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The University may confer the following degrees upon persons whose qualifications and record are approved for that purpose:

  • Doctor of Laws     (honoris causa)    LL.D.
  • Doctor of Letters   (honoris causa)    D.Litt.
  • Doctor of Science (honoris causa)    D.Sc.

Honorary degrees are awarded on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Distinguished achievement in scholarship, the arts, or public service. Distinguished achievement is achievement widely recognized by peers in the field of endeavour and the public.
  2. Both the recipient and the University should be honoured in the granting of a degree honoris causa.

Past and Current Recipients

View Recipients on this page by Year:


Wayne Suk-Wing Chiu, C.M., AOE

Image of Wayne Chiu, Honorary Degree Recipient 2023

Wayne Suk-Wing Chiu

C.M., AOE, BSc(ME)(Manitoba), ICD.D

For more than three decades, Wayne Chiu has been dedicated to building communities.

An award-winning businessman, activist, and philanthropist, Mr. Chiu grew up in a low-income neighbourhood in Hong Kong before moving to Canada to pursue an engineering degree from UM.

Over his distinguished career, he has made an extraordinary impact on communities in Canada and around the world through his unwavering passion for social entrepreneurship and his belief that business and society can work together toward common goals.

Mr. Chiu sees social entrepreneurship as an intersection of three overarching themes and actions that have resonated throughout his career: corporate social responsibility; philanthropic work; and being in a business that provides something meaningful to people.

As owner of Calgary-based Trico Group, which he founded in 1992, he has erected tens of thousands of single and multi-family homes in Alberta - including affordable units - and has partnered to provide subsidies to first-time homeowners. In 2015, Trico Homes worked to restore 159 Chiniki First Nation homes that had been destroyed by Alberta floods.  Today Trico Homes continues to build homes for the Nation.

Over the years, Mr. Chiu has become a beloved benefactor in his adopted city of Calgary, supporting arts and culture, health and wellness, education, entrepreneurship, and social causes.  Trico has also been named one of Canada's top 50 managed companies.

In 2004, Trico was on a corporate retreat in Thailand when a catastrophic tsunami hit.  As he clung to a tree watching misery below him, Mr. Chiu had an epiphany that led to him and his wife launching the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2008 that focuses on social entrepreneurship to use business to solve problems in society.

Mr. Chiu has also made an extraordinary impact through his support of the Women in Need Society (WINS).  Providing promotion and financial support, he has helped the society to expand its efforts, growing communities and connecting women and their families with resources to thrive.

He has earned many accolades in honour of his business achievements and civic service. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and an appointee of the Alberta Order of Excellence and has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals.  He has also been graced with the Alberta Centennial Award.  Other awards of note are the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Immigrant of Distinction Award, and the Calgary Citizenship Award.  Most recently, Mr. Chiu received the award for Canada's Most Admired CEO, the Alberta Business Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Wayne Chiu in recognition of his life-changing impact as a builder, activist and philanthropist and his dedication to growing and supporting communities in Western Canada.

Jennifer Gunter

Image of Jennifer Gunter, Honorary Degree Recipient, 2023.

Jennifer Gunter

MD (Manitoba)

For more than 27 years, Dr. Jennifer Gunter has made outstanding contributions to medicine, accessibility, and our understanding of reproductive health, sexual health, and menopause.

Once referred to as "the world's most famous gynecologist," the physician, best-selling author and women's health expert has long been an unapologetic advocate for patient empowerment and accessible information.  Her approach as an OB/GYN and a pain medicine physician is centered on evidence-based medicine integrated with a focus on empathy and the patient's experience.

After graduating from the University of Manitoba's Max Rady College of Medicine, Dr. Gunter completed her OB/GYN training at the University of Western Ontario and a fellowship on infectious diseases at the University of Kansas.

The traumatic loss of one of her sons in a premature triplet preganancy motivated her to write The Preemie Primer: A Complete Guide for Parents of Premature Babies - from Birth through the Toddler Years and Beyond. The book addresses the lack of publicly available, medically sound information about the specific needs of premature babies. 

Since then, Dr. Gunter has authored two more books on female health, including the #1 national bestseller The Vagina Bible, which she wrote as a reaction to the large amounts of false and dangerous information about female health on the internet.  She has written for The New York Times, Glamour, The New Republic, and many other publications, and has a blog called The Vajenda. Her prominent social media presence has led to the nickname "Twitter's Resident OB/GYN" and she often references her Winnipeg roots and credits her prairie upbringing for her confidence and direct approach.

Since 2006, Dr. Gunter has been managing a health clinic for women in the Chronic Pelvic Pain & Vulvo-Vaginal Disorders division at The Permanent Medical Group of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

She is the host of a 10-part docuseries called Jensplaining on CBC Gem and a TED Audio Collective podcast.  She is a passionate champion for women's health and has used her voice to debunk medical myths, advocate for a "better medical internet" and call out exploitative pseudoscience.

Her goal is to have more medical experts involved in disseminating medical information in ways that are accessible to the public and to correct the misinformation and disinformation available online, especially as it relates to women's physical, reproductive and sexual health.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Dr. Jennifer Gunter in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of gynecology and her lifelong advocacy for accessibility and women's health.

Linda Kristjanson, BN, MN, PhD, AO

An image of Dr. Linda Kristjanson, University of Manitoba honorary degree recipeient, Fall 2023

Linda Kristjanson

BN, MN (Manitoba), PhD (Arizona), AO

Dr. Linda Kristjanson has taught us how to have the most difficult conversations, and how to compassionately care for patients and their families facing grim certainties.

Every day, her impact is felt around the world. It began in 1991 when her dissertation exposed the challenges people face when dealing with palliative care. She uncovered the questions and concerns families had but couldn’t bring themselves to ask or say. She illuminated a new field of query and went on to improve palliative care for all.

The University of Manitoba spotted the enormity of her talent early on. In 1993 it recognized her with the University of Manitoba Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation Rh award, which is given to early-career researchers showing exceptional promise.

Today, Dr. Kristjanson is considered a pioneer in the field of palliative care, celebrated for the vast contributions she has made. In 2012, for instance, she received the Bethlehem Griffith Research Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the Canadian Nurses Foundation Ross Award for Nursing Leadership in Research, and was named the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Balfour Mount Professorship in Palliative Medicine, as well as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Dr. Kristjanson is one of the most highly cited researchers in her field and she has procured more than 110 grants totaling more than $30 million dollars from organizations in Canada, the USA and Australia. This is an outstanding sum matched by few other nursing research scientists.

She is a gifted collaborator, having published with 150 different authors across a number of countries, including at her first alma mater where she has an ongoing relationship with UM’s Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit.

Indeed, her connection to this university has remained strong throughout her career. Before leaving Canada in 1997 to build a program in palliative care at Edith Cowan University in Australia, she served as the co-director of the Cancer Nursing Research Centre at UM.

She left her mark on generations of palliative care nurse researchers in Manitoba and across Australia where she has led and taught for many years. She has done the same on the global stage too, through her involvement with 47 boards and committees, including the International Palliative Care Society, which she founded.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to professor Linda Kristjanson for her distinguished achievement as a scholar, leader, and a humanitarian who has improved health care everywhere.

Thomas Quinn

Image of Dr. Thomas Quinn, Honorary Degree recipient, 2023.

Thomas Quinn

BS, MSc (Notre Dame), MD (Northwestern)

Dr. Thomas Quinn is a world-renowned scientist known for his groundbreaking HIV/AIDS research.  He was one of the first researchers to identify the AIDS epidemic and its cause, the HIV virus.

As one of the top clinician-scientists in the world, he has been a leader in the world's response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, working to decrease the rate of illness, the number of deaths, and reduced transmission rates with antiretroviral therapy, particularly in developing countries.  In addition, through a clinical trial, his team reported the benefits of voluntary male circumcision to reduce HIV acquisition by half in Uganda.

Dr. Quinn is currently a professor of medicine and pathology at Johns Hopkins University and is the founding director of the university's Center for Global Health.  He is also a NIH distinguished investigator and associate director of international research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Quinn earned his Master of Science from Notre Dame University in 1970 and his medical degree from Northwestern University in 1974.

He has published more than 800 scientific articles with more than 52,000 citations.  Based on his body of scholarly work, Dr. Quinn was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.  He is also a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and an elected member of the Association of American Physicians.

At the forefront of developing public health and research capacity in Africa, Dr. Quinn has mentored many clinicians and scientists. His leadership and commitment has contributed to the training of more than 13,000 health-care providers in Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic.  He co-founded the Academic Alliance of AIDS Care and Prevention, and helped build the largest Infectious Diseases Institute in East Africa at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Dr. Quinn is on the editorial boards of several high-impact scholarly journals, including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, AIDS, Lancet Global Health, and the Journal of Infectious Diseases. He also serves as an adviser to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS and chaired the Board on Global Health for the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Quinn is the recipient of multiple honours and distinctions over the course of his career, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Charles C. Shepard Science Award, an American College of Preventive Medicine Award, and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care's Heroes in Medicine Award.  He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Leader Award in Global Health from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.  In 2009, the University of Manitoba honoured him with a Distinguished Visiting Lectureship Award.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to Dr. Thomas Quinn for his commitment to understanding the complexities of the HIV virus and his pursuit of improving the health of people around the world.

Lara Rae

Image of Lara Rae, Honorary Degree Recipient, 2023

Lara Rae

As a trailblazing force in Canada's comedy scene for more than three decades, Lara Rae is an orator, an entertainer, a teacher and an advocate.

Beloved for her ability to leverage her enthusiasm to bring about change in society, Ms. Rae is well-respected for her willingness to give of herself with openness, honour and grace, and invigorating others to do the same.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ms. Rae began her career as a comedian in the early 1980s while still a student at Toronto's York University.  Forming one half of the successful comedy duo, Al & George, Ms. Rae toured Canada, the US and the UK with their irreverent musical comedy shows before the pair broke up in 1990.

In the aftermath of the split, Ms. Rae wrote a play, How Do You Know When You're Done?, which explored a fictionalized comedy duo's breakup over creative differences.  In the mid 1990s, Ms. Rae moved to Winnipeg, where she founded the Winnipeg Comedy Festival with Tom Anniko in 2002 and served as the Festival's Artistic Director for 18 years.

A longtime contributor, write, columnist, and produced on CBC radio and television, Rae has written for programs such as Blackfly, Big Sound, What a Week, Definitely Not the Opera, and Monsoon House.  She share a Prix Roma screenwriting prize and is a three-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee and a Gemini Award nominee from her work as one of the co-developers of the hit television series Little Mosque on the Prairie which ran for six seasons and aired across the globe.  She is the former theatre and opera reviewer for CBC Manitoba and has been reviewing books for over fifteen years with the Winnipeg Free Press.

Her autobiographical play, Dragonfly, which explores her "gender odyssey" and her journey as a transgender woman, won the 2020 Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba playwright and was nominated as Book of the Year at the Manitoba Book Awards.  She was the first transgender woman to guest host the CBC flagship news program The Current.

In addition to her cultural and creative works, Ms. Rae has been a prominent community activist for social justice.  In 2019, she founded Pantry, a local food project that provides home-cooked meals, winter clothing and other essentials to her neighbours in Winnipeg's West Broadway area who are struggling with food and shelter insecurities.  The success of Pantry is fuelled by the same energy she has shared throughout her life to create community, embrace change, celebrate inclusion and inspire action, both in Manitoba and far beyond. Ms. Rae was named one of the Nellie McClung Foundation's 150 Trailblazers for this work, and for her longstanding contribution to Winnipeg's cultural communities.

Ms. Rae continues to write and perform comedy in Winnipeg and is an instructor at the University of Winnipeg's Department of Women and Gender Studies.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Lara Rae in recognition of her trailblazing impact on Canada's comedy scene, her dedication to the cultural and social life of Manitobans and her tireless advocacy for Winnipeg's 2SLGBTQ+ community.

David A. Robertson, BA

An image of Mr. David A. Robertson, University of Manitoba honorary degree recipient, Fall 2023

David A. Robertson

BA (Winnipeg)

David Alexander Robertson is a voice for a new generation, one that smites the stigma of mental illness and unveils truths so that Reconciliation can follow.

As a Cree boy going to school in Winnipeg, Mr. Robertson felt disconnected from his heritage, partly because his school did not teach about Indigenous cultures and histories. But he also found that textbooks on these (or any) matters were uninviting and vapid, unlike comics, which captivated him. Thinking that other children may also be disconnected from their history and textbooks like he was, he began writing graphic novels that not only enthrall, but teach. He firmly believes that understanding Indigenous cultures and Indigenous peoples’ place within Canadian history is imperative for all Canadians.

Today, having written more than 25 books, some of which are now widely used in classrooms across the country, he has brought Indigenous characters and voices into curriculum that for too long had excluded them. His book When We Were Alone, was recognized with many awards, including the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award, and his other works, like The Misewa Saga series, have been a hit with young readers.

Mr. Robertson’s voice is an important one that is helping to spark change. His novels delve into issues of identity, family, connection, and relationships. They offer an open and frank examination of colonialism’s ongoing impact as well as systemic and overt racism.

He also weaves themes of mental health into his writing and his public speaking, providing people with a foundation to understand mental health struggles and see that speaking about it is as normal as talking about having the flu.

His books are nationally known and critically acclaimed, winning numerous awards. Indeed, Mr. Robertson’s memoir Black Water: Family, Legacy and Blood Memory earned the 2020 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister award for non-fiction, and was named Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire. He also received the 2021 Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award.

Mr. Robertson asks people of all ages to think, to understand, to imagine, and to help build a better society. The University of Manitoba shares this vision. For his outstanding contributions in the arts and distinguished achievements, the University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to David Alexander Robertson.

Mary Simon, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., O.Q., C.D.,

An Image of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, University of Manitoba Honorary Degree Recipient, 2023

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., O.Q., C.D.,

LLD(McGill, Queen's, Trent, Memorial, Guelph, Carleton, Alberta., British Columbia, Victoria, Calgary, Western Ontario), LHD (Mount SaintVincent)

Since beginning her career as a radio broadcaster with the CBC Northern Service (now CBC North), Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon has made significant contributions to Canadian broadcasting, public service and diplomacy.

A leader, constitutional negotiator and diplomat of Inuit ancestry, Ms. Simon was appointed as Canada’s 30th Governor General in 2021, becoming the country’s first Indigenous Governor General.

Ms. Simon has gained national and international recognition for her work on Arctic and Indigenous issues, and for her efforts in advocating for Inuit rights, youth, education and culture.

Ms. Simon’s lifelong dedication to public service began when she became involved with Northern Quebec Inuit Association (now Makivik Corporation) and Inuit Tapirit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization, working as one of the senior Inuit negotiators during the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982, as well as the 1992 Charlottetown Accord negotiations.

As vice-president of Makivik and, later, as its president, she was responsible for the implementation of the first land claims agreement in Canada, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, as well as the protection and promotion of Inuit rights. Ms. Simon has also served as a member of the Nunavut Implementation Commission and as co-director (Policy) and secretary to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

She took on a variety of roles for the Inuit Circumpolar Council, first as executive council member and then as president for six years. During her term as president, she worked with the Canadian and Russian governments to bring the Inuit Chukotka (Siberia) into the Inuit Circumpolar Council.

In 1994, during her time as a diplomat, she was appointed by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to be Canada’s ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs. During her tenure in this role, she took the lead in negotiating the creation of an eight-country council known today as the Arctic Council, and held the position of Canadian ambassador to Denmark.

In 2008, as president of Inuit Tapirit Kanatami and on behalf of Inuit, she stood in the House of Commons and delivered a response to the Government’s formal apology on residential schools. She is the founder of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation and, until 2014, she was the chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education.

Over the course of her distinguished career, Ms. Simon has received many awards and distinctions. She is an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, as well as a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Medal, the Gold Order of Greenland, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Medal of the Canadian Geographical Society, and the Symons Medal.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mary (Ningiukudluk) Simon in recognition of her immense impact on Indigenous communities in Canada, and her lifelong dedication to public service and diplomacy.

Donald Triggs

Image of Donald Triggs, Honorary Degree Recipient, 2023.

Donald Triggs

BSA (Hons) (Manitoba), MBA (Western Ontario)

For decades, renowned Manitoba-born entrepreneur Donald Triggs has been making a profound impact on the Canadian economy.

With a passion to create a robust premium Canadian wine industry, Mr. Triggs’ ambition, vision and fearlessness has made him one of the most influential figures in the Canadian wine industry today.

From his humble beginnings growing up on the family farm, Mr. Triggs’ ambitions first began to take shape after he completed his honours degree in Agriculture at UM, receiving the Lieutenant-Governors Gold Medal in Agriculture and the Co-operative Promotion Board Gold Medal in Agricultural Economics upon graduation. He completed his MBA at Western and then began a career in marketing, working his way up to become president of beer-maker John Labatt Ltd.’s wine division.

In 1989, his ambitions grew further when the chance to buy the division arose and he saw an irresistible opportunity to create a global market for premium Canadian wine that did not yet exist. Mr. Triggs and his wife Elaine, against the advice of their bankers, made the risky decision to re-mortgage their house and pool their life savings with other partners to take the gamble and form their own company, Vincor.

Boasting 14 wineries and 2,250 employees, Vincor became the first Canadian wine company to succeed worldwide. In 1998, the couple purchased 100 acres of land along the Niagara Parkway and created Delaine Vineyard, a research vineyard that provided premium quality vinifera grapes for Vincor’s Niagara Region wineries and the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate.

Co-founded with former colleague Allan Jackson in 1991, Jackson-Triggs Winery transformed Canada’s small wine industry into an economic powerhouse. Together with a talented executive team, the pair acquired small wineries, planted better grapes, invested in technology, and turned the Jackson-Triggs label into Canada’s bestselling premium-wine brand, winning Best Canadian Winery numerous times in Canadian and International wine competitions.

By 2003, their company was Canada’s largest wine producer and the world’s eighth largest. Until 2006, Mr. Triggs served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Jackson-Triggs’ parent company, Vincor International Inc. His enthusiasm for ultra-premium winemaking led Elaine and him to launch Culmina Family Estate Winery in the Okanagan valley in 2007.

Now retired, Mr. Triggs is credited with making a major contribution towards transforming the quality and reputation of Canadian wines and establishing international markets to benefit all winemakers. He also guided the industry as chair of both the Canadian Vintners Association and the Ontario Wine Council. Mr. Triggs has received many accolades for his entrepreneurial spirit and community involvement where Mr. Triggs and Elaine actively supported the arts and education; Mr. Triggs was enthusiastic about the Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series which brings international experts on viticulture to share the world’s leading research with Ontario and Okanagan growers every two years. Mr. Trigg’s awards also included Marketer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year, and three honorary doctorate degrees. In 2006, Mr. Triggs received the Ten-Year Volunteer Service Award from the Government of Ontario and was honored with the Award of Distinction by the Canadian Vintners Association in 2016.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Donald Triggs in recognition of his transformative impact on the Canadian wine industry and his immense contributions to the Canadian economy.


