Maureen Somerville is a former secondary school teacher of English and Dramatic Arts, retired since 2001. She served as an alumni member of Governing Council of the University of Toronto from 2004–2013, and previous to that as a member of the College of Electors for UTSC for four years, followed by six years as vice president, Governance of the U of T Alumni Association, which made her chair of the College of Electors. She is a proud early student at UTSC, and a graduate of OISEUT. For years, she was a volunteer at UTSC. Now she is also the vice president of the Senior Alumni Association of U of T.
Hart House 1972 to present
- Chair of the Music Committee
On receiving an invitation to join Hart House the year women were officially admitted
“My reaction to the invitation to join in 1972 was, ‘How dare they!’ Having been barred from most of Hart House and its activities during my time at U of T, they now wanted me to pay to be a senior member? I ripped the letter to shreds and threw it out. I couldn’t even recycle it back then.
“My friend, one of about a dozen female engineering students in the early 70s, was given a tour of Hart House, newly opened to women, when she was in her first year. The tour included the athletic facilities, and when the door to the pool was opened, there were several men in and around the pool—all naked. I’m sure they were as shocked as the young women, who were hastily escorted out of the area. Didn’t they bother to tell them the area was now co-ed?
“Today, I chair the Music Committee at Hart House, which I’ve been doing since 2003 when I bumped into Margaret Hancock, then the warden, who asked me to become a chair. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I am especially enjoying the performances so far this year. I use the Arbor Room for tea or coffee occasionally, and the first-floor rooms and the library for reading or working.
“Hart House itself is so impressive and beautiful. I’ve been in many great halls in universities and stately homes. And, on sunny days and at night—anytime—our Great Hall still takes my breath away.”