The Chancellor of the University is the titular head of the institution and confers all degrees. The Chancellor is a Board member and acts as an ambassador for the University


Mario Turco


Email: [email protected]

Mario Turco

Mario Turco has been appointed as Algoma University’s second Chancellor for a four-year term beginning September 1, 2020.

Born in Italy, and immigrating to Canada as a young child, Turco witnessed firsthand the importance of public education as he, his siblings, and parents rebuilt their life in a new country. Through these experiences and impressive 42-year career, including 9 years as Director of Education for the Algoma District School Board, Turco has become a passionate advocate for student success, equity and public education. Mario is highly regarded and respected for his experience, his interpersonal skills, his knowledge, and strategic thinking. He has worked extensively with government, school boards, and organizations across the province and country. 

Since retirement, Turco has been very active serving in the Sault Ste. Marie community. He continues to provide leadership mentorship and coaching to a range of individuals and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Sault Area Hospital as First Vice-Chair as well as Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of the Recruitment and Selection Committee.

“I am honoured and pleased to be chosen as Chancellor of Algoma University,” stated Mr. Turco. “Working in education has been my life calling. I have been fortunate to be associated with students, educators, and other stakeholders from the elementary, to the university level advocating the importance of education to the individual and to society in general. Algoma University has exemplary leadership, faculty, and staff. I am impressed with their great work, their many accomplishments and ambitious direction for the future. I look forward to working with all members of the university and its partners to advance its vision and mission to provide first-class education while at the same time cultivating cross-cultural learning through partnerships with Indigenous communities, organizations and groups. I thank the Algoma University Board of Governors, the selection committee, and my nominators for their confidence and support in my appointment.”

Algoma University’s Chancellor serves as the titular/ceremonial head of the institution and confers all degrees. An advisor and supporter to the President, the Chancellor is a public proponent of the goals and objectives of the University and is an active participant in University activities and the University community. By acting as an ambassador of Algoma University, the Chancellor also helps to raise the profile of the University as well as assist in both relationship-building and fundraising initiatives. The Chancellor provides support to the University President, as requested, and promotes the University’s Special Mission in regards to cross-cultural learning and Anishinaabe education. This is a voluntary, unpaid position.

Mario Turco

Mario Turco


What are the duties of a Chancellor?

The Chancellor is a volunteer who serves as the titular head of the University. The specific duties of the Chancellor include: 

  1. To assist in efforts to raise the profile of the University and to advocate on its behalf
  2. To promote the University’s special mission in relation to Anishinaabe education 
  3. To act as an ambassador for Algoma University, both officially and unofficially 
  4. To confer degrees at Convocation 
  5. To participate, as possible, in other major ceremonies or events, such as the Induction Ceremony 
  6. To assist in both friend-raising and fund-raising 
  7. To provide advice to the President, as requested. 
What are the attributes of a Chancellor?

A nominee for the position of Chancellor should possess as many of the following attributes as possible

  1. Is distinguished in their field and has a significant public profile, provincially, nationally, or internationally 
  2. Supports the general mission of the university, as well as its special mission for Anishinaabe education 
  3. Has shown an interest in Anishinaabe issues and/or connections with Anishinaabe communities or organizations 
  4. Has the personal traits necessary to be an effective advocate for the university, including speaking and relationship skills 
  5. Is a person of high integrity and strong character 
  6. Is willing to provide assistance in fund-raising or lobbying efforts 
  7. Can commit to the role, and would not be in a conflict of commitment between Algoma University and any other post-secondary institution
Past Chancellor

Shirley Horn was the first-ever Chancellor of Algoma University, effective June 13th, 2015. She was sworn in at the University’s annual Convocation ceremony, thereby commencing her term.

Horn is from Chapleau, Ontario, and at the age of five was sent to St. Johns Indian Residential School. She was then transferred to the Shingwauk Indian Residential School at the age of seven, where she remained for six years. In 1981, she helped found the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), a constructive organization that has been a leader at the national level on the residential school issue. She remained in a leadership position with the organization for 34 years.


In 2005, Horn returned to the Shingwauk Indian School Residential School site – now the home of Algoma University – to enroll in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program.  As a rare graduate of both the Residential School and the University, she received a standing ovation at Convocation in 2009. In 2015, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Algoma University Alumni Council.

Horn has been Chief of her own community, the Missanabie Cree First Nation for 10 years, and has also been a member of the Missanabie Cree Elders’ Council. Horn is also Co-Founder of the Echoes of the World Drum Festival, a former member of the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET), and an accomplished artist. Her piece, Project of the Heart, is on permanent display outside of the Doc Brown Lounge at Algoma U.

Chancellor Horn served as the titular head of the institution. She participated in major ceremonies and events, including the annual September Induction as well as Convocation. Horn confered all degrees. By acting as an ambassador of Algoma U, she also helped to raise the profile of the University as well as assist in both relationship-building and fundraising initiatives. Horn provided support to the University President, as requested, and promoted the University’s special mission in regards to Anishinaabe education.

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