David Asper

Image of David Asper, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

David Asper, Q.C.,

BA(Man.), JD(California Western), LL.M.(Tor.)

David Asper has made exemplary contributions to Manitoba and Canada through philanthropy, community service and in advancing law, justice and human rights.

Many Canadians will associate Mr. Asper with his tireless efforts to overturn the notorious wrongful conviction of David Milgaard, a case he was introduced to as an articling student in 1986. The fight to free Milgaard lasted years, and Mr. Asper faced challenges and criticism for refusing to accept the status quo, where many would have abandoned the pursuit, fearing loss of personal reputation or political fallout. He persisted in the face of almost insurmountable systemic resistance. After visiting the scene of the original incident, re-interviewing witnesses and uncovering new evidence, he formulated compelling arguments for Milgaard’s innocence. He led what became a political crusade to rectify the point at which the law protected the true wrongdoer and punished the innocent.

Joyce Milgaard, the mother of David Milgaard, has called Mr. Asper her “knight in shining armour” and credits him for teaching her about advocating for justice.

Mr. Asper continues to be a vocal advocate–in the media and academia–for the wrongfully convicted, founding the Manitoba chapter of the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted, now Innocence Canada, a national organization. In 2008, he founded and funded the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the University of Toronto where he inspires hundreds of law students to do public interest work and advocate for constitutional rights. At home, he served as acting dean of UM’s Faculty of Law from 2020-2021, encouraging the next generation to pursue truth, justice and the betterment of all.

Following his legal career, Mr. Asper excelled in business as former chair of the National Post and senior executive at Canwest Global Communications. Among his many passions is football, which he has elevated greatly in our province. He is the former vice-chair of the Canadian Football League and chair of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Mr. Asper spearheaded a new stadium at the University of Manitoba, bringing about a $20-million fitness centre for athletes, students, staff and the surrounding community.

His volunteer contributions include leadership of the Winnipeg Police Board, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Pan Am Clinic Foundation, and CentreVenture Development Corp. Currently, he chairs the Manitoba Police Commission and serves on the board of The Forks North Portage Partnership. Mr. Asper recently retired as chair of the Asper Foundation and continues to serve as a trustee. He has donated generously towards local health care, poverty reduction and post-secondary education. To date, he is the largest private-sector investor in the Manitoba Technology Accelerator Program, which supports emerging Manitoba technology-based start-up ventures.

For his perseverance of justice and contributions to the betterment of our communities, the University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. David Asper.

Levinia Brown

Image of Levinia Brown, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Levinia Nuqaqlaak Brown

Levinia Brown exudes determination. She is a leader, trailblazer, educator, role model and advisor. When she sees a problem, she puts her hand up to help.

Ms. Brown was born in Dawson Inlet, Nunavut in 1947. There were no nurses, doctors or government services in that area at the time, so she was delivered by her father. Today, the Inuit Elder is a changemaker in her community and a champion of education.

Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has devoted her life to the development and promotion of community capacity building, especially regarding health and social services. She was the first teacher’s aide in Rankin Inlet, later establishing the Eastern Arctic Teachers Education Program in Iqaluit and becoming the first chairperson of the Keewatin Regional Education Authority.

Holding many roles in local politics, Ms. Brown was the first woman mayor of Rankin Inlet. Establishing working relationships between government agencies and community governments was a high priority for her. Her tenacity propelled her to a successful career in territorial politics, where she continued to advocate for her community. Elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut in 2004, she served as Deputy Premier and promoted education on land agreements and diverse representation at all levels of government.

She is a residential school Survivor. She uses her voice to educate hearts and minds, and her statement to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is included in its final report. She is a member of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s Governing Circle and shares her knowledge and insight on Reconciliation. In 2021, Ms. Brown travelled to Ottawa for the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. She was one of the Survivors who was part of the landmark raising of the Survivors Flag on Parliament Hill. She also spent 14 years proudly serving on Canada’s national “Celebrate Canada Day” committee.

Ms. Brown was proud to be the first Inuk “Grandmother” in Winnipeg to be awarded the Keeping the Fire Burning award in 2011—this was of particular importance to Brown, as in Inuit culture, it was the women in the igloo who kept the oil lamp burning in cold weather. She also received the Aboriginal Circle of Education, Inc., Honouring our Elders award in 2017.

Ms. Brown is a role model for Nunavut’s youth, and she has served as an Elder and advisor for post-secondary students at Red River College Polytechnic and the University of Winnipeg. She also has ongoing connections with Ongomiizwin at the University of Manitoba. Ms. Brown has always answered the call of leadership. She has given of herself to support the people and communities around her. Her advocacy and action for promoting the health, education and rights of her people has opened doors and expanded horizons for so many.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Levinia Brown, a tireless advocate for her people who can inspire us all to serve our community.

Jan Currie

Image of Janice Currie, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Jan Currie

BN(Man.),  MHA(Central Mich.U.)

A leader, advocate and skilled nurse, Jan Currie has dedicated her career to shaping the Manitoba health care system for nearly four decades. Ms. Currie demonstrated versatility and resourcefulness as a senior nurse leader and administrator, using her talents to streamline processes and transform complex structures, always in service of delivering improved patient outcomes.

According to Ms. Currie, compassion and respect for the needs of the individual should be the foundation of the health care system. With this principle at the fore, she built effective coalitions and partnerships with a variety of nursing, academic and health care institutions in Manitoba to advance nursing practice, resolve operational issues, and develop long term strategies for nursing and health care as a whole. An advocate to the core, Ms. Currie spearheaded complex initiatives to improve health care in many areas, including women’s health, eating disorders, transplant services, seniors, patient safety, emergency and critical care, and cardiac sciences.

Ms. Currie began administrative roles early in her career as an assistant head nurse, head nurse and program manager, advancing later to executive roles as CEO at Deer Lodge Centre, and 11 years at Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) as vice president and chief nursing officer. She also developed and chaired the Regional Nursing Leadership Council. To support these roles, she earned a Master’s Science Administration (Health Care) in 1995. As a leader in the field, Ms. Currie maintained her patient-centric values while applying a profound appreciation of the fact that the practice of nursing and the education of nurses are inextricably linked. Her vision helped enhance the scope of clinical practice and health care system operations, and the development of sustainable workforce models. Currie led with respect for her staff, their abilities and contributions. She saw herself caring for patients by supporting the skills of thousands of employees. Ms. Currie has received many awards including the Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) Centennial Award, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives’ Leadership Recognition Award, and the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Though now retired, Ms. Currie remains committed to providing service to the community and currently serves as a member of the University of Manitoba’s College of Nursing Advisory Council. She uses her expertise to help shape the future of health care and education.

For her outstanding service and leadership, and for inspiring generations of nurses and nursing students, faculty and colleagues, the University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Jan Currie.

Margaret Lavallee

Margaret Lavallee 

For more than 50 years, Margaret Lavallee, a Traditional Ojibway woman, has been committed to sharing Indigenous culture and knowledge, improving health services for Indigenous communities and mentoring young people.  

She is the respected Elder in Residence in the education division of Ongomiizwin, the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing in the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The word “Ongomiizwin” means “to be very careful of one’s own life and for others for the future generations”. Elder Margaret, who led the naming process for Ongomiizwin, has devoted her life to clearing a path by passing on traditional teachings and advocating for equitable health care. 

Elder Margaret was born and raised at Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba. She is a Survivor of the residential school system. At the age of 14 she went to work as a nurse’s aide at the Federal Indian Hospital in Pine Falls. This inspired her dream to improve the health of her people. While raising her six children, she worked at the Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg. At the age of 33 she enrolled at Brandon University, where she rediscovered her Anishinaabe culture. 

As the first program director of Aboriginal Health Services at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, she provided resources and interpreter services to Indigenous patients and their families for 18 years. She went on to serve as an Aboriginal awareness facilitator for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. 

Elder Margaret is the co-founder of Red Willow Lodge, a teaching and healing centre. She is a sun dancer, sacred pipe carrier and sweat lodge leader who demonstrates strength, resilience and integrity. 

Since joining the UM community in 2005, Elder Margaret has provided cultural teaching and support to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, faculty and staff. She is determined to ensure that Rady Faculty of Health Sciences students graduate as health professionals who provide culturally safe care. She has influenced many lives as a wise and generous mentor. She also leads ceremonies and provides grounding in Indigenous principles for academic operations, research projects and clinical teaching. She has played a key role in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences’ approach to addressing racism and working in support of Reconciliation.  

Elder Margaret considers her most sacred and important role to be that of Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. She is a member of the Grandmother Elders Council of Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Margaret Lavallee in recognition of her life-changing impact as a university Elder and her tireless dedication to improving the health of Indigenous Peoples in Manitoba.  

Mary Jane McCallum

Mary Jane McCallum

Senator, DMD(Man.)

Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, a First Nations woman of Cree heritage, has made an extraordinary impact as a champion for health care in northern and Indigenous communities, a social justice advocate and an Indigenous leader.

Dr. McCallum is believed to be the first Indigenous woman in Canada to become a dentist. In 2017 she was appointed to the Canadian Senate, where she continues to represent Manitoba. In 2021 she became the first Indigenous chancellor, and the first woman chancellor, of Brandon University.

A citizen of the Barren Lands First Nation in Brochet, Manitoba, Dr. McCallum attended residential school in Guy Hill for 11 years. After earning diplomas in dental nursing and dental therapy, she graduated from the University of Manitoba with her dentistry degree in 1990.

During three decades of distinguished service and leadership as a dentist, her roles included leading the UM dental clinic in Churchill and working for the federal First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, delivering care across northern Manitoba. She also served as a dental officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, led the Aboriginal Dental Health Program at UM, and for a number of years practised on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation reserve near The Pas.

While working for more than a decade in her home community of Brochet, she provided dental care and managed community health services, such as a diabetes program and a prenatal program. She was a tireless advocate for better housing and education, ensuring that the community consulted with Elders about local issues.

Dr. McCallum has been praised as a peacebuilder who works in a spirit of hope and optimism. In 2021, when Canadian Mennonite University honoured her with its PAX Award, she was described as “a person of profound insight, grace and courage.” 

She has used her voice to draw attention to the social determinants of health–such as inequitable access to care–for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Improvement will come, she has said, through decolonizing the health care system, reclaiming traditional teachings, and supporting patients’ mental, emotional and spiritual healing in addition to their physical care. 

Dr. McCallum retired from dentistry in 2021. As a senator and university chancellor, she is committed to seeking conciliation between Indigenous Peoples and Canada. She gives presentations about her experience as a former student of residential school in order to raise awareness and build understanding. 

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Dr. Mary Jane McCallum for her groundbreaking leadership in Indigenous health care and her exemplary work in support of Reconciliation and conciliation. 

David Milgaard

David Edgar Milgaard

David Milgaard spent 23 years behind bars for crimes he didn’t commit, emerging from the darkness to shine a light on others wrongfully convicted.

Born in Winnipeg, Mr. Milgaard was only 16 years old when he was imprisoned in 1970 for the rape and murder of Saskatoon nurse Gail Miller. He never wavered in his innocence, even when doing so would have brought freedom sooner. This integrity and tenacity were things he learned from his mother, Joyce—his fierce ally in their decades-long crusade. She eventually convinced then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to order a case review, which finally led to the overturning of Mr. Milgaard’s conviction in 1992.

One of the first clients of the non-profit organization Innocence Canada, Mr. Milgaard gained support from UM alum and lawyer David Asper, a member of the legal team that helped to secure his release. It wasn’t until 1997 that DNA evidence exonerated Mr. Milgaard, and identified the true culprit.

Having spent more of his life imprisoned than not, Mr. Milgaard’s adjustment to the outside proved difficult. He compared his first grocery shop to walking on the moon. In the years following, his resilience would continue to captivate Canadians with a made-for-TV movie, and a song by The Tragically Hip.

It would have been understandable if Mr. Milgaard had chosen to distance himself from a fractured judicial system after enduring not only a miscarriage of justice, but horrific abuse while incarcerated. Instead he made it his mission to stop this tragedy from happening to others, no matter how difficult it is to revisit his pain. He was determined to ensure an independent review commission becomes reality. His guiding philosophy was “you cannot do nothing, when you can do something.” Mr. Milgaard not only supported the successful exonerations of others wrongfully convicted but significantly advanced the dialogue of prisoner rights.

In recent years, the father of two teenagers called Calgary home but brought his advocacy to audiences across the country. Among colleagues in the legal realm, he was known for his unprecedented perseverance, strength of character and optimism.

The University of Manitoba is proud to posthumously award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Milgaard, for his unrelenting spirit in advancing criminal justice and hope for humanity.

Susan Millican

Image of Susan Millican, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Susan C. Millican

From her days producing hard-hitting documentaries, and her tenure as vice-president of Women’s Television Network (WTN), to her time as head of the National Screen Institute (NSI), and her diverse philanthropic work, Winnipegger Susan Millican has had a hand in shaping Canada’s cultural scene.

A life-long advocate for social change through media, Ms. Millican started her career at CBC, producing documentaries on sensitive and important issues. She soon won the ACTRA Gordon Sinclair Award for Integrity in Broadcasting and established her reputation as a serious journalist. Starting in the industry when she was just out of college and “in over her head,” she feels fortunate to have been surrounded by kind and generous people who showed her the ropes. Going forward in her career, she felt it was simply the right thing to help other people have the chance to succeed, so she became a generous mentor herself.

Following a teaching stint at Red River College Polytechnic, where she redesigned the television course in the Creative Communications program, and pioneered an innovative Indigenous broadcast journalism program, Ms. Millican gained national stature as vice-president of programming for WTN. She provided top Canadian news and entertainment to millions of viewers nationwide and promoted the careers of many Canadian women in media both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. From there she worked for Oxygen Media in New York as their International Business Consultant. Her tenure there opened the door for many other Canadian television producers.

As chief executive officer of NSI, Canada’s oldest national training school for film and television professionals, she expanded education and outreach. Contributing her expertise to empower others, she worked to level the film and TV industry playing field and create opportunities for underrepresented groups to succeed because “everyone, everywhere deserves a shot at their dream.” Through her leadership, greater numbers of Indigenous Canadians and visible minorities have joined the ranks of writers, producers and directors, resulting in film and television programs that better reflect Canada’s diverse audiences.

Since stepping down from the NSI in 2010, Millican has immersed herself in community work with organizations like the Winnipeg Foundation, Rossbrook House and the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre. She is currently a director on the Nature United board and is responsible for bringing the work of UK non-profit Onebillion to Canada, distributing thousands of their learning devices in northern Manitoba and core areas of Winnipeg to help students improve their math and literacy skills.

Because of her incredible impact on the Canadian media industry as an innovator and a mentor, and her extensive work in the community, the University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Susan Millican, a woman of the highest integrity who can inspire us all to champion the voices of those who are most underrepresented.

Harvey Secter, O.C., O.M.

Image of Harvey Secter, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Harvey Lyon Secter, O.C., O.M.

B.Comm., LL.B.(Man.), LL.M.(Harvard), LL.D.(Winn.)

Generous spirit. Respected professional. Trusted advisor. The University of Manitoba has played a key role in several chapters of the life of Harvey Secter, chancellor emeritus.

How fortunate for both. He began as an undergraduate student, later earned his law degree, and eventually returned to his alma mater to serve as dean of Law and then as chancellor. His nine years as chancellor were, according to his colleague, former president and vice-chancellor David Barnard, “perhaps the greatest gift he has given to this city and this province.” In this leadership role, his colleagues most valued his wisdom and sage advice.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Harvey left to work in, grow and eventually lead the family’s business, the national clothing chain Ricki’s Canada. 25 years later, he returned to the University of Manitoba to study law, receiving the gold medal in his class. He then earned a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and returned to Winnipeg to become a member of the faculty and dean in UM’s Faculty of Law.

Throughout his life he has followed the example of philanthropy and voluntarism he saw in his parents Joseph and Gwendolyn. For decades Harvey and his wife, Sandra, have supported numerous institutions including universities, hospitals, performing and creative arts organizations, the United Way, Assiniboine Park Conservancy, and the Jewish Foundation. He has served on many philanthropic, community and professional boards. Generosity characterizes them both.

More recently, Mr. Secter was honorary chair of the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre fundraising campaign, which vastly exceeded its goal by realizing a total of more than $626 million. While many contributed to this remarkable achievement, Mr. Secter’s reputation, the respect that members of this community have for him and his persuasive quiet wisdom were critical factors in that success.

Mr. Secter’s contributions have been recognized by The University of Winnipeg, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada. He and Sandra were joint recipients of the JNF Negev Award for Community Service. In speaking of Harvey Secter, Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon identifies his wisdom and vision. Senator Patricia Bovey, past chair of UM’s Board of Governors, stresses his wise counsel and leadership. Janice Lederman, another chair of the Board of Governors during his time, says he has shown us how truly invaluable the role of the chancellor can be.

As chancellor, Mr. Secter spent many hours advising the president, chair of the Board of Governors and other members of the executive team on the most critical issues faced by the University of Manitoba. He has regularly encouraged new alumni to take leadership and philanthropic roles, because when one devotes oneself to service, the return you receive is inevitably greater than the contribution you make.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Harvey Secter, for his esteemed service, his generous spirit and his commitment to this institution.

Paul M. Soubry

Image of Paul M. Soubry, 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient at the University of Manitoba
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Paul Marie Soubry


Paul Soubry has a gift for viewing the big picture. At the same time, he has the ability to focus on the little things, like learning everyone’s name across the company. With his down-to-earth leadership style, he has helped transform two Manitoba companies into two of Canada’s greatest international success stories, and energized product development in the aerospace and transportation industries. For these reasons, Mr. Soubry was named Canada’s CEO of the year in 2016 by the Financial Post.

Mr. Soubry rose through the ranks at StandardAero for 24 years, becoming Canadian president in 2001, chief operating officer in 2006 and chief executive officer in 2007. After leaving StandardAero, he was soon hired as president and chief executive officer of New Flyer Industries (NFI). With his big picture ideas and deeply personal leadership style, he led the company through a series of transformations and acquisitions that have led to NFI’s success as a global leader in the sustainable bus and motor coach manufacturing industry.

