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Rotman Commerce Begins its 100th Anniversary Year Celebration

June 6, 2023

Toronto – On June 6, 1924, six men and one woman walked across the stage at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall to receive their diplomas. They were the first graduates of the program now known as Rotman Commerce. Today, that same undergraduate business program begins a yearlong celebration commemorating its 100th anniversary.

The Centenary celebration will pay tribute to the past, present, and future of Rotman Commerce. The year will include a special marquee event in June 2024 to coincide with the convocation of the 100th graduating class. A digital hub for the celebration, including stories, timelines and news about special events, has been launched at

One of the top-ranked programs of its kind in Canada, Rotman Commerce confers a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is jointly offered by the University’s Rotman School of Management and Faculty of Arts & Science.

“Through 100 years of change, Rotman Commerce has never stopped moving forward. It derives strength from its unique position within the University of Toronto: it's an acclaimed undergraduate business program within Canada’s largest arts & science faculty and a leading business school of a respected global university,” says Professor Melanie Woodin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Students complement their business studies with courses that explore a broad range of historical and cultural perspectives and sharpen their analytical and problem-solving skills, so they graduate as well-rounded individuals primed to keep pace with change.

“Rotman Commerce ensures our students are ready to face the challenges of the future by equipping them with the critical thinking, knowledge and skills needed to succeed – these are the strengths that underpin everything the program has achieved in its first century,” says Professor Susan Christoffersen, Dean and William A. Downe BMO Chair in Finance at the Rotman School of Management.

Since the first class was admitted in 1920 to what was then the Department of Political Economy, Rotman Commerce has grown significantly, with more than 3,000 diverse and globally aware undergraduate students enrolled today. A strong sense of community and an alumni network of over 17,700 ensure that students are connected to opportunities worldwide.

Famed economic historian Harold Adams Innis was an original faculty member of the program, which has educated some of Canada’s most successful leaders and innovators. These include:

→ Frank Buckley (BCom ’42), Former President and Spokesperson, W.K. Buckley Ltd.;
→ Leonard Braithwaite (BCom ’50), lawyer and politician who was the first Black Canadian elected to a provincial legislature;
→ Michael Wilson (BCom ’59), business professional, politician, diplomat, and the 33rd Chancellor of the University of Toronto;
→ Ira Gluskin (BCom ‘64), Chief Investment Officer, Irager + Associates Inc; Co-Founder of Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc;
→ Betty Yuen (BCom ’79), Chair, CLP Power Hong Kong;
→ Donald Guloien (BCom ‘80), Founder, Guloien Capital; Former President & CEO, Manulife;
→ Jim Balsillie (BCom ‘84), Co-founder and former co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry); and
→ Sue Taylor (BCom ’92), former Chief Accounting Officer, Meta.

Rotman Commerce, the undergraduate business program at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus, is jointly offered by the Rotman School of Management and the Faculty of Arts & Science. Gaining deep knowledge of business fundamentals along with specialized technical skills – at a global centre of learning and research in the heart of Canada’s commercial capital – Rotman Commerce students launch their careers as versatile, well-rounded problem solvers and empowered future change-makers. They are ready for anything.

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Voice 416.946.3818