Sterling Lyon


Sterling Lyon

Sterling Lyon intended to pursue a degree in Commerce at the University of Manitoba, but at the end of his second year, he came to United College. Two years later, in 1948, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Lyon knew that the BA, combined with the Law degree he received in 1950 from the Manitoba Law School, would deepen his educational experience and broaden his career horizons.

First elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1958, Lyon was sworn in as Attorney General at the age of 31–the youngest cabinet minister in the Roblin government.  He later served as Premier of Manitoba from 1977-1981, playing a significant role during the repatriation of the Constitution and the formation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  As Chair of the Council of Premiers, Lyon championed the inclusion of the “notwithstanding” clause, an instrument to ensure that parliamentary supremacy would not be eroded by judicial decisions.

In 1982, Lyon was appointed to the Privy Council of Canada, and then to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Lyon also served as a member of The University of Winnipeg’s Board of Regents from 1972 until 1976.

In recognition of his public service and place in Canadian history, and for his many achievements and contributions, Sterling Lyon was presented with the June 2004 University of Winnipeg Distinguished Alumni Award.