Under Soubry’s leadership, NFI acquired Winnipeg’s only other bus manufacturer, Motor Coach Industries, transforming it into another success that is currently leading the industry evolution towards zero-emission transit vehicles. His business philosophy is to inspire and engage employees, believing “honest actions and genuine sincerity send a strong message” and that demands service—something he demonstrates when he gives company tours himself.

Mr. Soubry was honoured with the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. He was also recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2003, inducted into the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Hall of Fame in 2014, given the Chartered Professional in Human Resources Patron of the Year Award in 2016, and the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education Distinguished Service Award in 2020.

Mr. Soubry brings that same drive and passion to the causes he champions. As chair of the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre capital fundraising campaign, his unrelenting energy and vision helped to raise $626 million to support students and key university projects. Throughout his career, Mr. Soubry has been a devoted volunteer, helping many other successful charitable efforts including St. Paul’s High School, Big Brothers of Winnipeg, the Canadian Cancer Society and many others.

For his commitment to his home province, and for changing the landscape of the transportation industry, the University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Paul Soubry.

Peter Stringham

Peter Stringham

B.A. (Manitoba)

Renowned Canadian advertising executive Peter Stringham transformed the industry through a potent blend of visionary leadership, strategic thinking and creative excellence.

His father, a professor in UM’s Department of Animal Science, instilled the value of higher education in his son. Stringham received a BA in political studies at UM before beginning his career as a junior copywriter, steadily rising through the ranks to become Senior Vice-President of Gordon Hill Advertising and one of the most influential figures in the industry.

In 1980, he founded an agency of his own – Stringham & Grant Tandy Inc. – in Winnipeg, which he ran successfully for several years, before selling to Baker Lovick Advertising in Vancouver. Under his leadership as General Manager and Executive Vice-President, Baker Lovick Advertising became the first Canadian company to be named international ad agency of the year by Advertising Age magazine.

Achieving astonishing success in Canada, Stringham went on to become President and CEO of BBDO Canada, transforming the company into the nation’s biggest, top-grossing advertising agency. In 1997, Stringham left to join what was then New York’s largest agency: Young & Rubicam North America. As CEO, he was charged to take the company to an IPO and succeeded in it being the most successful in agency history. He moved to London, U.K., in 2001 where he helmed the global marketing for HSBC, growing the company brand 11-fold into one of the world’s most valuable brands.

Over his 45-year career, Stringham wielded tremendous influence by promoting the world’s top brands. His ability to lead in both the creative and managerial sides of the industry catapulted him to the top echelons and won him several prestigious awards, including the Retail Banker award for Best Advertising and Brand Strategy of the Year, Marketing Magazine’s Most Influential Person in Advertising and the Daily Telegraph’s Marketing Director of the Year.

In 2016, Stringham retired as Chairman and CEO of New York-based Young & Rubicam Group of Companies – one of the world’s largest ad agencies. He ran their global operations overseeing 27,000 employees and annual revenues in excess of $10 billion while satisfying major clients such as AT&T Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

His enduring passion for his native Canada has seen Stringham apply his leadership skills and creative vision to Canadian organizations including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where he served as Founding President, and Canopy Growth Corp., where he was a former board member. He also helped launch the federal political career of The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy as his first campaign writer.

In 2013, Peter became a founding Chair of the American branch of War Child, a Canadian non-profit organization that provides safety, education and legal counsel to children in war-torn countries.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Peter Stringham, for his creative innovation and business leadership.

Katherena Vermette

Katherena Vermette

B.A. (Winnipeg), M.A. (UBC)

A decorated and celebrated Métis novelist, poet, filmmaker and author, Katherena Vermette is one of the most important and recognized writers in Canada today.

Known for the generosity, care and engagement with which she approaches her work, Vermette is equally gifted at writing in several genres, including poetry, fiction, graphic novels, children’s picture books and film.

Vermette grew up in Winnipeg’s vibrant, multifaceted North End which continues to inspire her writing. The disappearance and death of her brother when she was 14 profoundly shaped her worldview and activated her sense of injustice at the discrimination of Indigenous peoples.

Her first published book of poems, North End Love Songs, is a beautifully polished and deeply thoughtful work exploring the contemporary resonances of place, family and Métis history. It was recognized with the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

Building on the themes of her previous work, her children’s book series – The Seven Teachings Stories – explores the Anishinaabe Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers in a way that is easy for young people to absorb.

A former kindergarten teacher, Vermette’s passion for empowering and educating Indigenous youth inspired her to write the A Girl Called Echo series of graphic novels that help bridge the gap between Métis history – especially that of Métis women – and the cultural and personal preoccupations of contemporary Indigenous youth. In The Girl and the Wolf, Vermette creates an empowering Indigenous twist on a classic children’s wolf narrative which earned her top spots on Kirkus’ Best Books and USBBY’s Outstanding International Books lists.

In 2016, Vermette released her award-winning novel The Break. Winner of the First Novel Award, Vermette’s devastating examination of the mechanisms of colonial power and lateral violence that shape and destroy lives in Winnipeg’s inner-city neighborhoods, and the familial love and profound connections that bind people together, became a Canadian bestseller. Widely taught in universities across the country and beyond, it has been the subject of numerous articles and dissertation chapters.

An ambitious and prolific talent, Vermette is also a filmmaker, and released her powerful, evocative prize-winning film This River in 2016 (NFB). Her second novel, The Strangers, was released in 2021, and won the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Beyond her literary triumphs, Vermette has been a generous community member who, through her writing workshops, has continually made space for other artists to share their voices with a wider audience.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Katherena Vermette for her prolific literary contributions which have brought the challenges of Indigenous peoples into the global conscious.

Gilbert Vielfaure

Gilbert M. Vielfaure

Gilbert Vielfaure has worked tirelessly for the past 17 years to establish Centre Flavie  as an ally in the fight against poverty. 

After a notable career in private industry and education, Mr. Vielfaure made another career change that would allow him to help provide dignity to those in need. In 2005,  he became the first executive director of Centre Flavie, helping to launch and run the organization that offers comfort and support to those in need by providing used household goods at no cost. 

As the head of Centre Flavie, he shows an impressive level of commitment to and passion for his work. He keeps the Centre’s staff and more than 80 volunteers motivated despite limited financial resources. 

In 2012, this commitment was recognized when he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his remarkable and exemplary contribution to the community.

Today, Mr. Vielfaure continues to be an inspiration. At Centre Flavie, he uses his wisdom and creativity to meet the growing needs of the community. Thanks to his determination and dedication to the Centre’s mission, over 8,000 families throughout Winnipeg, southern Manitoba and in many Northern Indigenous communities now receive help annually. In 2019 alone, more than 54,000 items were distributed to those in need. 

Under the guidance of Mr. Vielfaure, Centre Flavie has become an organization that is essential to the well-being of Manitoban families in need.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to  Mr. Gilbert Vielfaure for his commitment to fighting poverty and bringing hope to families in need.


Patricia Bovey

Patricia Bovey, Honorary Degree Recipient, 2021
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Patricia Bovey

Senator, B.A. (Toronto), FRSA

Few Canadians have made such an impact on visual arts in this country as the Honourable Patricia Bovey. Senator Bovey, appointed to her present position by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, is the first art historian and museologist to be appointed to the Senate.  A native Winnipegger, over her more than 45-year career in the fine arts, Senator Bovey has revitalized galleries and community arts organizations, promoted Canadian artists  and helped guide cultural policy at both national and provincial levels.

Senator Bovey has served on many national committees including as Deputy-Chair of the Senate’s Transport and Communications Committee, its Social Affairs, Science  and Technology Committee, and the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic.

Growing up in a family that valued art and history, Senator Bovey became a curator of traditional art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1970 before heading west to B.C. As director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria from 1980 to 1999, Ms. Bovey turned it into a major tourist destination that was largely self-sufficient—an incredible feat for a Canadian art gallery. She guided the direction of Canada’s best-known arts organizations, serving on the boards of the National Gallery of Canada (2005-2009) and the Canada Council for  the Arts (1990-1993).

Locally, Senator Bovey changed the landscape of fine art in Winnipeg as director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004) and as a founder of St. Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, serving as its director and curator (2007-2016). Ms. Bovey was also a member  of the Public Art Committee of the City of Winnipeg (2003-2007) and the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art (2002-2003).

At UM, Senator Bovey established post-secondary programs, led in governing the University of Manitoba on the Board of Governors (2007-2016, Chair 2013-2016),  
and was a dedicated member of the President’s Campaign Team for the Front and  Centre campaign.

Among her many accolades and honours, Senator Bovey is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and a Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association. She received the Canada 125 Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, was Winnipeg’s 2002 Woman of Distinction for the Arts, and received the Canadian Museums’ Association Distinguished Service Award, and the Winnipeg Arts Council’s 2015 Making a Difference Award.

An independent Senator, Senator Bovey is arguably Canada’s leading government advocate for the visual arts. She has spoken in the Chamber about the impact of the arts, especially on health and crime prevention and has stated her goal is to ensure the voice  of arts and culture is heard in the Senate and in every sector of our society.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize Senator Bovey for her work advocating for the visual arts by bestowing upon her its highest honour, a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Diana DeLaronde-Colombe

Diana DeLaronde Colombe, Honorary Degree Recipient, 2021
Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Diana DeLaronde-Colombe

The work of Ms. Diana DeLaronde-Colombe demonstrates the impact one person can have on a community. Today, she is being recognized for her dedication and commitment to Manitoba’s northern communities and their people, addressing issues such as food security, access to health care, job training, transportation, and housing.

In 2001, wanting to make an impact in her community of Wabowden, Manitoba, Ms. DeLaronde-Colombe created the community development office. She quickly began facilitating programs, such as Truck Driver Training, to help others find employment. She soon realized, however, that if she brought more communities together, their collective voice would ring louder in the ears of funders and they could achieve greater goals. So she brought together Councillors and other leaders from six communities along the rail line, from Ilford to Cormorant, and they created the Bayline Regional Roundtable.

In this new enterprise, Ms. DeLaronde-Colombe gave herself the title of “Animator” because that is how she views her role in all endeavours: as someone there to empower and impassion others. And she did. And she does.

Solving food security issues in Northern communities had troubled many before her, yet she saw an elegant and sustainable path forward. Following her vision, the Roundtable sought and received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and other funders, which facilitated the purchase of a shipment of freezers to store the fish and meat hunted along with bulk food purchases. These freezers were provided to community members at cost, and the repayments were used to purchase even more freezers. To further help people maintain healthy diets, she facilitated programming that taught people how to garden, raise poultry and then preserve and can their food.

She championed this Northern Foods Initiative, and it led to the development of the Manitoba Food Charter, which then grew to become Food Matters Manitoba. Today, the legacy of her original project is astounding: in its modern form, it helps 80 per cent of Manitoban communities. Recognizing this impact, in 2007 she received the Capturing Opportunities-Outstanding Community Leadership Award from Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives.

Ms. DeLaronde-Colombe is also active in the community in other ways, fundraising and helping start new recreational opportunities for children and youth. Indeed, in 2007, after receiving the Women’s World Summit Foundation Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life from an international NGO (the first Canadian to earn such an honour), she used her prize money to purchase playground equipment for children in Wabowden. And last year, she led a fundraising campaign which helped the local musicians purchase audio equipment that has allowed them to continue to benefit the community.

“Anything that is going to empower someone else to make a difference, is where I will put my energy,” she says.

Ms. Diana DeLaronde-Colombe is a compassionate leader who always acts in the interests of others. And today the University of Manitoba is honoured to celebrate her creativity and commitment to improving the lives of countless Manitobans by awarding a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


No honorary degrees were conferred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Craig Alan Baines

Craig Alan Baines

MSC, CD, B.A.(Man.); MDefStudies, MPA(RMC)

Before confronting Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, Rear-Admiral Craig Baines was a national judo medallist from Saskatchewan with an English degree from the University of Manitoba.

Upon graduation, he began his naval training on the West Coast.  RAdm Baines specialized in navigation; as navigator of HMCS Provider, he sailed from Esquimalt, BC to Halifax, NS via the Panama Canal - no small feat.

Then, in April 2009, came a tremendous challenge:  as commander of HMCS Winnipeg, which was escorting commercial freighters in the Arabian Sea, RAdm Baines ordered his ship's Sea King helicopter to ward off Somali pirates attempting to hijack an Indian merchant vessel.  They managed this successfully.  Five days later, the HMCS Winnipeg again came to the aid of a merchant ship under attack.

Besides protecting valuable shipments of food, oil and supplies, RAdm Baines and his crew of 240 also, in one instance, provided food and water to 51 Somali refugees crammed in a 25 foot boat without sustenance, on their way to Yemen.

RAdm Baines' efficient and effective actions in one of the busiest and most dangerous shipping routes off the Horn of Africa during 2009 won him the prestigious Meritorious Service Cross, which was awarded by Canada's Governor General.  In 2010, he was promoted to Commander of the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, overseeing 2,500 staff and a $130 million budget on the second largest military base in Canada.

Much praised for his innovation and teamwork in supporting the West Coast fleet, RAdm Baines continued to advance, serving as special advisor to Canada's Chief of Defence Staff and, subsequently, Commander of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet in Halifax.  Meanwhile, he earned two Master's degrees from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, ON.

In 2017, he was promoted to Rear-Admiral and appointed Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and Commander of the Joint Task Force Atlantic, the top military post in Atlantic Canada.  In this role, RAdm Baines leads all Navy operations worldwide while overseeing more than 10,000 personnel, many of whom are on standby to sail anywhere in the world to support Canada's interests.

Over his 30 year career, his expertise and diplomacy in handling complex defence and security issues have inspired a generation of Navy officers dedicated to defending our nation's interests at sea.  Moreover, his genuine caring for colleagues show him to be a leader with integrity, a role model within and outside the military, and the kind of individual who best merits an honorary degree.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize RAdm Craig Baines for his courage and dedication to our country, by bestowing upon him its highest honour, a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Paul Desmarais, Jr.

Paul Desmarais, Jr.

O.C., O.Q., B.Comm.(McG.), MBA(INSEAD), Ph.D.(Laval), LL.D.(McG.), DHC(Montr.)

Mr. Paul Desmarais, Jr., of Montreal, is one of Canada’s most successful business leaders and philanthropists, helping companies, employees, and communities thrive worldwide.

Mr. Desmarais is Chairman and, with his brother André, Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada, a diversified international management and holding company with annual revenues of $48 billion. Its group of companies, including Canada Life, IGM Financial Inc., Imerys, SGS, LafargeHolcim, Pernod Ricard, Total, Adidas, and Umicore, employ more than 30,000 individuals globally and support local businesses and charities in the communities where they operate.

Mr. Desmarais is at the centre of it all, overseeing successful businesses at home while deftly managing relationships with Europe’s business titans and venturing into new pursuits abroad.

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, in 1954, Mr. Desmarais grew up in Montreal and earned a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University, followed by an MBA from INSEAD business school in France. After working in London (U.K.), and New York City, he returned to Montreal in 1981 and joined Power Corp., the company his late father Paul Desmarais, Sr., developed into a billion-dollar empire. The younger Desmarais became Chairman and Co-CEO in 1996.

When he is not attending to Power Corporation, Mr. Desmarais provides guidance to key international groups, such as the International Economic Forum of the Americas (Canada) and the Brookings Institution’s international advisory council. He is past chair of the Business Council of Canada.

He also dedicates his time and fortune to philanthropy across a range of sectors. For more than 20 years, he has built a solid bridge between the business community and Centraide - Montreal’s equivalent of the United Way - particularly as founder and honorary chair of the Centraide Major Donors’ Circle until 2017. He is honorary chair of CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s campaign (for children’s health), and former campaign co-chair of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

A devoted French-Canadian patriot who is both bilingual and bicultural, Mr. Desmarais was part of a group of 22 prominent leaders who proposed constitutional reform in 1991. In recent years, he has called on the business community to provide work and health programs for Canada’s veterans.

Mr. Desmarais helps advise both of his alma maters and is an important partner of the University of Manitoba, having supported executive education, research, and students. In 2016, he helped establish the University of Manitoba’s new Institute for Leadership Development. His vision of nurturing the next generation of leaders drew significant corporate support, and Mr. Desmarais personally contributed major funds to launch this exciting initiative.

His stunning success and influence has earned him top national honours in Canada, France and Belgium, along with honorary degrees from several universities.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Paul Desmarais, Jr., a corporate powerhouse par excellence and a model for aspiring business leaders everywhere.

Carolyn Duhamel

Carolyn Duhamel

Ed. Cert.(Lake.), B.Sc.(Tor.), M.Ed.(Ott.)

For nearly five decades, Ms. Carolyn Duhamel has distinguished herself through an unwavering commitment to bettering our education system, and for bolstering Manitoba's francophone community.

Her career began in elementary classrooms in Kenora, Ontario, in 1969.  In 1979, she brought her experience and perspectives to our community when she moved to Winnipeg, serving first as an active parent volunteer and council member in local schools for several years, and then elected in 1989 as a School Trustee in the Saint-Boniface School Division, serving for 11 years.

For Ms. Duhamel, education is the most potent tool we have to transform lives and build peaceful communities, which is why she dedicated her life to it. As a former teacher, she understands intimately the crucial role that teachers play in shaping future generations, and in 2014, she shared her wisdom with them in an article she wrote for EdCan, a publication for Canadian educators. She said that great teachers must learn to empathize with students from many backgrounds and traditions, and to do that, they must recognize that "understanding from the heart is at least as important as knowing from the head and in combination these two can be powerful instruments for change."

Outside the classroom, Ms. Duhamel impacts our community through the many boards she has served on, including the Winnipeg Foundation, the Saint-Boniface General Hospital, and the Canadian Education Association. She chaired the Canadian Clubs of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Children's Museum, the latter of which she helped to relocate and expand into an historical building at The Forks. In 1995, she became the first female chair of the Université de Saint-Boniface's Board of Governors.

As a former president of the Commissaires d'écoles franco-manitobains, she defended the francophone minority in Manitoba, and for her efforts she received the Prix Reseau in 1994. The Manitoba Association of Principals, and the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils have also recognized Ms. Duhamel's contributions to our education system.

For 15 years, Ms. Duhamel made an enduring impact serving as the executive director of the Manitoba School Boards Association, a role she held until 2015. During her tenure, the association expanded its capacity in education and training services for its members, created the Student Citizenship Awards Program, championed arts education, and helped transformative programs, such as Safe Schools Manitoba and the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba, to thrive.

Ms. Duhamel possesses remarkable professional judgment, competency and sense of justice, and has played an important role in educational administration in Manitoba, immeasurably benefitting teachers and the students they nurture.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Carolyn Duhamel, a champion for education.

