Lester Bowles Pearson

Lester Bowles Pearson

Pearson, Lester Bowles, 1897-1972, Canadian diplomat and political leader, b. Ontario prov. He served in the Canadian army in World War I. Pearson taught history at the Univ. of Toronto from 1924 to 1928 and then joined the Canadian diplomatic service. After serving (1928-35) as a first secretary in the department of external affairs, he was attached (1935-41) to the London office of the Canadian high commissioner; he later held (1941-44) various consular posts. He was Canada's senior adviser at the Dumbarton Oaks (1944) and San Francisco (1945) conferences that led to the establishment of the United Nations, and he headed Canada's UN delegation. As chairman of the UN political and security committee in 1947, he played a decisive role in mediating the Palestinian crisis. From 1948, when he entered Parliament as a Liberal, to 1957 Pearson was minister of external affairs and took a leading part in Commonwealth affairs and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Pearson, one of the most respected members of the UN General Assembly, received the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the United Nations in resolving the 1956 Arab-Israeli war. In 1958 he became head of the Liberal party and leader of the opposition. He led his party to a gain of 46 seats in the 1962 elections and succeeded John G. Diefenbaker as prime minister in early 1963. He retired as prime minister in 1968. He also served (1951-58) as chancellor of Victoria Univ. in Toronto. Among his books are Democracy in World Politics (1955), Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age (1959), and Words and Occasions (1970).

See his memoirs (2 vol., 1972-73).

(born April 23, 1897, Toronto, Ont., Can.—died Dec. 27, 1972, Ottawa, Ont.) Prime minister of Canada (1963–68). He taught at the University of Toronto from 1924 until 1928, when he joined the Canadian foreign service. He was posted to Britain from 1935 to 1941 and to the U.S. from 1942 to 1945; he was ambassador to the U.S. from 1945 to 1946. He served in the Canadian House of Commons from 1948 to 1968 and as minister of external affairs from 1948 to 1956. During the latter period he also led the Canadian delegation to the UN; he was president of the UN General Assembly from 1952 to 1953. In 1957 he received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his role in resolving the Suez Crisis. He became head of the Liberal Party in 1958 and led it to victory in elections in 1963. His government introduced a national pension plan and a family assistance program, broadened old-age security benefits, and laid the groundwork for the National Free Medical Service. In 1967 he rebuked visiting French Pres. Charles de Gaulle for his support of separatism in Quebec. He retired in 1968.

Learn more about Pearson, Lester B(owles) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Lester B. Pearson College, United World College of the Pacific is one of thirteen United World Colleges (UWC) around the world. It is named after the late Canadian Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson, winner of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. The mission of the college is to promote peace, sustainability and international understanding by bringing young people from all walks of life, regardless of financial ability, together in a small and isolated village-like community. 200 students from 100 countries come together to share their lives as they finish their high school education.

Despite the short history of the school, many alumni are young leaders in human rights, international development, business, law, science and other fields. Students at the college are eligible, after graduation, to participate in the Shelby Davis Scholarship programme, which funds undergraduate study (based on need) for UWC students at universities, such as Princeton University, Colby College, Columbia University, College of the Atlantic, Harvard University, and Middlebury College, in the United States.

The director of the College as of 2006 is David Hawley, a graduate of Harvard University.

Academics and administration

The college's main curriculum is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Students are also required to participate in community-oriented services, cultural activities, and sport events. A highlight of the academic year is the professional dance, music and cultural show, "One World", put on by Pearson students and attracting thousands of audience members from Victoria and the surrounding communities.


With a strict scholarship policy, students must compete to be granted a scholarship by their national UWC committees. Each national committee makes recommendations for admission to the College independently and their selection processes may vary. Sponsorship for these scholarships comes from a mixture of organisations, governments and individual donors. This way, acceptance into Pearson is solely determined by merit, and admission is extremely competitive.


The College is located on the shores of Pedder Bay, near Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. The College provides a suitable location for the study of the environment, due to the surrounding woodlands and the nearby Race Rocks Marine Protected Area.

There are 5 residence houses that house all students of Pearson College as well as some faculty members. Many other faculty members live on campus in separate faculty houses. All student houses are mixed gender by floors and students live in shared rooms of 4 to 5 people. Meals are served by a single cafeteria at the College.

Its proximity to Peddar Bay allows the College to have extensive waterfront activities. A fleet of sail boats, kayaks, canoes, as well as diving equipment are stored on the docks and in the floating marine biology building.



External links

Search another word or see lester bowles pearsonon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature