߲Ƶ Appoints Professor Nicholas Terpstra as Provost & Vice-Chancellor

Posted: May 23, 2024

Nicholas Terpstra߲Ƶ 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, ߲Ƶ 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 Professor Nicholas Terpstra, who will be the College’s 16th Provost & Vice-Chancellor.

A respected international scholar of the Renaissance period, Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Professor 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, Professor Terpstra worked in partnership with ߲Ƶ and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History to establish a new Master of Arts in Contemporary International History program. In the classroom, his passion and humor 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. (also see biography below)

As the chief executive officer of ߲Ƶ, 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 ߲Ƶ. 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 Professor Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto.

“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.”

߲Ƶ’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 Brian Lawson, Chancellor, ߲Ƶ.

Through Provost Moran’s successful leadership, ߲Ƶ 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 ߲Ƶ as a top destination for students.

As a university federated with the University of Toronto, ߲Ƶ’s student body includes approximately 2,200 undergraduate students who are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and approximately 80 graduate students in ߲Ƶ’s Faculty of Divinity. Founded in 1851, ߲Ƶ 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.


Nicholas Terpstra: Biography

Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Professor Terpstra holds cross-appointments with the Centre for Medieval Studies, Department of Italian Studies and Department for the Study of Religion.

Professor Terpstra’s research explores questions at the intersection of politics, religion, gender and charity, with a focus on issues dealing with poverty, institutional structures of charity, and urban space and the senses in Renaissance Italy. Recent works include Senses of Space in the Early Modern World (Cambridge: 2023) and Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World: An Alternative History of the Reformation (Cambridge: 2015). Earlier works include the award-winning Cultures of Charity: Women and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy (Harvard: 2013) and the microhistory Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence (Johns Hopkins: 2012) explored how the politics of charity frequently silenced women’s voices.

Professor Terpstra launched the DECIMA (Digitally Encoded Census Information & Mapping Archive) project, an online digital map of Renaissance Florence that has received grants from SSHRC and the AHRC (UK). Employing early modern census data and maps, the tool tracks and geo-references occupation, gender and wealth patterns. DECIMA has trained dozens of student researchers while moving to the goal of producing 3D maps that convey what it was like to walk around a Renaissance city, hearing its sounds, moving through its buildings and seeing its artwork. See: N. Terpstra & C. Rose (ed), Mapping Space, Sense, and Movement in Florence: Historical GIS and the Early Modern City (Routledge, 2016).

Professor Terpstra earned an BA and MA from McMaster University and a PhD from the University of Toronto. He was elected a Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2014, received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters degree from Regis College in 2017, and has held fellowships at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, the American Academy in Rome, and at the universities of Oxford, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Warwick and Monash. He recently completed a term as President of the Renaissance Society of America, is editor of Harvard University Press’s Villa I Tatti Series in Italian Renaissance History, and is a member of several editorial boards. He served for seven years on the University of Toronto Governing Council as an elected Teaching Faculty member and was Chair of the Academic Board for two years. In addition to holding numerous administrative positions, he has served on governance bodies at other higher educational institutions. In 2021, Professor Terpstra was elected Membro straniero of the Deputazione di Storia Patria per Toscana and appointed to Comitato scientifico of the Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Province di Romagna.