Morley D. Hollenberg

Morley D. Hollenberg

B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc.(Man.); D.Phil.(Oxf.); M.D.(John H.); FRSC

Internationally respected biomedical researcher, Dr. Morley Hollenberg, was born into a Canadian medical dynasty with roots in Winnipeg's North End.

His grandparents, immigrants from Austria, had seven children, all of whom were University alumni, including five who earned medical degrees.  One of those five MDs, surgeon Dr. Jacob Hollenberg, married Dr. Esther Gorsey, a fellow physician.  They passed on their passion for science to their son, Morley, born in Winnipeg in 1942.

The extended family has included at least 15 distinguished physicians, including the late Dr. Charles H. Hollenberg, a University of Manitoba educated laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Dr. Morley Hollenberg has advanced the scientific understanding of the action of insulin, epidermal growth factor and other polypeptide hormones, and has been at the forefront of investigating the hormone-like roles played by certain protein-cleaving proteolytic enzymes in inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and colitis.

Dr. Hollenberg did not start out as a physician.  After completing bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry at the University of Manitoba, he earned a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and received his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Oxford in 1967.

He then enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Graduating in 1972, he stayed on as a Howard Hughes investigator and as an assistant professor jointly in the departments of pharmacology and therapeutics and medicine.

In 1979, he joined the University of Calgary as head of the medical school's department of pharmacology and therapeutics.  He built a reputation as an outstanding professor, mentor and administrator, leading the department for 10 years.  Since 1991, he has played a major role in developing the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine's Leaders in Medicine program, which enables medical students to earn graduate degrees as MD-PhD-MSc physician-scientists.

Dr. Hollenberg has been a remarkably prolific and highly-cited researcher.  He has published more than 435 peer-reviewed papers and 70 book chapters.  His research citation index places him in the top rank of biomedical scientists in the world.

One of his lab's most influential discoveries, published in collaboration with international colleagues, was that enzymes called proteinases activate certain receptors on sensory nerves as part of the inflammatory process.  He has led many subsequent studies of how proteinase-activated receptors function in inflammation and pain.

Dr. Hollenberg's many honours include the Henry Friesen Award, the E. K. Frey-E. Werle Commemorative Gold Medal, and the Royal Society of Canada's McLaughlin Medal, which recognizes important medical research of sustained excellence.

Outside of the lab, he is an accomplished artist, creating brushwork influenced by Chinese calligraphy and by images he discovers at the molecular level of human life.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to Dr. Morley Hollenberg for his scientific leadership and five decades of groundbreaking biomedical research.

Janice Y. Lederman

Janice Y. Lederman

B.A., J.D.(Man.)

An esteemed Winnipeg lawyer and civic leader, Ms. Janice Lederman has contributed enormously to the prosperity of our community for more than 40 years.

Ms. Lederman is president of Valhalla Private Capital Inc., a venture-capital firm; director of Timia Capital, a publicly traded revenue-based financing firm; and director of Genome Canada, which invests in genomic science and technology. Growing up in Saskatchewan in the 1960s, she never imagined herself a successful business lawyer and negotiator, let alone a champion of aspiring entrepreneurs.

In 1971, Ms. Lederman thought only of becoming a journalist. That year, she moved to Winnipeg to study English at the University of Manitoba. She earned a Bachelor of Arts; then, a month before starting journalism school, she changed her mind and switched to law - taking classes at Robson Hall and writing for the Winnipeg Free Press through summer breaks.

Ms. Lederman built a distinguished legal career, becoming a partner at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, one of Winnipeg’s oldest law firms, where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions, trade, finance, and governance. As co-founder and president of Innovate Manitoba, an industry-led non-profit organization, Ms. Lederman helped budding entrepreneurs obtain millions of dollars for their ventures, allowing them to thrive.

Along the way, Ms. Lederman took the reins of numerous organizations in her community, serving as chair of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission, president of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party, president of Assiniboine Credit Union, and president and chair of the United Way of Winnipeg.

In the latter role, she asked thousands of Winnipeggers to identify the most important social issues and the best ways to solve them collectively. By doing so, she ushered in a new model for civic engagement, setting an example for United Ways across Canada and the United States - a feat that earned her the organization’s prestigious André Mailhot Award.

Ms. Lederman led the 2008 Spirit of Leadership Awards recognizing four Manitoba women for their legacies of vision and action.

Ms. Lederman has shared her tremendous skills with the University of Manitoba. She introduced a philanthropy program in the faculty of law, and launched a legal clinic to provide free advice to startup businesses. As chair of the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors from 2010 to 2013, she helped modernize the university’s processes and systems. In 2017, the University of Manitoba honoured her with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

The University of Manitoba is once again proud to recognize Ms. Janice Lederman as a bold and passionate leader in our community by bestowing upon her its highest honour, a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Naomi Z. Levine

Naomi Z. Levine

B.A.(Wpg.), M.A., LL.B.(Man.)

Ms. Naomi Zena Levine - lawyer, mediator, consultant, ethicist, journalist, champion of human rights - has dedicated her life to the legal profession and the promotion of peace and justice throughout the world.

Born in Winnipeg in 1946, her parents, Sophie Levine (née Bookhalter) [B.A./39] and Louis Levine, instilled in her an unwavering moral compass and an inexhaustible compassion. Throughout her life, these traits led her towards conflicts, both profound and mundane, where she invariably dedicated herself to their diffusion and righting the wrongs they left behind.

One of the first incidents was perhaps the largest in scale. In 1967, she volunteered for the Six-Day War in Israel, providing humanitarian support, before returning to Canada to study English at university. She earned a B.A. in 1968 from the University of Winnipeg, followed by an M.A. (1970) and a law degree (1976) from the University of Manitoba.

Only three years into her law career, she assisted in drafting the first legislation of Manitoba’s Human Rights Act. Across the country in the late 1970s, governments were beginning to protect human rights under law, and Ms. Levine played a lead role in protecting minority groups from discrimination.

In the 1980s, while continuing to practice law, Ms. Levine developed her skills as a workplace consultant specializing in corporate conduct, ethics and workplace disputes. A little later, she dedicated herself to investigating sexual harassment and human rights complaints within universities.

Media soon sought Ms. Levine’s expertise and insights, and she began to drive our national conversation in profound ways. She commented frequently on legal and ethical issues, such as professor-student intimate relationships, and the lack of expertise on internal tribunals. During this time, in the late 1990s, she was elected national president of the Canadian Association Against Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

After earning her qualification as a chartered mediator and arbitrator, Ms. Levine served as a judge on the Canadian Forces Grievance Board, the first independent organization to review military grievances. She had her own successful weekly radio column, Levine’s Law, on CBC Winnipeg, for which she won a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2003.

Ms. Levine’s belief in the power of higher education eventually led her back to the University of Manitoba, where she lectured and helped develop executive and professional programs. Ms. Levine is also a board member of the Mauro Family Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars towards human rights and social justice education at this institution.

Ms. Levine serves as an example to us all of what a determined heart and sharp mind can achieve and how, armed with them, one can bring peace and justice to people in need. The University of Manitoba is proud to honour Ms. Naomi Levine with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for her dedication to human rights, higher education and the law.

Guy Arthur Maddin

Guy Arthur Maddin

C.M., O.M., B.A., Litt.D.(Winn.)

Since directing his first film in 1985, Mr. Guy Maddin has become one of Canada's most celebrated and influential directors, producers, screenwriters, and cinematographers, acclaimed for creating pieces that captivate viewers with their beauty, wit and poignancy.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Mr. Maddin's rise in the world of cinema has been inspired in part by the liberating isolation of his hometown from Hollywood and Toronto.  For it is this distance that gave him the freedom to take a relatively unknown city, and re-imagine it on film.

He stumbled into filmmaking while studying economics at the University of Manitoba, taking some filmmaking classes and falling in love with the masterpieces of early cinema.  The result has been a thirty year career in filmmaking, and an artistic sensibility so distinctive that it has earned its very own adjective, "Maddinesque".  His work has been celebrated at home and abroad for its originality, its audacity, and its jaw-dropping beauty, even as its surrealistic qualities both shock and move its viewers.

His achievements embody the weaving together of disciplinary knowledge and personal creativity in the best expression of the liberal arts.

In 2003, he applied his storytelling talents to new mediums, including books and art installations, which were received with great fanfare.  In 2009, Mr. Maddin, the creator of nearly 50 short films and 11 feature films, including the Emmy Award-winning film, Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary, received the Order of Manitoba, and in 2012, he was named a member of the Order of Canada.

His other honours include the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, four Genie Awards, three Geminis, and a Canada Council Bell Award in Video Art.  At age 39, he was the youngest filmmaker to be given a Telluride Medal for Lifetime Achievement at the Telluride Film Festival.  He has also won awards from the Toronto Film Critics Association, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, and the U.S. National Society of Film Critics.

In addition to his critical success, Mr. Maddin has advanced filmmaking in our province by recently serving as the UofM Faculty of Arts' Distinguished Filmmaker in Residence, mentoring and teaching others to find their unique voice.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Guy Maddin, a visionary storyteller with a profound creative spirit.

Shelagh H.S. Rogers

Shelagh H.S. Rogers

O.C., B.A.(Qu.), LL.D.(Mem.) (Mt. All.) (W. Ont.), D.Litt.(Car., Vancouver Island), D.Ed.(Nipissing)

Joining such national symbols as the maple leaf, the beaver and hockey is Ms. Shelagh Rogers, veteran radio journalist, who represents Canada like no other broadcast journalist of her time.

Ms. Rogers has built a prominent career as host and co-host of the country’s most popular radio programs, including Morningside, Sounds Like Canada and This Morning. Currently, she is the host of, and a producer for, CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter, travelling across Canada to connect with authors and readers.

She also serves as chancellor of University of Victoria.

While many other talented journalists have achieved success, no one else embodies the archetypal Canadian quite like Ms. Rogers, who amplifies our nation’s arts and culture with humility, respect and compassion.

Born in 1956, she grew up ensconced in national symbols - listening to CBC, the national public broadcaster, from her home in Ottawa.  It was in Ottawa, home to Parliament, where her great aunt Margaret Konantz was the first woman from Manitoba to serve as a federal MP. Ms. Rogers studied art history at Queen’s University in Kingston, volunteering at the campus radio station. She hosted classical and country music shows at a local station, and moonlighted as a TV weather presenter and daily current-affairs show host and producer before returning to Ottawa to join CBC Radio in 1980.

From there she moved to Toronto, finding her way into the nation’s bedrooms and kitchens as a contributor to national shows, including Basic Black, The Max Ferguson Show, The Arts Tonight and Take Five. Arguably her biggest break was at Morningside, a daily morning program with her mentor, the legendary broadcaster Peter Gzowski, where she built a relationship with listeners captivated by her warmth and energy. And it was at Morningside where she really learned how to listen.

In a spirit that embraced Canada and its peoples, Ms. Rogers turned down an opportunity to advance her career in the United States, instead choosing to host the national current-affairs program This Morning. Her goal of sharing the stories of this country helped her overcome her decades-long struggle with depression and led to advocacy in mental health as well as adult literacy.

For her activism, and her contributions to Canadian culture, Ms. Rogers, in 2011, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. That year, she became an honorary witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, widely sharing the testimony she heard from Survivors. She held conversations in living rooms, universities and community halls about the real story of Canada, and the necessary rebuilding of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Ms. Shelagh Rogers, queen of the national airwaves and true champion of Canada.

Helena Jean Riley Senft

Helena Jean Riley Senft


Today, the University of Manitoba honours a courageous advocate for integrity in sport, whose fortitude in the face of injustice has made a lasting impact on the world stage.

For Ms. Jean Riley Senft, striving for personal achievement and fairness in sport has always been part of her philosophy.  The daughter of Olympic athlete, J. Derek Riley, Ms. Senft became an accomplished figure skater in her youth.

After her first year at the University of Manitoba, she studied economics at the University of Western Ontario.  From there, she became Canada's first female sales manager of Xerox Corporation.  She then took the Canadian Securities Course and worked in real estate security investments until she left the business to turn her focus to her famly and skating, her true passions.

It is in the field of figure skating, where she has volunteered for 53 years, that Ms. Senft has made a lasting impact upon international competition.

She became a World and Olympic judge in 1990.  She risked her career when she chose to expose block judging and unethical practices during the Ice Dance event at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.  She was then herself cited by the International Skating Union for national bias.  She fought that citation, exposing the true rule breakers - and won.  In doing so, she set the stage for a new and fairer system of judging figure skating.

At the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, her actions encouraged the media to be on alert for judging corruption.  It surfaced in the Pairs event.  Faced with these exposures, the International Skating Union implemented a totally different judging system that is now in use today.

In 2009, Sports Officials Canada created the Jean Riley Senft Integrity Award, of which she was the first recipient.  Much of Ms. Senft's passion for the sport has been to educate the viewing audience.  For seven years, she commentated and produced segments for CBC, and she authored, Triumph on Ice, The New World of Figure Skating, revealing how the new judging system has driven the sport in a new direction.

Ms. Senft is also a philanthropist, having served on the Canadian Olympic Committee, and as a director of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.  She was founding chair of the Collingwood School Foundation, and is chair of the Senft Family Foundation.  Her love of the arts is demonstrated through her fundraising efforts for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the New Play Centre of Vancouver.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Jean Riley Senft, a woman of the highest integrity who can inspire us all to seek justice.

Shahina Siddiqui

Shahina Siddiqui


Ms. Shahina Siddiqui has enriched our city, province and country by envisioning and creating a social service network that has brought about a more equitable and just society for us all.

She moved from Pakistan to Winnipeg in 1976, shortly after first visiting the city as a tourist. She and her husband fell in love with Winnipeg and decided to raise a family here. Soon after settling in Winnipeg, a woeful inadequacy in our community revealed itself to them.

Their eldest son was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease and when he died, Ms. Siddiqui realized how little support Muslim-Canadians going through her experiences had, even regarding basic needs like funeral planning. She vowed to herself that no other family would go through what she did.

In 1999, Ms. Siddiqui attended the annual Islamic Society of North America conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where she met three other women who eventually helped establish the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA). Ms. Siddiqui was the inaugural executive director of both the U.S. and Canadian chapters. In 2003, the chapters split and Ms. Siddiqui became president of ISSA Canada, which provides family, health, and social welfare services. She continues to serve ISSA-Canada as its volunteer executive director.

Ms. Siddiqui sits on the National Advisory Board for the Canadian Association for Muslims with Disabilities, and the National Council of Canadian Muslims. She is also a member of the RCMP Commissioner's National Advisory Committee on Diversity, as well as the RCMP Commanding Officers' Diversity Committee, D-Division in Manitoba. Prior to this, she sat on the board of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, the City of Winnipeg Anti-Racism Committee, Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, and the Manitoba Coalition for Human Equality. She founded the Canadian Muslim Women's Institute, and co-founded the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute and the Federation of Canadian Muslim Social Services.

She has received many awards. Among them, the YMCA/YWCA (Winnipeg) Peace Medal 2002 for her work in fostering understanding between Muslims and other religious and cultural groups in Winnipeg since the 9/11 attacks. In 2012, she was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. And in 2016, she received the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year award.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Shahina Siddiqui, a visionary leader and community builder.

Robert I. Silver

Robert I. Silver

O.M., B.Sc.(Man.)

In 1970, when Mr. Robert (Bob) Silver completed a bachelor's degree in science at the University of Manitoba, he could not wait to get out of Winnipeg.  He took off without attending convocation.

He backpacked around Europe, lived for six months in India, then went back to the land in British Columbia as a self-sufficient farmer.  But in 1973, his father died.

Reluctantly, Mr. Silver came home to help his great-uncle sell the family business, Western Glove Works, which had been manufacturing workwear in Winnipeg since 1921.  When no one would buy the company without the family management team, Mr. Silver decided to keep the business and lead it with partners Ron Stern, Norman Stern and Michael Silver.

With his new responsibilities, Mr. Silver gained new perspective.  He committed to building his businesses, strengthening the Winnipeg and Manitoba communities and supporting higher education.

Today, he exemplifies Manitoba's "can-do" spirit.  He is an influential business leader and advisor, community builder and philanthropist.  He has served for nine years as chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, emphasizing the importance of making education accessible to all.

At the University of Manitoba, he led the development of the Smartpark research and technology hub.  He now chairs the board overseeing the Southwood Lands expansion of the Fort Garry campus.

As president and co-owner of Western Glove Works, Mr. Silver has achieved international success with casual-wear brands such as Silver Jeans and Jag Jeans.  Navigating through enormous upheaval in the garment industry while driving innovation, he has kept the company on course to celebrate 100 years in 2021.

Mr. Silver co-owns the Winnipeg Free Press - the largest independent newspaper in Canada - and the Brandon Sun, as well as the Urban Barn, Warehouse One, Ricki's, Cleo, Suzanne's and Bootlegger retail chains.

He shares his expertise as a board member of CentrePort Canada, the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund, RBC Convention Centre and Canadian Apparel Federation.  He has chaired the United Way Winnipeg campaign, co-chaired the Premier's Economic Advisory Council and led projects for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.

Mr. Silver also works tirelessly to enrich Manitoba's cultural life.  He spearheaded the redevelopment of Winnipeg's Millennium Library and is a generous supporter of assets such as the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

His many accolades include the Order of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba's Distinguished Alumni Award.

The University of Manitoba is proud to honour Mr. Bob Silver with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his service to post-secondary education; leadership in enhancing the economic, cultural and social vibrancy of our communities and dedication to empowering others.

Winston D. Wuttunee

Winston D. Wuttunee

Through his roles as a performer, educator, writer and speaker, Mr. Winston Wuttunee uses storytelling as a method to share traditional knowledge and pride in his culture. His continued efforts to reach out to youth are truly inspirational, and he also has been successful in reaching a broader non-Indigenous audience, sharing the positive effects of Indigenous music and culture with people around the world.

A proud member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, Mr. Wuttunee, whose full name is Kihiw Wuttunee (ke-ha-o wha-ta-knee), meaning “eagle tail feather”, grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan, where he was no stranger to racism and discrimination. His father impressed upon him the importance of rising above such things, and his formative years created in him fond memories of Indigenous life, a great appreciation of the Creator, and a desire to share his spirituality through entertainment and education.

A household name in the Canadian Music industry since 1973, Mr. Wuttunee has performed across North America, as well as Europe and Australia, as a singer, keynote speaker and comedian.

Winston has opened for Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, appeared on national television, including Canada’s version of Sesame Street, on radio, and in films.

He has performed internationally at many festivals, sharing the stage with Al Simmons, and Fred Penner, even crawling through the famous log on Fred Penner's Place.

