Emőke J.E. Szathmáry
C.M., O.M.; B.A.(Hons.), Ph.D., D.Sc.(W.Ont.); D.S.Litt.(St.M.Coll.Tor.); LL.D.(Tor.), (York), (Mc.M), (Calg.); F.R.S.C.; F.A.A.A.S.
Throughout its history, the University of Manitoba has been led by women and men dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the building of a dynamic and engaged institution. Distinguished among these leaders is Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, the University’s tenth President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Szathmáry has dedicated her entire career to the ideals of the academy, to scholarship and to community service.
Born in Hungary, Dr. Szathmáry is a first generation Canadian, having immigrated to Canada as a child in 1951 after living in a displaced persons camp in Europe following the Second World War. Through her determination and hard work, she has embodied the Canadian dream - starting a family, earning advanced degrees, distinguishing herself in her field, leading a major research intensive university to new heights, and serving her community as a leader and volunteer.
This is what trailblazers do.
Dr. Szathmáry studied physical anthropology at the University of Toronto, specializing in the study of human genetics. Her research addressed the genetics of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Her publications include more than eighty scientific articles and reviews, and she has co-edited three books.
During Dr. Szathmáry’s tenure as President of the University of Manitoba, she promoted accessibility and worked diligently to foster respect for students of diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly for the Indigenous community with whom she has forged a special connection. Under her leadership, Indigenous student enrolment doubled, the number of international students tripled, sponsored research income tripled, a dozen new facilities were built, the research and technology Smartpark was established, and the University successfully undertook a $237 million dollar philanthropic campaign.
She has served on no fewer than fifteen boards and councils across the country, including the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on Science and Technology, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and the University of the Arctic. For her devoted service to Manitoba, she received the 2007 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration in Manitoba.
So respected in her field, Dr. Szathmáry was named Distinguished Lecturer by her peers at the American Anthropological Association; it is their highest honour recognizing a lifetime of exemplary scholarship. Her life’s work has been celebrated across Canada: she has received six honorary degrees, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and made a member of the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada.
Dr. Szathmáry’s success as a scholar and leader is based on the quality of her character and her steadfast and complete commitment to the positions she has undertaken - professor, researcher, dean, Provost, President and community leader. In bestowing her with this honorary degree, the University of Manitoba recognizes her unwavering dedication to advancing the best interests of this institution and welcomes her officially into the alumni family of the University of Manitoba.