Trinity College appoints Professor Nicholas Terpstra as provost & vice-chancellor

May 24, 2024 by Trinity College

Trinity College is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Nicholas Terpstra to the position of provost & vice-chancellor, effective July 1, 2024.

“A renowned scholar and seasoned administrator, Professor Nicholas Terpstra has a successful track record of promoting excellence and a deep commitment to the student experience. He brings a wealth of experience and a global mindset to the role, and his student-focused approach aligns wells with the college’s mission to provide an exceptional academic experience that fosters community, responsibility and leadership. We look forward to his energy and collaborative and inspirational leadership to advance the college’s priorities,” said Sharon Geraghty, chair of Trinity College's Board of Trustees.

“Trinity has such creative and accomplished students, faculty, staff and alumni, and I’m honoured to be invited to join this extraordinary community as it looks to the future,” said Terpstra, who will be the college’s 16th provost & vice-chancellor.

A respected international scholar of the Renaissance period, Terpstra is professor of history at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts & Science. Terpstra holds cross-appointments with the Centre for Medieval Studies, Department of Italian Studies and Department for the Study of Religion.

He has served as interim principal at St. Michael’s College, chair of the Departments of History and Italian Studies, and acting director of the Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies and the Centre for Reformation & Renaissance Studies. In 2018, as chair of the History department, Terpstra worked in partnership with Trinity College and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History to establish a new Master of Arts in the Contemporary International History program. In the classroom, his passion and humour made for engaging lectures; and he was a favourite professor among students — “a gem of the University of Toronto,” as coined by a former student. In 2010, he received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts & Science. 

As the chief executive officer of Trinity College, the provost has a broad mandate with overall responsibility for academic and administrative leadership. Furthering the college’s vision and priorities to enhance programs and opportunities for students, the provost leads strategic planning and fundraising, builds relationships with the community, and works in partnership with the University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology.

“On behalf of the University of Toronto, I am delighted to offer congratulations to Professor Nicholas Terpstra on his appointment as provost and vice-chancellor of Trinity College. In addition to his excellence as a scholar and teacher, Professor Terpstra is an accomplished administrator with a deep knowledge of the wider U of T community. I look forward to collaborating with him in the leadership of our academic federation,” said University of Toronto President Meric Gertler.

“I would like to thank members of the Provost Search Committee for their time and guidance during the search process,” Geraghty said. “The search committee was very impressed by Professor Terpstra’s credentials and what he will bring to Trinity, and we are thrilled to have him as the college’s next provost.”

Trinity College’s 15th provost, Professor Mayo Moran’s second and final term will end on June 30, 2024.

“Trinity has been most fortunate to have Provost Moran at the helm for these last 10 years. Along with her deep commitment to students and the student experience, her exceptional contributions at Trinity, the University of Toronto and globally have contributed to a more just and equitable world. Her tireless work on revitalizing the Trinity campus leaves an incredible legacy and a bright future for our students and community,” said Trinity College Chancellor Brian Lawson.

Through Provost Moran’s successful leadership, Trinity College has reached an ambitious milestone — over the last decade, more than $100 million has been raised to support its priorities, including the construction of the most significant building project the college has undertaken in a century. In addition, her visionary leadership has strengthened Trinity’s academic programs, supported the whole student through innovative initiatives including mental health and mentorship, boosted its student financial aid program, elevated the college’s commitment to sustainability and positioned Trinity College as a top destination for students.

As a university federated with the University of Toronto, Trinity College’s student body includes approximately 2,200 undergraduate students who are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and approximately 80 graduate students in Trinity College’s Faculty of Divinity. Founded in 1851, Trinity College offers its students a unique opportunity — to be part of a vibrant, distinctive, small college within the heart of a large research-intensive world-class university.

See Nicholas Terpstra's biography on the Trinity website