A career highlight was taking the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall to perform his own composition Museecho to a standing ovation.

Mr. Wuttunee’s music is both inspired and inspiring, utilizing cultural teachings and values in his songs. He once explained: “I was blessed by the Elders to heal wounds. My music is spiritually healing.”

His song, I Cried, was penned as a response to someone he knew who had attempted suicide, whereas the ballad, My Son, was written to encourage children to become great leaders, such as Crazy Horse and Louis Riel. When Calgarian Rafe Vadnais’ braid was cut off at school last year, Winston reached out and offered his song, My Braids, to the family.

Over the decades, Winston has been awarded for his many albums, nominated for a Juno, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, an Indspire Award (formerly, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards) in 2013 for culture, heritage and spirituality.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Winston Wuttunee, who brings to life the Teachings of the Drum and the Eagle Feather.


Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock
B.A.(UBC); M.M.(McG.); M.Jur.(Loyola); Ph.D.(Tor.); LL.D.(UNBC)(Sask.)(Western)(Wat.)(Wpg.)(Ryerson)(Osgoode Law School); ipkDoc(BQFNU); D.Litt.(Mt.St.Vin.); D.C.L.(St John’s College)

Dr. Cindy Blackstock grew up in northern British Columbia and is a member of the Gitksan First Nation. Inspired by the inequity she saw firsthand as a social worker, she made it her life mission to advocate for the reform of Canada’s child welfare system to meet the needs of all.

She is a passionate defender of the rights of Indigenous children and families across Canada, an author and researcher. Dr. Blackstock received her bachelor of arts majoring in psychology from the University of British Columbia, her master’s degree in management from McGill, her Master’s in Jurisprudence from Loyola University Chicago and her Ph.D. in social work from the University of Toronto.

Her work has been shaped by more than 30 years of experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights, first as a senior social worker for the Province of British Columbia and then for the Squamish First Nation.

Appalled at the shortage of resources for Indigenous families, she joined with colleagues from Manitoba to form a national non-profit organization to provide research, policy, professional development and networking support for First Nations child and family services agencies. After a meeting at Squamish First Nation in 1998, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada was created. As executive director, she is an advocate and strong voice against the discrimination Indigenous children face, particularly as it relates to government actions and policies.

In 2007, she became the central figure in a groundbreaking complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal by the Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations. In January 2016, after nine years of testimony and investigation, the Tribunal issued a landmark ruling. For the first time in Canadian history, the federal government was ordered to provide equitable services to First Nations children and their families.

Dr. Blackstock travels tirelessly to communities all over Canada, reaching out to children, parents, policymakers and service providers. She is often accompanied by Spirit Bear, a teddy bear that doubles as a reconciliation advisor, with a very active Twitter account. With a little help from Dr. Blackstock, Spirit Bear has written a best-selling children’s book and outlined a plan to address inequities in public services for First Nations children, youth and families.

Dr. Blackstock’s vast contributions have been recognized with numerous honours, including honorary degrees, the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Public Policy) and an honorary lifetime membership in the Indigenous Bar Association. She has also served as a Trudeau Foundation Mentor and an Expert Advisor for UNICEF on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a truth-teller, community builder and champion for the rights of all children.

Mary Elizabeth Courchene

Elder Mary Elizabeth Courchene
B.T.(Bran.); B.A., B.Ed.(Man.)

A distinguished Indigenous leader and inspirational role model in the field of public education, Elder Mary Courchene generously offers her guidance and courage on our shared journey toward truth and reconciliation.

Drawing from her own painful experiences as a Residential School Survivor, she seeks to build understanding that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together to learn, heal and grow.

She was born in Sagkeeng First Nation, where she enjoyed a happy childhood until she was sent to the Fort Alexander Residential School at the age of five. Isolated from her family, she endured years of devastating loneliness. A bright light emerged in Grade 7 when a supportive teacher instilled within her a confidence in her academic abilities. She began to see her own potential, and gained a love of learning.

Years later, following marriage and seven children, this love of education would be rekindled. Although she had not completed high school, she reached out to Brandon University to apply for a special program. Her dream of a university education was fulfilled when she received her acceptance letter. She would go on to become one of the first Indigenous students to pursue multiple degrees from both Brandon University and the University of Manitoba.

She was soon at the forefront of Indigenous programming in the public school system. During a career that spanned more than three decades, she was the first Indigenous administrator in Winnipeg School Division, the inaugural principal of Children of the Earth School (the first Indigenous-focused, urban high school in Canada), and the first female dean of Aboriginal education at Red River College. She also co-founded Aboriginal Circle of Educators in 1987 and the Manitoba First Nations Educational Centre in 1998.

Over the years, she has earned numerous awards and honours, including the YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Aboriginal Community Educator of the Year, Aboriginal Circle of Educators Innovator Trailblazer Award, and Aboriginal Educator of the Year (Canadian Teachers Federation). She is an honored grandmother of Keep the Fires Burning, and has been awarded a sacred shawl and community recognition.

In 2008, she was among the 100 survivors invited to the House of Commons to witness the Canadian government’s historic apology for its role in Residential Schools. Today, she continues to speak about the intergenerational impacts of residential schools, often with her daughter and granddaughter at her side.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Elder Mary Elizabeth Courchene, an innovator and role model who has left a positive imprint on the landscape of public education in Manitoba.

Arnold Frieman

Arnold Frieman
O.M.; B.A.(Man.)

Arnold Frieman arrived in Canada homeless and penniless, only to become an esteemed benefactor of his adopted community.

He was born in Sátoraljaújhely, Hungary, in 1928, one of six children in an Orthodox Jewish family whose happy life was destroyed by the Holocaust. When he was 16 and studying in Budapest, his parents, two brothers, three sisters and grandfather were shipped to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. Arnold spent the next several months in a forced-labour camp before making a miraculous escape.

After the war, he was taken to Norway, where he studied electronics - a skill he put to use as an Air Force volunteer in the Israeli War of Independence. Although he discovered that two of his sisters had miraculously survived and were living in Israel, he returned to Norway. In 1951, he decided to start life anew in Canada. He was headed to an arranged job in Ontario, but on a whim headed for Winnipeg where he hoped to find the Wild West he had fallen in love with as a child through the movies. He found a job and new friends, one of whom, Minnie Heft, encouraged him to pursue a university education. He feared that poor English and a lack of money would stand in his way, but passed the entrance exam. With a $1,000 gift from Mrs. Heft, he started a business to finance his studies. He fixed and re-sold car radios purchased from wrecking yards.

Mr. Frieman considers his years at the University of Manitoba among the most impactful of his life. He graduated in 1960 with a bachelor of arts degree and a renewed belief in possibilities, as well as the love of Myra Thompson, whom he married that same year.

In 1962, he bought the small television repair shop that would become Advance Electronics. Within 12 years, Advance had grown into the largest independently owned electronics store in Western Canada.

One of the joys of his success is his ability to give back. The many organizations he has supported range from iconic arts groups to small, grassroots causes. His generosity made possible the premiere of I Believe, a Holocaust oratorio that helps people everywhere appreciate the importance of peace and justice. His inclusive style of philanthropy encourages creativity and kindness.

His many contributions to his alma mater include support for the University of Manitoba-University of Szeged Partnership, which funds exchanges between Hungarian and Manitoban scholars.

Over the years, his achievements have been recognized with numerous honours, most notably his induction into the Order of Manitoba in 2006.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Arnold Frieman, an exceptional global citizen and builder of this community.

Gregory Hanson

Gregory Hanson
C.M.; B.Comm.(Hons.)(Man.); F.C.P.A.; F.C.A.; F.L.M.I.; F.C.I.P.

Mr. Gregory Hanson is a highly respected business leader with a well-deserved reputation for strengthening Manitoba communities.

From a young age, his determined, independent spirit was encouraged. His father passed away when he was just 14 months old, but he was never made to feel disadvantaged. His mother, a woman as compassionate as she was strong, raised her son to be equally so.

He worked part-time to attend private school, eventually enrolled at the University of Manitoba and after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in 1976, went on to earn his chartered accountant designation. At university he also met his wife Mary, whom he says deserves three-quarters of the credit for his success. Together they raised a son, Adam, and a daughter, Janine.

Mr. Hanson joined Wawanesa Mutual Insurance in 1979. In 1992, at age 41, he became the youngest president and CEO in the company’s 100-year-old history. Under his leadership, Wawanesa transformed into Canada’s largest mutual insurance company and one of the country’s top-ranked property and casualty insurers.

As his influence in business grew, Mr. Hanson also became a major force in the community. He was chair of the Winnipeg Foundation and the 2010 United Way of Winnipeg campaign, and has played a leading role in many other organizations that improve the well-being of those who call Manitoba home.

The highlight of his volunteer service was with the 1999 Pan American Games, which he counts as the toughest but most rewarding of tasks. As chair of finance, he brought the event to a successful close with a surplus of $8 million - a legacy that continues to benefit sports programs in Manitoba.

Today he is focused on the success of the next generation of Indigenous Peoples, most notably through the Winnipeg Boldness Project, which empowers families in the Point Douglas neighbourhood. He also champions the Bear Clan Patrol, encouraging more formalized governance practices and also volunteering on the patrol itself.

Since retiring in 2007, he has remained active in the business community and currently sits on the board of James Richardson & Sons and chairs the board of Wynward Insurance Group. At the University of Manitoba, he is a member of the President’s Front and Centre campaign team.

His many honours include the Order of Canada, the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Lieutenant Governor’s Award for outstanding service to the community.

Richard G. Henriquez

Richard G. Henriquez
C.M.; B.Arch.(Man.); M.Arch.(MIT); LL.D.(SFU); F.R.A.I.C.; O.A.A.; R.C.A.; A.A.A.

Few Canadian architects have influenced contemporary urban design more than Mr. Richard Henriquez. Over the past 50 years, his imaginative approaches have shaped the architectural character of Vancouver and drawn worldwide attention.

Born in Jamaica, Mr. Henriquez came to Canada as a young man to study architecture at the University of Manitoba. He quickly distinguished himself, winning the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Student Medal and the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture thesis prize. After graduation in 1964, he then continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where, three years later, he received a master of architecture degree specializing in urban design.

After moving to Vancouver, he launched the practice that is now Henriquez Partners Architects. He soon began a prolific evolution beyond the modernist style so prevalent in the 1960s. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is his influence on the development of Vancouverism, a distinctive form of high-density urban design that combines slim towers, lowrise buildings, parks and view corridors to create intimate, livable neighbourhoods. Vancouverism is now widely regarded as one of the reasons the city is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the world.

Vancouverism originated at a time of growing opposition to tall buildings. The turning point came in 1984 with the construction of The Sylvia, the first of four residential highrises designed by Mr. Henriquez for Vancouver’s West End. With its slim proportions and thoughtful relationship to the site, The Sylvia overcame public resistance to towers, enabling these structures to become one of the defining features of Vancouver’s urban landscape. In 1999, Canadian Architect magazine named this highrise one of the most influential Canadian buildings of the twentieth century.

The Sylvia was also an artistic breakthrough for Mr. Henriquez. He became a storyteller, combining functional forms with a more complex range of expression and meaning. An accomplished visual artist in his own right, he has continued to blur the lines between art and architecture, introducing elements of painting, sculpture, geometry and surrealism to his work. Planners and designers from all over the world now flock to Vancouver for inspiration.

Mr. Henriquez has also become one of Canada’s foremost crusaders for public architectural awareness. He has been the driving force behind the Vancouver Urbanarium Society, a platform for engaging citizens in conversations about urban development.

His achievements have been recognized with many honours, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the most prestigious award for lifetime achievement in Canadian architecture.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Richard G. Henriquez for his outstanding contribution to the craft and culture of architecture in Canada and beyond.

Janis Guðrún Johnson

The Honourable Janis Guðrún Johnson

For nearly half a century, the Honourable Janis Johnson has had an important influence on public policy in Canada. She has also championed many vital organizations that enrich the quality and vibrancy of life in Manitoba.

A proud Icelandic-Canadian from Gimli, she is the eldest daughter of Doris Blondal Johnson and the Honourable Dr. George Johnson, the province's 20th lieutenant governor.

Ms. Johnson first pursued political science at the University of Manitoba and was a leader in the student union. After completing her bachelor of arts degree in 1968, she moved to Ottawa, where she was a youth policy advisor to the Honourable Robert Stanfield, then Leader of the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Canada. Later, she became policy advisor to the president of the PC Party of Canada.

Returning to Manitoba in 1979, Ms. Johnson became an advisor to Premier Sterling Lyon and created the first Women's Progressive Conservative Caucus in Winnipeg. She also worked with the University of Manitoba's continuing education division, where she designed a program enabling women to become better-equipped to return to the workforce.

In 1983 she served as Manitoba co-chair of Brian Mulroney's successful campaign for the leadership of the national PC Party, and soon after became the national director of the PC Party of Canada - the first woman to hold this position.

Ms. Johnson also founded a public policy and communications consulting company that did extensive work in the areas of women's health and equality, Indigenous affairs and cultural policy.

She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1990, and upon retiring in 2016 was the longest-serving Conservative member. She served as chair or vice-chair of the committees on Human Rights, Aboriginal Peoples, Transport and Communications, and Fisheries and Oceans. She was also elected three times to lead the U.S.-Canada Parliamentary Group, and served on the steering committee for the Senate Foreign Affairs and Environment committees.

Volunteerism has been a fundamental part of Ms. Johnson's life, through her extensive involvement with the Special Olympics and arts organizations in Winnipeg. She was the founding honorary president of Nature Canada for Women, and has been a long-time advocate and fundraiser for women's health research and services.

Ms. Johnson is one of the few Canadians to be awarded the prestigious Order of the Falcon by the Government of Iceland in recognition of her work on Canada-Iceland relations. She is currently chair of the Valuing Icelandic Presence board in the University of Manitoba's department of Icelandic studies. Ms. Johnson also founded the Gimli Film Festival, now one of the largest festivals of its kind in Canada.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to the Honourable Janis Guðrún Johnson, a visionary leader in public policy and community service.

Glen Alan Jones

Glen Alan Jones
B.A., B.Ed.(Man.); M.Ed., Ph.D.(Tor.)

Dr. Glen Jones is widely recognized as the foremost scholar writing about Canadian universities, as well as one of the world’s leading authorities on university governance.

He grew up on a farm near Killarney, Manitoba, the youngest of four children. He began his post-secondary education at the University of Manitoba, earning his bachelor of arts in 1983 and bachelor of education in 1985.

During his studies, he developed a passion for universities, envisioning these post-secondary institutions not just as places to be educated, but as extraordinary spaces where ideas are born and diverse perspectives come together. He has since devoted a lifetime to the study of what makes the Canadian system unique, why it works and how we can maximize its capacity to be an incubator of new opportunities.

Dr. Jones pursued this dream at Canada’s largest all-graduate faculty of education, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. After earning his master’s and doctorate in higher education, he joined the faculty as a teacher and researcher. He progressed through a number of roles, and was the first to hold the prestigious Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement.

In 2016, he became dean of OISE, an appointment that allows all of his strengths to converge. With Dr. Jones at the helm, the organization has successfully undergone a comprehensive and rapid transformation involving a range of stakeholders, from students and staff to policymakers.

While his leadership skills are revered, he is most proud of his contributions to higher education research. Collaborating with peers from around the world, he has greatly expanded our academic understanding of the factors impacting Canadian universities, from systems and governance to politics and policy.

His work has explored the unique aspects of the Canadian model, including the strong national partnerships that have flourished within the world’s most decentralized university system. Two decades ago, he explained these differences in the book Higher Education in Canada: Different Systems, Different Perspectives, and it remains a foundational work for understanding higher education across our country.

Dr. Jones has written or co-authored 14 books and more than a hundred articles on Canadian higher education, and has been called upon to share his expertise in more than 40 countries. The many awards and honours bestowed on his work have taken him to Barbados, Beijing, Oslo and Shanghai, to name a few.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Dr. Glen Alan Jones for his outstanding contribution to higher education.

Ovide Mercredi

Ovide William Mercredi
O.M.; LL.B.(Man.); LL.D.(Bishop's)(St. Mary's)(Leth.); D.Litt.(Athab.)

Mr. Ovide Mercredi, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is a highly respected lawyer, negotiator, lecturer, activist, artist, author and poet. During his decades of advocacy for Indigenous rights, Mr. Mercredi has championed education and charted a path towards reconciliation.

Born into a traditional Cree family in 1946 in Grand Rapids, Manitoba, he learned early on about social injustice. When he was a teenager, his family lost their home and traditional way of life to massive hydro development in their community.

This experience ignited young Ovide’s political awareness and moved him to pursue higher education at the University of Manitoba in 1970. Without Grade 12, he was able to attend the University of Manitoba through the ACCESS program. He was a trailblazing student, helping to establish the first Indigenous Students’ Association in Canada, and as its president, successfully lobbied for a department of Native Studies. He graduated with a law degree.

Inspired by the teachings of notable world leaders who advocated non-violent protest, particularly Mohandas K. Gandhi, Mr. Mercredi formed a strong belief that constitutional law must be the basis for achieving real change for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Mr. Mercredi was elected Manitoba regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1989, and soon became a leading advocate for the right to self-government. Not only was he a key strategist in helping defeat the Meech Lake Accord, he played an integral role in resolving the Oka Crisis in Quebec.

From 1991 to 1997, he served two terms as national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, representing 1.5 million people from more than 600 bands. Involved in formulating the Charlottetown Accord, Mr. Mercredi addressed the United Nations in both Geneva and New York. And from 2005 to 2011, he brought many improvements to his home community as chief of the Misipawistik Cree Nation.

Today, Mr. Mercredi is helping to transform health services for those living in the 49 communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation in northern Ontario.

Mr. Mercredi has been actively involved with the University of Manitoba as an advisor on many issues, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Ovide Mercredi, a tireless advocate and mentor who guides us on the path to reconciliation.

Janet Rossant

Janet Rossant
C.C.; B.A., M.A.(Hons.)(Oxford); Ph.D.(Cambridge); LL.D.(Dal.)(Mt.All.)(Wind.); D.Sc.(UBC)(Cambridge)

Through her trailblazing stem-cell research, Dr. Janet Rossant has advanced the study of children’s illnesses and laid the groundwork for future advances in regenerative medicine.

Growing up in southeast England, she was inspired to study life sciences by her female biology teacher, during a time when girls were often discouraged from pursuing science. Undeterred, she received her bachelor of arts in zoology at Oxford University, followed by a Ph.D. in mammalian development at Cambridge University. In 1977, marriage brought her to Canada, where she joined Brock University and then the University of Toronto, as an associate professor.

