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Ken McCarter

$115,746.00 (raised so far)

About Ken McCarter

William Kenneth McCarter died peacefully on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the age of 62, surrounded by family and friends. Ken was the eldest son of Isobel and the late Bill McCarter of Victoria, BC, husband of Dianna Symonds, father of Alexandra and Siobhan, brother of Debbie (Peter), John (Simone) and Liz (Phaethon), brother-in-law of John (Karin) Symonds, and the uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Ken graduated from UBC in 1976 with a BA in Political Science. A partner at Torys LLP for almost four decades, he was also a keen volunteer and enthusiastic supporter of learning and education in many forms: he was the director and chair of the University of Toronto Press; director and vice-chair of Canada’s National Ballet School; senior fellow and chair of the Quadrangle Society at Massey College; and a member of the Oxford/Cambridge Society. He was a valued member of both the UBC start an evolution Toronto Leadership Circle and the alumni UBC Toronto Leadership Committee, providing advice, strategy and insight that enabled local alumni and others to engage in a meaningful way with UBC.

During Ken’s five months of living with pancreatic cancer, he often remarked how buoyed he felt by so many acts of kindness, all the emails, books and CDs sent, as well as the visits from so many people. His bad puns, his wry smile, his appetite for friendship, for family, and for gelato were never diminished. He will be warmly remembered by friends and colleagues alike.

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The impact of your support

Ken’s late father, Bill McCarter (BCom’45), and his mother, Isobel McCarter, believed strongly in the value of undergraduate education in parts of Canada other than one’s home town. Their family also has a strong love of British Columbia—reflected in the fact that seven members of the McCarter family over three generations are UBC graduates. Before his passing, Ken created the McCarter Entrance Scholarship, to support students from other parts of Canada to come and study at UBC.

Your gift to the scholarship will support an outstanding incoming undergraduate student whose place of residency is in Canada and likely east of Manitoba. Ken hoped that those who share his love of UBC and his belief in the advantages of an undergraduate education outside one’s home province will add to the scholarship fund.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • Ken McCarter was an outstanding person --of great character and a great leader .Its tragic that he has passed on too soon --he handled his illness with openness and equanimity. He was a great leader of Massey's Quadrangle Society---he will be sorely missed, John Dirks

    John Dirks, Massey Fellow
  • Too many to name but include "Tory weekends"; solving difficult tax problems and remarks at Massey Book Club meetings.

    John Loosemore, Friend, colleague at Torys, fellow Quadrangle Society member
  • Ken was so kind. I was proud to be his colleague at Torys and was always inspired by his passion for and dedication to Massey College. I will miss him dearly.

    Lisa Talbot, Friend, colleague at Torys, former Junior Fellow at Massey College
  • I wish I knew Ken better. Among the many things that made him remarkable was how open and welcoming he was. At Massey he always went out of his way to make me feel welcome as a new member of the community and strove to do the same for all of his flock (there are about 400 of us globally!). He was a great leader of our society and his charming smile and twinkling eyes will be missed. I will be thinking of him as I travel to Victoria as others say goodbye in Toronto.

    David R. Smith, Fellow member of the Quadrangle Society at Massey College
  • Ken, I thoroughly appreciated your love for Massey, the National Ballet of Canada and the opera. I was so delighted when you invited me to attend the COC's La Traviata (my second time) as you knew how much I adored Verdi's opera and that production. What I am most grateful for, however, was your keen interest in the Junior Fellowship at Massey and making the Junior Fellows your focus as you led the Quadranglers. I am indebted for the support you gave and advice you imparted to me in my time as Don of Hall. Your loss is felt far and wide.

    Jennifer Kolz, Don of Hall 2014-15, Massey College
  • Canada will miss his humour, intelligence, and grace. His impact on those around him will never be forgotten. The way he lived his life is truly an inspiration.

    Bob Reeves,
  • The Board, staff and students of Canada's National Ballet School will be forever grateful for Ken's support and guidance over the past several years. Ken was proud of his University of British Columbia roots. His work on your behalf, as well as his unwavering support for our School, Massey College at University of Toronto and countless other organizations he championed, will be sorely missed. We join in a celebration of having been a part of his world.

    Canada's National Ballet School,
  • Ken was a kind, gentle soul. He was an amazing boss. I was so fortunate to have worked for such a beautiful person. I miss you so much Ken. You will be forever in my heart.

    Sonia Bernucci-Gagne, Dedicated Secretary
List of Donors
All Donors
  • John & Karin Symonds

  • Leslie & Patrick

  • Peter and Debbie Mills

  • Leslie & Patrick

  • Peter and Debbie (McCarter Mills)

  • Mary Murphy and David Ehrlich

  • Peter and Debbie (McCarter) Mills

  • Joseph and Janine Czerniecki

  • anne woodyatt

  • Peter and Debbie (McCarter) Mills

  • Joe and Janine Czerniecki

  • Debbie and Peter Mills

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