Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was in London to mark the grand opening of the new Richard Ivey Building and the school’s 90th anniversary.

Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, delivered a keynote address to over 1,200 students, faculty and guests on Monday afternoon.

“Having dreamed about it since I got out of my Quaker Oats box and trained as an astronaut for 20 years, trained specifically for this flight for four years – MBA is one year right? It was time to open the hatch.”

In a statement Ivey Dean Carol Stephenson said “I’m excited to welcome Commander Hadfield to speak to the Ivey community…He is a Canadian icon who demonstrates so many of the leadership qualities we strive to develop in our students at Ivey.”

A celebration to mark the opening of the new Richard Ivey Building on Western Road, including a procession to the new location, followed the address.

Stephenson, who is leaving after ten years at Ivey, says she’s proud of what’s been accomplished.

“I think that it always feels great when you’re leaving something behind that is going to live on for years and years.”

The $110-million facility took four years to complete and is about 247,000 square feet, nearly double the size of the old building.

And Hadfield hopes his inspiration will also live on.

“A Canadian kid growing up now who’s nine-years-old, sitting in his Quaker Oats box, when he’s asking his guidance councillor in high school, one of the job options he can choose is space station commander, because that’s something that Canadians do.”