The goal of her research is to understand the miracle of how a single cell develops into a complex organism like a human being. She demonstrated that mouse embryonic stem cells can in fact form a healthy, living creature, if provided with supporting placental cells. This suggested that human embryonic stem cells could be a major source of cells to treat degenerative diseases.

Her groundbreaking work led to the discovery of the trophoblast stem cell, which helped understand how congenital abnormalities in the heart, blood vessels and placenta can occur. Her current research focuses on genetic control of both normal and abnormal development of embryos. These findings have been applied to the study of regenerative medicine, birth defects and cancer.

With these advances come questions about the ethical use of stem cells. She has helped lead the discussion by chairing the working group developing stem cell guidelines set by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Today, she remains at the forefront of developmental biology and stem cell research. She is president and scientific director of The Gairdner Foundation, a senior scientist and chief of research emeritus at the Hospital for Sick Children, and a deputy scientific director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network. She has also been the director of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a member of the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Professor Selection Committee.

Her contributions have been recognized with many national and international awards, including the Gairdner Wightman Award (2015) and the Ross G. Harrison Medal from the International Society of Developmental Biologists (2013). In 2018, she was selected as the Laureate of North America for the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award. She is also a Companion of the Order of Canada.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to Dr. Janet Rossant, a world leader in the field of developmental biology.

Esther Suen Chi Lan

Esther Suen Chi Lan
B.Comm.(Hons.)(Man.); Honorary Fellow (Hong Kong)

Ms. Esther Suen transformed her family’s business into one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-end electrical appliances, while furthering its legacy of international philanthropy.

Raised among the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, Ms. Suen moved to the Canadian prairies at age 17, eager to study business at the University of Manitoba.

As a student here, she quickly realized that learning about a culture different from her own was as much of an education as her lessons in the classroom. This new global awareness would shape her way of thinking, in life and in business, from that point forward.

She returned to Hong Kong in 1985 with her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree, and soon joined Simatelex Manufactory Company Ltd., founded by her father, Suen Chi Sun.

Since taking over as vice-chair and managing director two decades ago, Ms. Suen has guided Simatelex through a period of tremendous growth. She has greatly expanded the company’s product lines, from kitchen appliances to floor care and robotic products for the global market.

What began as a small factory in 1969 is now a top manufacturer with five plants in southern China and 20,000 employees. The company produces 20 million products a year for some of the world’s biggest brands such as Keurig, Cuisinart, Philips, Nespresso and Breville.

While expanding, modernizing and reshaping operations, she remains true to her father’s core principles of quality, integrity and attention to detail. She also honors her family’s strong commitment to the community. Through the Simatelex Charitable Foundation, she supports a wide range of causes related to higher education, medical research, emergency relief and the arts.

Ms. Suen has never forgotten the value of her experience at the University of Manitoba. To give others this opportunity, she supports an exchange program for international students enrolled at her alma mater.

Ms. Suen also champions the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong through contributions toward endowed professorship, dormitory development and student scholarships. She has made donations to support schools for underprivileged students as well as those with accessibility requirements.

In recognition of her gifts to academia and the wider community, the University of Hong Kong named Ms. Suen an honorary fellow in 2008.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Esther Suen, a business leader and philanthropist who inspires the next generation.

Martin Joel Yaffe

Martin Joel Yaffe
C.M.; B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc.(Man); Ph.D.(Tor.); A.A.P.M.

Internationally recognized scientist, Dr. Martin Yaffe, has devoted his career to finding ways to help women with breast cancer. The diagnostic techniques he continues to pioneer save thousands of lives around the world every year.

Dr. Yaffe grew up in the North End of Winnipeg, the eldest of three sons in a family with Eastern European roots. His parents taught their boys that education was the pathway to a successful life. Inspired by an uncle who was a nuclear chemist, young Martin pursued a career in science.

He began his studies at the University of Manitoba, completing a bachelor of science in 1971 and master of science two years later. Dr. Yaffe recalls listening intently to a visiting scientist from the University of Toronto, who spoke passionately about the great contributions physicists could make to medicine. He immediately shifted his focus to medical physics - a decision that eventually led to him becoming a Ph.D. student in the lab of that same inspiring scientist.

Dr. Yaffe earned his Ph.D. in medical biophysics in 1978, and in the 40 years since, the University of Toronto remained his homebase for groundbreaking research in breast cancer management. Today he is a professor in the department of medical biophysics and the Tory Family Chair in Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Institute.

He is driven to transform laboratory findings into practical advances in everyday care. Best known as a pioneer in the development of digital mammography, he has helped to substantially improve the accuracy of breast cancer imaging. He was one of the first scientists to recognize the potential of emerging technologies in digital electronics and computers, and then motivate industry leaders to bring his concepts to commercial fruition. Today, digital mammograms are widely accepted as the modern standard of care throughout the world.

Dr. Yaffe is now researching ways to improve and expand the use of the technologies he has developed. With his colleague Dr. Norman Boyd, he is exploring computer-generated mammographic signatures associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. A startup company he co-founded is developing software that will allow these findings to be used cost-effectively in the field.

Dr. Yaffe’s achievements have earned him many distinguished awards, among them the Sylvia Fedoruk Prize, the Greenfield Award and a fellowship from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. For his tireless advocacy of improved breast screening for younger women, he was recently honoured with the Cause Leadership Award of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2015.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to Dr. Martin Joel Yaffe, an outstanding role model for the Canadian scientific community.


Maria Emma Chaput

The Honourable Maria Emma Chaput

Born in 1942, Mme Maria Chaput was raised in a francophone family in Ste. Anne, Manitoba, rich with French culture and with an unwavering dedication to their mother tongue. She would devote herself to ensuring future generations experience the same opportunity and freedom she had: to live life in the official language of their choosing.

Mme Chaput’s passion for language and minority rights was ignited when she went to enroll her eldest daughter in school. She and fellow community parents realized their French children had no choice but to receive an education in English-speaking schools. Mme Chaput and her colleagues faced court battles for decades as they fought for their legal right to access schooling in their official language. Thanks in large part to the tenacity of the community, the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine was established in 1994 and today, the francophone division educates more than 5,000 students in 24 schools province-wide.

Mme Chaput believes strongly in the power of post-secondary education and yet it was not always within reach. The eldest of 11 children, Mme Chaput initially had to forgo university to stay home to help her mother, but years later while raising three daughters of her own, she proudly enrolled in classes at the Université de Saint-Boniface.

In 1984, Mme Chaput expanded her advocacy to the arts in the role of executive director at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. She understands the need to create in one’s native language, and has said, “If I couldn’t speak French, part of my heart would be missing.”

She served as the first female president of the Caisse Financial Group in Manitoba, and also brought the integrity she is known for to her post as vice-chair of the Board of Governors at the Université de Saint-Boniface, deputy director of the Franco-Manitoban Society, and director of the charitable foundation Francofonds.

Her historic appointment to the Senate in 2002 as the first Franco-Manitoban woman to sit in the chamber cast a national spotlight on her trailblazing spirit. During her 13 years as a Senator, Mme Chaput served on diverse committees, including agriculture and forestry, national finance, foreign affairs, and of course, official languages.

She put forth Bill S-209 four times to modernize the Official Languages Act, and pushed diligently for the language and cultural rights of francophones in settings as varied as airports, the Olympics and the Internet. Through it all, she has asserted that upholding French language rights is not simply an obligation or concession, but a central tenet and asset of the Canadian identity.

She has received numerous awards, including the Prix Riel of the Société Franco-Manitobaine, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Légion d’honneur, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of France.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mme Maria Chaput, a driving force for language and cultural rights.

Thomas Ralston Denton

Thomas Ralston Denton, LL.D., June 8, 2017
O.M.; B.A.(Acadia); LL.B.(Dal.)

Mr. Tom Denton was born in 1934 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and in the formative years that followed, developed a finely tuned sense of injustice.

As a child, he was horrified when his father’s colleague, an esteemed Baptist minister and black man, was refused service at restaurants. As an arts student at Acadia University years later, he spoke out in an opinion piece in the student newspaper effectively putting an end to offensive minstrel shows on campus. Once he became a corporate lawyer with a degree from Dalhousie University in 1958, he convinced senior management to raise the pensions of employees who had been acquired through corporate takeover. He was also concerned about the democracy of a city with only one newspaper, and therefore launched the Winnipeg Sun with three partners, in 1980.

When Mr. Denton convinced his Rotary club to sponsor a Vietnamese refugee family in the late 1970s, his background in law and his unyielding moral conscience found the perfect fit, and so begun a journey of compassion and care that has endured.

He has been called “the godfather of the refugee settlement sector in Canada”. From 1984 to 2000, Mr. Denton was the executive director at the International Centre of Winnipeg supporting the needs of government-aided refugees. When he became frustrated by the number of people still turned away by the government, he created a platform through his church to bring in privately sponsored refugees.

Mr. Denton retired in 2000, but remained a highly sought-after speaker and policy consultant across the globe. He has served on the Council of the Sponsorship Agreement Holders of Canada; the Canadian Council for Refugees; the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council Immigration Task Force; and as chair of the Manitoba Immigration Council.

In 2006, he took on the executive director position at the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry. He remains at the helm more than a decade later, helping privately sponsored refugees navigate a complex process, and in turn, successfully sponsor their own relatives to reunite family.

Mr. Denton’s refugee rights and integration policy is considered protocol by countries around the world. He has called the fateful and systemic cruelties that refugees face “the fundamental moral issue of our time”, and is a fearless critic of government and regulatory bodies in his advocacy for updated policy and further assistance. Mr. Denton has been personally involved in the settlement of more than 40,000 refugees. For his remarkable efforts, he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2014.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Thomas Ralston Denton, a seminal figure in human rights work and a hero to tens of thousands of refugees.

Douglas D. Everett

Douglas D. Everett, LL.D., October 19, 2017
The Honourable Douglas D. Everett
LL.B.(Osgoode); LL.B.(Man.)

The Honourable Douglas D. Everett served in the Canadian Senate for almost three decades and remains one of Manitoba’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Born in Vancouver in 1927, he grew up with the strong moral compass and work ethic displayed by his parents, and the competitive spirit of three siblings.

In 1943, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a 16-year-old cadet at Royal Rhodes Military College. He served for four years and retired as a sub-lieutenant. He graduated from Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1950 and from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law in 1951.

He charted a course in business at his father’s Winnipeg car dealership, Dominion Motors, which was Canada’s largest Ford dealership. In 1970, his entrepreneurial spirit pushed the company into an innovative foray to create a chain of gas kiosks at grocery stores.

Senator Everett leased a small spot of land on three Safeway parking lots, installing two-pump kiosks. Such low overhead created savings he could pass along to the customer and he had effectively levelled the playing field against industry giants Shell and Imperial Oil. The iconic Domo brand is now among Canada’s largest independent gas retailers with more than 90 locations across Western Canada. The company is one of several that make up Royal Canadian Securities, of which Senator Everett remains chairman emeritus and strategic advisor.

Humble by nature, he credits his business success to the individuals who made up his team. His visionary leadership earned their loyalty and many Domo employees enjoyed careers that stretched four decades.

As the company expanded and grew into a major industry player, the astute businessman caught the attention of Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who called him to the Senate in 1966. At the time, he was the youngest person to have joined our nation’s Upper Chamber, at just 39 years old.

As chairman of the Committee on National Finance, he sought out inefficiencies in government departments, and criticized policy on wage and price control, the inflation rate and our unemployment system. His convictions prompted him to sit as an Independent in the Senate and, in 1988, he made headlines around the world when he began to donate his Senate salary back to the Crown, which he did until his retirement in 1994.

He and his late wife, Patty, then turned their attention to philanthropy with transformational gifts in health care, the arts, and education that have bolstered neurodegenerative research, championed creative works, and enriched the experience of post-secondary students.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to the Honourable Douglas D. Everett, an entrepreneur and philanthropist who fulfilled his civic duty to the highest accord.

Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway, D.Litt., June 6, 2017
Tomson Highway
C.M.; B.A., B.Mus.(Western); LL.D.(Carl)(Thornloe)(Bran.)(Wpg.)(Western)(Wind.)(Laur.)(Lake.)(Montr.)(Tor.)

Born on the Tundra in December of 1951, Mr. Tomson Highway is the proud son of caribou hunter and avid dogsled racer, Joe Highway, and artist, Pelagie Highway. He enjoyed a rich, early childhood in the northern reaches of Manitoba. His father wanted him to receive the education he could not access so he sent him to residential school. That is where a young Tomson found music and developed a love for playing the piano.

He dreamt of becoming a concert pianist and completed a bachelor of music at the University of Western Ontario in 1976. Social work soon became his passion and he devoted himself to developing cultural-educational programs and working with Indigenous peoples on issues such as crime, addiction, and family separation.

By age 30, he combined his profession with his artistry, and turned his focus to playwriting as he appreciated how it mirrored the oral tradition of his Cree culture. In 1986 while serving as artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto, the first professional Indigenous theatre company in the country, he wrote the groundbreaking play The Rez Sisters. By portraying the difficulties of Indigenous peoples with sensitivity and humour, he set the tone for a new movement in Indigenous performing arts in Canada.

His follow-up companion play, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, was the first Canadian play to have a full (and extended) run at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, and productions continue to be mounted globally. The play launched Mr. Highway’s name into the elite realms of international theatre and had a profound effect on the Indigenous cultural landscape. In 1998, his award-winning first novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen, won equal praise and continues to be used in university curriculum in classes across the globe from Poland to Brazil.

The way in which Mr. Highway has claimed his experiences, and the truth he portrays without fear, has validated the stories of Indigenous peoples and spurned other artists into action. The proliferation of Indigenous arts courses and departments can be traced in large part to his influence.

He has served as playwright- and writer-in-residence at universities across the country, and has received recognition across genres from Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Best New Play and Best Production in 1988, to a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year.

In 1994, Mr. Highway became the first Indigenous author inducted into the Order of Canada, and he has been named one of the 100 most important people in Canada’s history by Maclean's magazine.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Tomson Highway for his powerful truth telling, his generous artistic spirit, and his indelible leadership in the Indigenous creative arts.

Sharon J. Johnston

Sharon J. Johnston, LL.D., May 18, 2017
Her Excellency Sharon J. Johnston
C.C.; B.A.(Western); B.Sc.(Tor.); M.Sc., Ph.D.(McGill); LL.D.(Carleton)(VIU)

Her Excellency Sharon Johnston has given her formidable knowledge, a sympathetic ear and a visible platform to those living with mental illness. She is a fervent advocate who has challenged Canadians to remove stigma and create positive change.  Her desire to help others, coupled with her passion for health, wellness and the sciences, prompted her to pursue a career as a physical and occupational therapist. With determination and drive, Her Excellency completed her masters and doctorate degrees in rehabilitation sciences at McGill University while helping to raise five young daughters.

When her husband, Governor General David Johnston, took on his distinguished new role in 2010 she stepped forward as vice-regal consort. In this capacity, Her Excellency has advocated for all Canadians, from our children to our nation’s civil service, and urges us to consider mental illness in the same way we would any other illness.

She has travelled to Indigenous communities throughout the country and witnessed the challenges they face. Her Excellency was so alarmed by what she found that in 2012, she initiated the country’s first roundtable on Indigenous health, in her home at Rideau Hall.

She has advocated for better support and updated policy for our military members and their families. With her background in art therapy, Her Excellency sought paintings and sculptures to install at CFB Petawawa to help soldiers on their path to wellness. In 2016, she was appointed Honorary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces in appreciation of her dedication and support.

Her latest turn is that of novelist. Matrons and Madams evolves around the theory that it takes four generations of a family to resolve the effects of war. It is loosely based on her insight into those that serve our country, and her grandmother, who served as a hospital superintendent after the Great War. Proceeds from the novel will support the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.

Altruism is an integral part of Her Excellency’s character. Beyond her mental health advocacy, she served on the Board of Governors for the Collège Marie de France and Bishop’s College School, and co-founded Friends of the Neuro at the Montreal Neurological Institute, which provides support for patients and their families.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, for her life-long commitment to the mental health of all Canadians.

Jennifer Judith Jones

Jennifer Judith Jones, LL.D., June 8, 2017
Jennifer Judith Jones
O.M.; B.A., LL.B.(Man.)

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Ms. Jennifer Jones grew up watching her parents curl at the local rink in their Windsor Park neighbourhood and by age 11, she started playing the popular winter sport in earnest.

At first, her participation was a means to overcome the shyness she felt as a child, but soon it became clear she possessed remarkable skills on the ice. By age 16, she had won her first of three Manitoba Junior Championships. She is a seven-time provincial champion with an inaugural win in 2002; a five-time Canadian champion with her first victory in 2005; and has achieved bronze, silver and gold medals at the world curling championships.

In 2014, Ms. Jones stepped atop the ultimate podium to receive her Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia. By then the face of women’s curling in Canada, Ms. Jones led her team to a continuous run of victories in the 11-game Olympic tournament, a feat that had never before been accomplished by a female skip.

Ms. Jones had first set the curling world on fire one decade earlier during the Scott Tournament of Hearts, when she made what has become known as “The Shot”. Under tremendous pressure, she completed a difficult in-out maneuver to secure four points, claiming not only a game victory but her first national title. It had teammates cheering and fans across Canada trying to re-enact the spectacular move characterized by one announcer as “the best shot I’ve ever seen to win a game”.

She brings the skills she acquired through elite sport to her role as a corporate lawyer. Ms. Jones completed her bachelors of arts in 1996 and a law degree three years later at the University of Manitoba. She is currently a senior advisor and community ambassador at National Bank Financial.

Ms. Jones offers mentorship to young athletes through the organization Fuelling Women Champions, which aims to keep teenaged girls engaged in organized sport given the many benefits to their physical health and emotional well-being. Ms. Jones also serves on the board of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and initiated the popular Celebrity Human Race, which has raised more than $2.8 million to improve facilities and patient care.

Team Jones attempted an Olympic repeat in South Korea in 2018. Ms. Jones was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2014, and most recently in 2017 was declared a recipient of a Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Jennifer Jones for setting the bar not only in sport, but in mentorship and strengthening community.

Micheal O'Siadhail

Micheal O'Siadhail, D.Litt., October 17, 2017
Micheal O'Siadhail
B.A., M.Litt.(Trinity)

Micheal O’Siadhail, one of Ireland’s finest and most prolific poets, grew up in middle-class Dublin in the 1950s.

While attending a Jesuit boarding school as a teenager, he discovered his love of poetry. It was a fitting medium for the impassioned youth, who felt things deeply and was intrigued by language.

