Queen's Alumni the new Governor General

Newly appointed Governor General David Johnston obtained his second law degree from Queen's

Queen’s former law professor and Faculty of Law alumni David Johnston, has been appointed as Canada’s next Governor-General.

Don Carter, Dean of Queen’s Faculty of Law ’85-’90, was both a classmate and friend to Johnston when they studied together at Queen’s.

Carter said Johnston previously obtained a law degree from Cambridge and entered Queen’s Law from third year.

“He was a wonderful classmate. Even then he had a very strong sense of public service,” Carter said. “That’s probably my strongest recollection of him.”

The fact that his commitment to the public good is Carter’s strongest memory is saying something given how much time the two spent together during their time at Queen’s.

“He made quite an impact on us,” Carter said, adding that the duo often socialised at the local Kingston bar < The Manor >.

He said that in addition to checking out the local haunts, he and Johnston bonded during their frequent road trips.

During their time at Queen’s, Johnston’s wife and Carter’s fiancé both lived in Toronto.

“He had a car, which I could pitch in for gas, and we would drive down there together and get to know each other,” Carter said “I can say I’ve been chauffeured by the Governor General of Canada.” Johnston, the outgoing president of University of Waterloo, will be sworn in to his position in Oct. 1, 2010. He was appointed by current Governor General Michaëlle Jean on Prime Minister Harper’s advice.

Carter said that Johnston’s choice of career path didn’t surprise him.

“He’s got great people skills,” Carter said, recalling when Johnston joined the third year law class of 60 students. Johnston graduated from the Queen’s Faculty of Law in 1966 obtaining his second law degree. Before coming to Queen’s, Johnston attended both Cambridge and Harvard University. While at Harvard, he studied at Harvard on a hockey scholarship and was later inducted into the Harvard Sports Hall of Fame in ’98. After playing hockey for Harvard Johnston was offered a tryout with the Boston Bruins of the NHL, which he declined due to a wrist injury. After leaving the sports world behind, Johnston began his teaching career at Queen’s as an associate professor of The Faculty of Law. He left 1988 to teach at the University of Toronto. Johnston then expanded his academic career with positions at the McGill, Western and Waterloo, where he is currently the outgoing president.

Johnston’s new position as the Governor General of Canada is mainly ceremonial. His duties include ensuring that the Crown is to represented and that there is always a prime minister in the country. Johnston’s academic and professional past with constitutional and legal law should be an asset to his position as the incoming Governor General of Canada

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