Bill Norrie, University of Manitoba chancellor emeritus, alumnus, honorary degree recipient, Rhodes Scholar and former mayor of the City of Winnipeg, who dedicated his life to public service, died July 6, 2012. He was 83 years old.
“We are all saddened by the death of Bill Norrie,” said David Barnard, University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor. “He served this community, our province and our university with intelligence, compassion and dignity.”
Born in St. Boniface in 1929, Bill Norrie received his bachelor of arts degree from United College in 1950 and graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law in 1955.
While attending law school he was president of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union and was also named a Rhodes Scholar.
Norrie served as mayor of Winnipeg from 1979 to 1992 as part of a career of elected service that spanned 28 years – including service on municipal council, as a school trustee and school board chair.
He was named chancellor in 2001 and served through 2009. He also co-chaired a fundraising campaign at the University of Manitoba for the Brodie Centre. Upon his departure as chancellor, he established the Bill and Helen Norrie Bursary which provides assistance for students in need who are enrolled in the Inner City Social Work Program.
“Winnipeg has lost one of its longest serving and most highly regarded leaders. Bill’s whole life was devoted to service and to making his community a better place,” said University of Manitoba Chancellor Harvey Secter.
“As chancellor he shared his time, his wisdom and his passion for learning with the University of Manitoba community. I offer Helen, their families and Bill’s many friends my sympathies.”
In recognition of his contributions to education, public life and the volunteer sector, the home of the Inner City Social Work program was named the William Norrie Centre in 2005.
In 2010, the University of Manitoba honoured the Norries by designating a popular pedestrian corridor near the Engineering Building the William and Helen Norrie Walkway.