He pursued a Master of Letters from Trinity College Dublin and would continue on with this post-secondary institution from 1969 to 1973 in his career as a linguistics academic. In his role as a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies that followed, Mr. O’Siadhail pioneered a textbook and audio collection titled Learning Irish that remains the standard introductory course on the topic around the world.

The pull of poetry was strong and Mr. O’Siadhail left academia in 1987. His intuitive grasp of the human experience has since made him a treasured poet with works translated in countries across the globe.

Mr. O’Siadhail has written 16 collections of poetry, alternating between public and private spheres, exploring themes as varied as friendship, history, trust, love, language, mortality and the Holocaust. This international scholar who speaks 10 languages feels equally at home in Norway, Iceland, England, the U.S. and Canada. His recent collection of poetry, titled Tongues, reflects his truly global perspective.

His poetry achieves a level of intensity while still being accessible, the latter of which Mr. O’Siadhail believes in wholeheartedly. He has served as editor of the Poetry Ireland Review, established and first chaired the Ireland Literature Exchange, and was a founding member of Aosdána, the Academy of Distinguished Irish Artists.

Bringing his keen intellect and artistic insight to students and fellow academics, he has served as a visiting professor, writer-in-residence and guest lecturer around the world, including at Harvard and Yale universities.

His work has been awarded the Irish-American Cultural Institute Prize for Poetry, the Marten Toonder Award, and the Poetry Book of the Year from the Sunday Tribune. In 2003, The Gossamer Wall: Poems in Witness to the Holocaust was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize.

His inspiration finds its roots in theatre, classical music and jazz; he sees their intrinsic connection to poetry, through rhythm, alliteration and rhyme. Passionate about his art, Mr. O’Siadhail likens each of his poems to a child he sends off into the world to engage and explore.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Micheal O’Siadhail, who stands tall in the mighty pantheon of Irish poets.

J. Louis Peninshish (Bird)

J. Louis Peninshish (Bird), D.Litt., October 19, 2017
Elder J. Louis Peninshish (Bird)
Journalism Cert.(Confederation)

Born on Hudson Bay’s west coast in 1934, Elder Louis Peninshish gained an appreciation early on for the traditional stories of the Omushkego Cree peoples.

His childhood was spent by his mother’s side, as she performed the tasks that allowed their family of 10 to live off the land. She would share stories with him passed down over generations that celebrate the culture, spiritual practices, beliefs and history of the Omushkegowak.

Elder Peninshish’s love of their holistic way of life would survive the pain of four years at Ste. Anne Residential School in Fort Albany, beginning at age five. His life experiences, both the joys and the sorrows, shaped his journey and pushed him to continue his pursuit to preserve and celebrate the stories of his people.

As a young adult, he took on various jobs in neighbouring communities and encountered a growing number of Elders who enabled him to record even more stories. In 1955, he worked on the Winisk radar station, and later as a line cutter, surveyor’s assistant, winter tractor operator, carpenter’s helper, and section man for CN Rail. He has also served as band councillor and chief in Winisk, and in 1970 began work as a translator and consultant.

All the while, Elder Peninshish has remained a fierce protector of a culture steeped in oral tradition, dedicating more than five decades to the collection, narration and recording of more than 340 hours of Cree legends and traditional teachings. He has brought the history of his people to audiences across Canada, the United States and overseas, sharing these teachings in Cree and English at storytelling festivals and universities.

With a light heart and a quick wit, he brings to life the wisdom of his ancestors for the world to hear and learn from. A living archive, Elder Peninshish has published two books, The Spirit Lives in The Mind: Omushkego Stories, Lives, and Dreams and Telling our Stories: Omushkego Legends & Histories from Hudson Bay. He also narrates all stories recorded on the website,

His expertise as a cultural historian is well-established and highly sought by government officials, curators, scholars and students across various disciplines. He has informed decisions on everything from educational funding to environmental legislation and economic development.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Mr. Louis Peninshish, a treasure to the Omushkego peoples and to all Canadians.

Sandra Pitblado

Sandra Pitblado, LL.D., June 6, 2017
Sandra Pitblado
B.A.(Tor.); LL.D.(Windsor)

As a young girl growing up during the Depression, Sandra Pitblado was introduced to the alchemy of the arts in Winnipeg by her mother and grandmother. She knew even then how fortunate she was to experience the magic of a show, and a lifetime later has become one of Canada’s greatest patrons of our dance and theatre communities.

Ms. Pitblado met her husband of more than five decades, business leader Mr. Jim Pitblado, when both were working at the Great West Life Assurance Company. His career took their family, complete with five children, from Winnipeg to Montreal and Toronto, where she began to make her mark as an enthusiastic fundraiser for arts and culture.

Her support of The National Ballet of Canada has been particularly profound. She is a member of the organization’s Producers Circle, which provides funds for new productions, and she spearheaded the establishment of The Music Circle benefitting the Ballet’s orchestra.

During her term as chair of the Stratford Festival from 1999 to 2001, she helped to facilitate the launch of the highly respected organization’s endowment foundation, as well as establish the Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. The Avon Theatre was rebuilt and the Studio Theatre was constructed thanks to a significant leading gift from the Pitblados. An avid admirer of Shakespeare’s iconic works, Ms. Pitblado also helped to make it possible for the company to film its Shakespearean productions and distribute them to cinemas worldwide.

The Pitblados are loyal supporters of The Hospital for Sick Children and its SickKids Foundation, where they established a Chair in Cell Biology in memory of their son, David, who was passionate about science and lost his battle with cancer in 2004.

The University of Manitoba has been a proud recipient of the Pitblados’ generosity, most notably a transformational gift in 2001 that created the Pitblado Scholars program in Law. They have personally met every one of the more than 200 scholarship recipients.

The Pitblados were named the outstanding philanthropists of the year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 1999, and received the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts in 2003.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Ms. Sandra Pitblado for her passion, her inspiring leadership, and her steadfast advocacy, all in the name of the arts.

Gerry V. Price

Gerry V. Price, LL.D., June 7, 2017
Gerry V. Price
B.Sc., M.Sc.(Man.); Ph.D.(Lehigh)

Dr. Gerry Price’s father, the son of immigrants from Wales, earned an engineering degree from Carnegie Tech in 1932 and established a one-person sales company in air distribution products in Winnipeg in 1946. Dr. Price followed in his footsteps, earning a bachelor and master of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Manitoba.

After completing his doctorate in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 1976, Dr. Price moved to rural Alberta to work as a defense scientific services officer with the Defense Research Board of Canada. One year later, he joined E.H. Price Limited and by 1986, he was appointed President.

As chairman and CEO of what is now the Price Group of Companies, the company has grown from 250 employees to more than 3,000, and sales from $30 million to over $550 million, with 19 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites across North America. He immersed himself in every department of the company, even moving to Singapore at one point to oversee the development of its new manufacturing site. Price Industries is now a leader in air distribution equipment and technology.

The founding principles of the company have remained the same, and reflect a deep commitment not only to customer service but to research, development and innovation. Despite branching out to sites across the globe, Dr. Price has kept his headquarters in Winnipeg.

Beyond his business acumen, he is renowned for his loyalty to his home community. At the University of Manitoba, he has established and contributed to scholarships for engineering and architecture students, supported facilities in the Faculty of Engineering, and recently established a bursary fund for Indigenous engineering students. In 2015, Dr. Price joined the President’s Campaign team for the Front and Centre campaign.

He has been instrumental in strengthening ties between the university and industry. Dr. Price was a founding member of Friends of Engineering, the Partners Program in the Faculty of Architecture, and the Associates of the I.H. Asper School of Business.

Dr. Price and his wife, Barb. are generous with their support, time and leadership, and highly committed to organizations throughout Manitoba. In 2011, they were named the Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Manitoba Association of Fundraising Professionals.

In 2003, Dr. Price received the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Excellence Award. He was inducted into the Manitoba Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame in 2006, and became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers in 2011. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. Manitoba’s Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists gave Dr. Price the Leadership Award in 2013, and the University of Winnipeg awarded him the Duff Roblin Award in 2016.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Dr. Gerry Price for his exceptional business success and innovation, his generous spirit, and his commitment to our province and its people.

John Derek Riley

John Derek Riley, LL.D., June 7, 2017
John Derek Riley
C.M.; B.Comm.(Man.)

Mr. John Derek Riley was born into one of Winnipeg’s most esteemed families in 1922. He went on to become an Olympic athlete, a war veteran, a businessman, and a philanthropist of the highest order.

In 1943, he completed his commerce degree from the University of Manitoba, in absentia, while serving as an officer of the Royal Canadian Navy aboard a Destroyer during the Second World War. He married his university sweetheart, Polly, during a one-month leave at home. After the war, in 1949, he completed his chartered accountant degree at the University of Manitoba. He took a job at the Hudson’s Bay Company and quickly established himself as chief financial officer of their fur trade division.

Mr. Riley competed as a rower in the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki, and rowing has remained a passion throughout his life. He led a campaign to build a new clubhouse for the Winnipeg Rowing Club, which now bears the Riley family name, and chaired the rowing venue for the 1967 Pan Am Games. He competed in Masters events until the age of 75.

In his own words, Mr. Riley likes to keep busy and solve problems. He saw challenge and opportunity in Dominion Bronze & Iron Limited, whose leadership was struggling. Over the course of 25 years, he turned the firm into a highly profitable architectural metal company as president and CEO.

In 1987 at the age of 65, Mr. Riley became a founding investor and first chair of the North West Company, and was instrumental in brokering its purchase from the Hudson’s Bay Company. As part of his new position, he toured the North extensively and was shocked by the lack of opportunity for young Indigenous peoples in many of the communities he visited. He made a transformational gift to the University of Manitoba to support bursaries for Indigenous students coming from remote communities, as well as mentorship, educational and cultural programs for children and teenagers in these regions.

Mr. Riley’s unassuming generosity has improved the lives of Manitobans through organizations such as the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, United Way, Winnipeg Foundation, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Mr. Riley is a member of the Associates of the Asper School of Business. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Order of Canada in 2014.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Derek Riley for his business acumen, his outstanding philanthropy, and his commitment to Indigenous education and success.

Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews, D.Litt., October 18, 2017
Miriam Toews
O.M.; B.A.(Man.); B.Journ.(King's College)

Ms. Miriam Toews was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, in 1964 and has become one of Manitoba’s most original and brave voices, authoring seven critically acclaimed books.

Her novels explore topics society generally prefers to ignore, such as mental illness and suicide. Yet her deft use of humour disarms the reader and allows her to connect in profound ways as she relates her own experiences of growing up in a Mennonite family that suffered tragic losses.

A direct descendent of one of the first Mennonites to settle in Steinbach, Ms. Toews embraced her Prairie roots and in her youth rode horses competitively, both dressage and barrel-racing. She left Steinbach at 18, moving to Montreal and London before returning to Winnipeg where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies at the University of Manitoba in 1989. In 1991, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

Her first novel grew from a radio documentary she was working on for the CBC about single mothers struggling within the Manitoba welfare system. She believed more had to be said beyond what journalism’s boundaries allowed for, leading to her first novel, Summer of My Amazing Luck. It shattered stereotypes and granted dignity to characters who so often have it stripped away. As a result, she won the John Hirsch Award for the Most Promising Manitoba Writer in 1996.

Her third novel, the bestseller A Complicated Kindness, explores religious hypocrisy in a Manitoba Mennonite town and is revered for its brilliance and beauty. It won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, an honour she has twice received.

The accolades continue as her latest work, her sixth novel, All My Puny Sorrows, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. This striking narrative explores the strength of sisters. In 2010, Ms. Toews lost her older sister to suicide, 12 years after her father took his own life. In his voice, she wrote a moving memoir Swing Low: A Life.

Ms. Toews has written for The New York Times Magazine, Geist, The Guardian, Saturday Night and Canadian Geographic. Her perceptions of life have been successfully adapted to other media: two of her novels have been performed on the stage, and in 2007, she played the lead role in the Mexican film Silent Light, which won the Cannes Jury Prize that year. In 2013, Ms. Toews was inducted into the Order of Manitoba.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Ms. Miriam Toews, a novelist who sheds lights on our inner struggles, bravely sharing her personal journey.


Sandra Buhai Barz

Sandra Buhai Barz, D.Litt., October 18, 2016
Sandra Buhai Barz

Raised in an eclectic Chicago suburb, Ms. Sandra Barz developed a deep appreciation for different cultures and ethnicities early in life. The daughter of a businessman and a social worker, she grew up with a love for storytelling and, in Grade 6, would make her own newspapers. Ms. Barz studied sociology in college but ultimately pursued a career in publishing, for years working at American magazines Redbook and McCall’s.

What began as a personal interest in Inuit art as a collector would grow into a lifelong commitment to the people of the Far North. In 1976, Ms. Barz launched the first international newsletter on circumpolar art and affairs, Arts and Culture of the North, once realizing no such forum existed. She wanted to give a voice to Inuit artists, believing their rich culture should be shared with the world. The publication served as an important catalyst, bringing together artists, scholars, curators and collectors for the first time and capturing a time of enormous growth. Ms. Barz would go on to write and publish three books of documentation on Inuit printmaking, now recognized as the definitive works in the field. This labour of love is an unprecedented record of contemporary Inuit art that is widely cited by students and scholars in both the academic and museum worlds.

Ms. Barz championed the culture and creativity of a people. She made 35 trips to the Arctic over 40 years, painstakingly documenting the tiniest of details, from artists’ birthdates to their genealogy, all in an effort to preserve this history for future generations. She faced a formidable task: language barriers, remote communities, and collections hidden away in museums and in the homes of private collectors. Colleagues describe her accomplishment as an extraordinary feat, and her dedication as inspirational. She grew a database of nearly 8,000 Inuit prints from across the Arctic that date back almost six decades.

She also launched educational tours to the Far North, bringing people from around the world to meet artists face-to-face and expand their appreciation for Inuit culture and traditions. The study conference series Ms. Barz developed in Canadian cities and south of the border were groundbreaking and forged community connections that without her foresight might never have happened.

Ms. Barz’s legacy is to preserve the legacy of others. She has generously donated her collected materials to the National Gallery of Canada, the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the University of Manitoba archives.

For her outstanding example of altruism, the University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon Ms. Sandra Barz a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Bonita Lesley Buhler

Bonita Lesley Buhler, LL.D., May 31, 2016
Bonita Lesley Buhler

Born in British Columbia, Ms. Bonnie Buhler moved to Winnipeg when she was 12 years old. Growing up, she never entertained the thought of attending university. In her early adult life, as a single mother raising two daughters, she struggled on a legal secretary’s salary to make ends meet.

Things improved when she met her future husband and eternal best friend, John Buhler. He was also from a humble background, but over the years, they became a financial success story as they grew Buhler Industries, a leader in agricultural equipment.

Today, Ms. Buhler is one of the most transformational philanthropists in Manitoba. She has made an immeasurable impact in our community through her support of health-care services, cultural institutes and education. She is the driving force behind her family's charitable foundation and her knowledge and influence have contributed to several successful campaigns.

The Buhlers have given a stunning $60 million to various charities, and recently revealed their aspiration to donate at least $100 million in their lifetime.

Ms. Buhler shapes our communities through her support of numerous organizations, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Children's Museum, as well as Victoria General Hospital, Seven Oaks Hospital, St. Amant Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation, the Misericordia Hospital Eye Care Centre, and the Health Sciences Centre.

Ms. Buhler's first foray into philanthropy came as the result of a family health scare. After her daughter was diagnosed with endometriosis, she and her husband had to travel out of province for her treatment. Recognizing that most Manitobans do not have the means to travel to the Mayo Clinic in the United States, the Buhlers gifted the Health Sciences Centre with the equipment to treat endometriosis, initiating a legacy of philanthropy that continues today.

Ms. Buhler gives from the heart, and never seeks reward. Recalling her struggle to thrive as a single mother, Ms. Buhler established a scholarship at the University of Winnipeg to help single parents pursue higher education. Inspired by the joy of watching her grandchildren volunteer at the Children’s Museum, she financed significant renovations when it moved to its new location at The Forks. Honouring her mother and the health-care staff at St. Boniface Hospital, she established the unique Buhler Gallery, which presents rotating exhibitions by major Canadian artists to provide hospital visitors a refuge and solace. These are but a few examples of her philanthropy.

The University of Manitoba thanks Ms. Bonnie Buhler for her visionary and heartfelt support of our community and is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to someone who has impacted countless lives, now and for generations to come.

Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne, LL.D., May 31, 2016
Andrew Coyne
B.A.(Hons.)(Tor.); M.Sc.(London School of Economics)

Mr. James Andrew Stobie Coyne was born in 1960 in Ottawa, Ontario, to Hope Meribeth Cameron Stobie and former governor of the Bank of Canada, James Elliott Coyne.

Mr. Coyne was raised in Winnipeg and while a student at the University of Manitoba was editor of The Manitoban. He went on to be a reporter at the Winnipeg Sun and eventually pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and history at the University of Toronto's University of Trinity College. At the London School of Economics, he received his Master's degree in economics and is also a Fellow of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.

After working as a columnist and editorial writer for the Financial Post from 1985 to 1991, Mr. Coyne became a member of the editorial board of The Globe and Mail. Mr. Coyne earned back-to-back National Newspaper Awards for editorial writing in 1991 and 1992 (he later won the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism).

Mr. Coyne became the national affairs columnist at the National Post in 1998. His publication credits include The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Saturday Night, and the Canadian edition of Time. For many years Mr. Coyne has also shared his insights with the popular At Issue panel on the CBC’s The National.

In 2007, Mr. Coyne left his position with the National Post to become the national editor of Maclean's magazine. He returned to the National Post and its parent corporation, Postmedia, in 2012.

Mr. Coyne considers himself an optimist and believes that there is an opportunity for better politics, and that it is the role of the media to help bring it out. This passion and belief, combined with his acerbic wit, deft reasoning, sterling integrity and a deep well of knowledge, has propelled his career to the highest benchmark of excellence. He is one of our nation’s most trusted journalists, and his analyses of our government’s affairs and culture have helped Canadians see new truths.

The University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon Mr. Andrew Coyne a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for promoting and protecting our democracy.

Bryce Douglas

Bryce Douglas, LL.D., June 2, 2016
Bryce Douglas

Mr. Bryce Douglas was born and raised in Winnipeg. After graduating from high school in 1960, he worked as a junior clerk at the Bank of Montreal and as a miner in Thompson, Manitoba.

