stories. His novel The Polished Hoe, which explores the brutalities of life on a plantation in post-WWII Barbados, won the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.

Peg McKelvey

A lifelong proponent of the arts, UC Alumni of Influence Award winner the late Peg McKelvey (BA 1949 UC) also worked as a script writer on the 1980s Canadian children’s TV series Mr. Dressup and Fred Penner’s Place.

Paris Times Eight

Deirdre Kelly (BA 1983 UC), a former features writer for The Globe and Mail, is the author of Paris Times Eight, a  a memoir structured around eight trips to Paris over a 30-year period, with the mother-daughter relationship as a leitmotif. In the second chapter she writes about being a student at U of T who dreams of returning to the French capital after graduation. 

Kelly is also the author of Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection , a behind the scenes history of the ballerina from the court of Louis VIV to the present day.

Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour

Hart Pomerantz (BA 1962 UC) is a lawyer and television personality best known for his collaboration with Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels (BA 1966 UC) on The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hourin which he played the zany one to Michaels’ straight man. Pomerantz's most popular character was a beaver who would complain about Americans.