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Vivienne Poy, a member of the Senate of Canada and chancellor of the University of Toronto, will address the approximately 1,770 students eligible for graduation at Old Dominion University's 103rd Commencement at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

An author, entrepreneur, fashion designer and historian, Poy is the first Canadian of Asian descent to be appointed to the senate. She has served since 1998 and in 2003 was elected to the honorary post at the University of Toronto.

She founded Vivienne Poy Mode in 1981 and over the following 14 years enjoyed great success in fashion design, manufacturing and retail. She is currently president of Vivienne Poy Enterprises, chair of Lee Tak Wai Holdings Ltd. and a member of the Board of the Bank of East Asia (Canada).

In the senate, Poy has been a voice for multiculturalism and respect for women and minorities, said President Roseann Runte. "She is a world traveler and has a breadth and depth of experience in understanding culture and the arts which is extraordinary. She represents the successful woman, the successful immigrant, the successful minority."

Poy is the author of three books: "A River Named Lee" (1995), which traces her family's history in China; "Building Bridges: The Life and Times of Richard Charles Lee, Hong Kong, 1905 - 1983" (1998), about her ancestors, who played an important role in the development of Hong Kong; and "Citizenship and Immigration: The Chinese-Canadian Experience" (2002), based on her lecture as the first Nortel Networks' Canadian Studies lecturer.

Poy and her husband, patrons of the arts and education, gave funds to establish a chair at the University of Toronto.

This article was posted on: November 14, 2005

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