University of Winnipeg | 50 Years Search

William Norrie

Alumnus, Politician, Former Winnipeg Mayor, Board of Regents Member

Championing education through politics and leadership

A staunch supporter of post-secondary education and all things Winnipeg, William (Bill) Norrie worked tirelessly for both Winnipeg and Manitoba.

Norrie received a BA from United College in 1950 and went on to University of Manitoba where he entered Law School. In 1953, he was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Manitoba. He completed his law degree when he returned from England, and worked in several law offices before becoming deputy secretary of the Law Society of Manitoba. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1977.

Norrie began his career in public office when he was elected a member of the Winnipeg School Board in 1964, and was later elected to the Winnipeg City Council in 1971. In 1979, he was elected Mayor of Winnipeg and served for 13 years until his retirement in 1992.

In his post-political career, Norrie acted as the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for Manitoba, served as an honorary consul general for Japan, and was the chancellor of the University of Manitoba between 2001 and 2009.

Norrie received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994 and was an Honorary Doctor of Laws recipient at UWinnipeg. He was awarded the Order of Manitoba and was a Member of the Order of Canada. He recieved many accolades, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the President’s Award from the Winnipeg Press Club, as well as being inducted into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame.

He served on the Board of Regents for UWinnipeg for over 24 years, including a term as Chair. Norrie passed away in Winnipeg on July 6, 2012.

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