While the question over the weekend was who UBC would announce as their new president on June 13, that question has been replaced with—well, for some people—why the president's name is Santa. (Accompanied by numerous jokes, of course.)
But no, Santa Ono is not named after the beloved Saint Nick.
His name, in fact, is a shortened version of Santaro, a Japanese folk character.
A video game called Samurai Santaro depicts the adventures of the legendary child samurai Nasu Santaro.
His elder brother, Momoro, is also named after a Japanese folk story character: Momotaro, the Peach Boy.
Santa's father, Takashi Ono, was a mathematician moved from Japan to after being invited to the United States to be a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
When the family's green card was up for expiration, they had to leave the U.S. for a period before they could re-enter it. That led to his father accepting a position at UBC. While here, Santa was born in 1962 at St. Paul's Hospital.
Santa also earned his PhD in experimental medicine at Montreal's McGill University, where he met his Chinese-Canadian wife Wendy Yip.
As for his name, he has clearly endured his fair share of jokes, and developed his own sense of humour about it. At the University of Cincinnati, he even donned a Santa Claus suit to read a Rudolph story to UC students for Christmas.
“I don’t think they knew what they were setting me up for by naming me Santa, especially around Christmas time,” he told UC Magazine about his parents' choice for his name. “People teased me about it as a boy, but I have no problem being called Santa. It is a very happy name. And it is a great icebreaker at parties.”