He found employment with Dominion Securities in 1963 and during his 42-year tenure with the organization, which is now RBC Capital Markets, Mr. Douglas helped to shape not only the largest but also the premier investment banking institution in Canada, and one of the oldest and most respected investment firms in all of North America. He retired from RBC Dominion Securities in 2006, holding the position of deputy chairman.

By dedicating himself to one firm over his lifetime, he has shown tremendous loyalty and has become an undeniable leader in finance. Mr. Douglas has also become a leader in philanthropy.

As he moved from city to city, taking on more senior responsibilities at RBC, Mr. Douglas would think of ways he could strengthen each community he called home. Not only does he champion causes he believes in, he achieves impressive results. It was Mr. Douglas’ business acumen, passion and dedication that helped to grow the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation into one of the most successful fundraising organizations in the country.

He also chaired a campaign for the University Health Network in Toronto, raising more than $540 million for capital improvements and leading-edge programs to benefit all Canadians. He has funded a number of research programs there, most recently involving stem cell therapy for the treatment of arthritis.

When Mr. and Mrs. Douglas see a need, they step forward. The couple supports a breakfast program in Kenora for kids who come to school hungry. They also provide funding, primarily through the YMCA, for children who do not have the resources to have a real outdoor camping experience.

Also close to their hearts is a Toronto-based program which offers supplemental education and leadership programs to financially disadvantaged children, many of whom come from new immigrant families. This program has grown from a handful of kids to 70 and counting.

During his career, Mr. Douglas remained committed to enhancing the financial industry through ethical practices and education. He inspired the Bryce W. Douglas Professorship in Finance at the University of Manitoba in 2005. More recently, he and his family endowed a Chair in Finance at the Asper School of Business.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Mr. Bryce Douglas, a visionary philanthropist who has strengthened our communities.

Paul Henteleff

Paul Henteleff, D.Sc., May 12, 2016
Paul Henteleff

Dr. Paul David Henteleff was born in 1931 in Winnipeg to Lillian Axelrode and Harry Henteleff. He earned his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1956 while also pursuing an interest in literature, philosophy and the arts.

Inspired by Dr. George Johnson, who later became Minister of Health, Dr. Henteleff completed additional training in rural Quebec and Saskatoon before setting up a small general practice in Winnipeg.

During his 12 years as a family physician, Dr. Henteleff worked part-time with Dr. Jack MacDonnel, a pioneer in geriatrics, and served as medical director of St. Boniface Hospital’s Home Care program. He trained further in administrative medicine, earning certificates at home and in London, England.

In 1972, Dr. Henteleff took a leading role at the Manitoba Health Services Commission, where he helped design the personal care home program that today cares for approximately 10,000 people across 130 facilities. Three years later, he was appointed medical director of the palliative care unit at St. Boniface General Hospital, which was the first hospital in Canada to develop a program for patients nearing the end of their lives. From 1975 until his retirement in 1991, Dr. Henteleff presided over the palliative care system in Manitoba, helping more than 2,000 patients and their families understand their needs, wishes and fears.

His philosophy of looking at the spiritual aspects of death, rather than the biology, meant he focused on the patient instead of the disease, which was a humble approach that inspired a generation of medical students and caregivers. Apart from his clinical work, Dr. Henteleff collaborated on the first study of depression and suicidal thinking in terminal illness, and co-piloted studies that helped to create the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy in 1991.

Following his retirement at 60 years old, he became founding president of the Canadian Palliative Care Association and head of what is now Palliative Manitoba. His steadfast leadership helped to make end-of-life care a core service in this province and influenced the direction of clinical and research programs across Canada. In recognition of his many accomplishments, he has earned several awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Unafraid to tackle a controversial issue, Dr. Henteleff currently advises Dying with Dignity Canada, which promotes physician-assisted death as a compassionate response to those desperate for a release from suffering.

His courageous stance and his dedication to bringing light to patients in their darkest hours have helped Canadians explore the most challenging and intimate issues of life and death. He is a physician, administrator, and scientist of immense integrity.

The University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon Dr. Paul Henteleff a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for creating a legacy of care in Manitoba and across our nation.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis, LL.D., June 2, 2016
Susan Lewis
C.M.; O.M.; B.A.(Man.)

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Ms. Susan Lewis gained a deep appreciation of community when she began working for, and volunteering with, social service organizations. She learned the value of providing opportunities for others, and our communities are richer for it.

While earning her arts degree at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s, she worked at Marymound, an agency in Winnipeg, helping girls close to her own age in need of a safe and caring environment. As her empathy for others grew, she realized she wanted to pursue a career that would enable her to make a difference in the lives of others.

Ms. Lewis joined United Way of Winnipeg in 1973 and a year later became the first female United Way campaign director in the country. In 1985, she became the organization’s president and Chief Executive Officer, again breaking ground as the first woman to do so in Canada. Along the way, she has been a highly respected leader and mentor within the United Way movement across Canada and in the United States. She stepped down in 2014 after a distinguished career with United Way of Winnipeg. Under her leadership, the organization transformed from primarily a fundraising organization to a change-maker that improves lives and builds a better community for all.

Ms. Lewis developed a model for community involvement known as Journey Forward, focused on engaging the public in identifying the most pressing issues and mobilizing leaders from all sectors in a collective effort towards finding solutions. Her ingenuity and vision have played a crucial role in enhancing much-needed social services to all parts of the city. She spearheaded the construction of the new United Way headquarters with the intention that it should contribute to the city’s core area community, as well as support the revitalization of Winnipeg’s downtown.

Ms. Lewis believes change is impossible without outstanding leaders and dedicated individuals working their “everyday magic” of voluntarism together. One of her proudest achievements is the creation of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council in 2006, bringing together senior leaders from all sectors in a comprehensive and sustained effort to finally put an end to poverty in this city.

In 2011, Ms. Lewis received the Order of Manitoba and in 2015, was honoured with the Order of Canada. She views philanthropy as an opportunity, a chance to invest in one’s own community, and her commitment to bringing communities together reminds us that each one of us can make a difference.

For her tireless work helping those in need and as an outstanding example of leadership and altruism at the highest level, the University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon Ms. Susan Lewis a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Wilton Littlechild

Wilton Littlechild, LL.D., October 19, 2016
Wilton Littlechild
C.M.; Q.C.; I.P.C.; F.P.; B.A., M.A., LL.B.(Alta.); LL.D.(Alta.)(Leth.)

An advocate, a lawyer and a former Member of Parliament, Chief Wilton Littlechild has advanced the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.

He saw his role as a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to building a better country, one that is inclusive for all. A Survivor of the Residential School System and father of three, Chief Littlechild believes in fostering forgiveness while educating Canadians of today and tomorrow.

With great heart and spirit, he travelled the country to hear the stories of other Survivors. As a young boy he lived with his grandparents, who helped instill within him a deep connection to his Cree culture, including its language and sacred ceremonies. His grandfather was Chief of the Ermineskin Cree Nation for more than three decades and taught his grandson about the importance of strengthening the community you call home.

Chief Littlechild knows first-hand the trauma of being forced into Residential School, along with the abuse, cultural disparagement, and longing for his family. He found solace in sports and says that was how he survived the devastating 14 year ordeal.

He would go on to compete internationally in hockey, baseball and swimming, winning more than 70 championships at various levels. An exceptional athlete, he pursued this passion in university, graduating with a Bachelor of Physical Education in 1967 from the University of Alberta and securing a master’s degree eight years later. Knowing the positive power of sport, he helped to found the North American Indigenous Games and the World Indigenous Nations Games and has been inducted into seven Sports Halls of Fame. Chief Littlechild earned a law degree in 1976 and became the first Indigenous lawyer in Alberta; he was also among the first Indigenous members of the Canadian Parliament.

As an MP for Wetakiwin-Rimby from 1988 to 1993, he served on several senior committees and was a parliamentary delegate to the United Nations. He was tireless in his efforts to ensure Indigenous peoples achieve the rights and recognition that is theirs on the international stage.

In 1999, he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. A true leader, he has been recognized with appointments as the Honorary Chief of the Maskwacis Cree and as the International Chief for the Treaty No. 6 Confederacy. He was also elected as the Regional Chief for the three Treaty territories in 2006 and more recently awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence and named a recipient of the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award.

From his law firm in his home community of Ermineskin Reserve in Alberta, Chief Littlechild continues to advocate for the implementation of the Treaties and champion the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon Chief Wilton Littlechild a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his advocacy and leadership.

Heather Reisman

Heather M. Reisman, LL.D., June 1, 2016
Heather M. Reisman
C.M.; LL.D.(Ryerson), (W. Laur.), (Mt.All.), (St.FX.)

Ms. Heather M. Reisman was born in 1948 in Montreal to Rose Gutwillig and Mark Reisman, and she is the niece of Simon Reisman, who helped negotiate the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

Ms. Reisman studied psychology at McGill University and she began her career working with troubled teens while raising her two children on her own. In 1979, she co-founded Paradigm Consulting, the world’s first strategic change consultancy.  As managing director, Ms. Reisman pioneered strategies that remain the standard for organizations today.

A voracious reader since childhood, Ms. Reisman eventually followed her passion by launching Indigo Books & Music with the goal of creating a book lovers’ cultural department store that would inspire, inform and indulge customers. Five years later, she bought out her biggest competitor, Chapters, Inc., to become the largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer in Canada.

With more than 200 stores across Canada and a large e-commerce platform, Ms. Reisman is arguably the most influential figure in the Canadian book industry and ranks among the world’s most powerful businesswomen. She also distinguished herself as a former policy adviser to the federal Liberals, and as a major philanthropist together with her husband, entrepreneur Gerald Schwartz.

Ms. Reisman dedicates herself to global challenges, working relentlessly to improve literacy, health and well-being in Canada and around the world. She has spoken out about and invested in a wide range of issues, including underfunded school libraries, violence against women and society’s overconsumption of sugar. Proud of her Jewish heritage, she commits millions of dollars to Canada’s Jewish communities and in various charitable causes aimed at strengthening the bond between Canada and Israel.

Ms. Reisman is the Canadian Steering Committee member of the Bilderberg Group, an annual meeting of the world’s business, political, military and financial leaders. In addition, she serves on the boards of many organizations, including Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Onex Corporation, and has previously served as a Governor of the Toronto Stock Exchange and McGill University.

Her achievements and philanthropy have earned her many accolades, including four honorary doctorates and numerous business awards. In 2012, Ms. Reisman received this country’s most prestigious honour when she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2015, she became one of only two women to be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

In bestowing Ms. Reisman with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, the University of Manitoba recognizes her trailblazing accomplishments as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Gerald Schwartz

Gerald W. Schwartz, LL.D., June 1, 2016
Gerald W. Schwartz
O.C.; B.Comm., LL.B.(Man.); M.B.A.(Harv.); Ph.D.(Hon.)(Tel Aviv); LL.D.(St.FX.)

Mr. Gerald Wilfred Schwartz was born in Winnipeg in 1941, the son of lawyer, Lillian Arkin, and auto-parts dealer, Andrew O. Schwartz. He grew up in Winnipeg’s River Heights neighbourhood and studied business at the University of Manitoba. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1962 and a law degree in 1966. After articling with Israel Asper, he practiced corporate and tax law in Winnipeg before pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University in 1970.

During his ten years away from home, he worked first at the New York brokerage firm, Estabrook & Company, and later at Bear Stearns & Co. In 1977, he returned to Canada and, with Mr. Asper, co-founded CanWest Capital, which later became CanWest Global Communications, one of the country’s largest media companies.

Mr. Schwartz was one of the first to introduce leveraged buyouts in Canada, and in 1983, he founded Onex Corporation, serving as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Over the years, Onex has acquired hundreds of undervalued companies, including Beatrice Foods, Celestica Inc. and Loews Cineplex, transforming them into successful operations. Through his prodigious skill and leadership, Onex has grown into one of the world’s most respected private equity firms with more than 146,000 employees worldwide and $24 billion in global revenue.

A staunch ally of Israel, Mr. Schwartz has built a reputation as this country’s largest financial supporter of Jewish charities and advocacy groups in Canada and Israel. Together with his wife, entrepreneur Ms. Heather Reisman, he has also donated millions of dollars to health, education, literacy, politics and human rights, driven by a keen sense of public service and a feeling of responsibility to help those less fortunate. He has been a director, governor or trustee of many organizations, including the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, Indigo Books & Music, Mount Sinai Hospital and Harvard Business School.

Mr. Schwartz holds two honorary doctorates and has won numerous business accolades. He is a member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and in 2006, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian award.

He is one of our nation’s most successful business leaders and philanthropists, whose loyalty to a broad spectrum of communities and causes will continue to benefit Canadians for years to come.

The University of Manitoba is proud to honour Mr. Gerald Schwartz with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his brilliant leadership and business acumen, and his wide-ranging philanthropy.

Wayne G. Wouters

Wayne G. Wouters, LL.D., October 20, 2016
The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters
P.C.; B.Comm.(Sask.); M.A.(Queen’s); LL.D.(Sask.)

During a distinguished career in public service spanning nearly four decades, former Clerk of the Privy Council, The Honourable Wayne Wouters helped to shape a stronger Canada.

He did so with the utmost humility and respect for others, tenets he learned from his parents growing up on the family farm in small town Edam, Saskatchewan.

The Honourable Wayne Wouters played an influential role in many of the important public policy decisions of the last decade, and informed major government-led initiatives as Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the Cabinet, and Head of the Public Service. He directed complex institutional transformations, enhanced Canada’s international trade relations and, as Secretary of the Treasury Board, oversaw an annual budget exceeding $250 billion.

His career in public service began in 1977 with the Government of Saskatchewan. With a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master’s in Economics from Queen’s University, The Honourable Wayne Wouters held several positions at the provincial level before moving to Ottawa in 1982 to join the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources as Director of Industry Analysis.

Recognized for his ability to achieve transformational change, The Honourable Wayne Wouters moved up through the ranks, accepting greater responsibilities and bringing his expertise to a diverse range of portfolios. As Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, he led the expenditure reduction plan that in 1995 brought the federal budget back into a surplus for the first time in years.

He was not afraid to tread into unfamiliar waters. Despite coming from a landlocked province, his first appointment as a Deputy Minister was with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He would also serve as Deputy Minister of Labour, of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission, and of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

In 2009 he was appointed Clerk of the Privy Council, the country’s top post in public service. Throughout his career, The Honourable Wayne Wouters knew the importance of not only having a clear vision but also offering mentorship along the way.

He guided 450,000 employees into the digital era and inspired a new spirit of collaboration with the development of Blueprint 2020, a ground-breaking consultation process to create a more transparent public service. The Honourable Wayne Wouters championed a more open style of leadership and set his own example by communicating extensively to front-line workers and inviting feedback.

He reinforces the link between public service, the public good and personal giving. His contribution to building a stronger Canada extends to his volunteerism; he became the first public servant to chair the United Way Campaign in the nation’s capital.

Following his retirement in 2014, The Honourable Wayne Wouters was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, a rare honour for an unelected government official that recognizes his outstanding service to Canadians.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to The Honourable Wayne Wouters, a visionary who has been tireless in his work for others.


Stella Blackbird

Stella Blackbird, LL.D., May 28, 2015
Elder Stella Blackbird

Never sit back and wait for your vision to materialize. You alone are responsible for making your dreams come alive. You need to talk about it. You need to fight for it.

This is what challengers do. This is what visionaries do. This is what Elder Stella Blackbird does.

Known as Red Eagle Woman of the Turtle Clan, Elder Blackbird is a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who raised six children with her husband, Dan Blackbird. She was born in Saskatchewan and grew up at Beardy’s and Okemasis Willow Cree First Nation near Duck Lake. She attended St. Michael’s Residential School, but left at fifteen to join her sister’s family at Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba, which has remained her home.

Elder Blackbird transforms lives and communities throughout our country by serving others as an Elder, Medicine Teacher and Traditional Healer. For nearly half a century she has been on a healing journey. As a Residential School Survivor, Elder Blackbird has a clear dream: Never again will a First Nation, Métis or Inuit child have to feel the shame that she and others experienced in the Residential School System. Instead, children will freely and proudly embrace their cultures and identities.

Through ceremony, teachings and counseling, Elder Blackbird promotes positive change and cultural connection. She works to empower all people, cultivating their personal pride so they discover their potential and define their own futures. She supports her noble vision with bold, creative and immediate action.

Elder Blackbird saw the need for a childcare program grounded in traditional Aboriginal values. And so she started the Makoonsag Intergenerational Children’s Centre in Winnipeg’s North End. Her vision and action turned an old department store into a vibrant, culturally-rich building where generations of families come together to meet, play and learn.

As a Traditional Healer and Medicine Teacher, Elder Blackbird freely shares her vast knowledge with people of all nations from around the world. To this end, she co-founded the Medicine Eagle Healing and Retreat Place for youth, adults and families, on the sacred ceremonial grounds of the ancestors near Riding Mountain National Park. And her work with Parks Canada in reclaiming land and the right to harvest the traditional plants growing in parks, has set the standard for negotiations between the Government of Canada, Parks Canada and all First Nations within Canada.

Elder Blackbird has received numerous awards including the Caring Canadian Award from the Governor General, which recognizes her philanthropy and her never-ending efforts to cultivate understanding, acceptance, respect and love in Winnipeg and throughout our country.

Elder Blackbird, like the wind, touches upon everyone at the same time. Elder Blackbird is strengthening this nation by bringing its peoples together, empowering all of us to build collaboration, trust and understanding. She exemplifies what can be achieved when we share our gifts freely.

The University of Manitoba is honoured to celebrate Elder Stella Blackbird with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Susan Glass

Susan Glass, LL.D., May 27, 2015
Susan Glass
C.M.; B.Comm.(Man.)

The story of Susan Jane Glass is the story of a small-town girl, who, once dazzled by Broadway, returned home to become the guiding light of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. For two decades she has devoted herself to supporting the arts in Canada by serving governing boards across the country, raising funds, advocating and volunteering. Ms Glass’ name is synonymous with community service - and fun: she rides a custom, leopard-print Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Ms Glass was thirteen when she left Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for Winnipeg. She came with her mother, the late Helen Glass, who obtained her nursing certificate here, and whose name graces the University of Manitoba's College of Nursing building.

From here, they went on to New York City. Live theatre captivated Ms Glass during her high school years and later inspired her to channel her energy and talent toward the arts. What she did with her life after high school now seems like a dress rehearsal before the performance: Ms Glass obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba and spent fifteen years with Air Canada doing computer systems management and marketing -valuable skills she later used as a leader and fundraiser in the non-profit sector. Then, in the early 1980's, the dress rehearsal became the show. Ms Glass turned her attention toward her first passion, the arts.

For more than twenty years, Ms Glass lent her indomitable spirit and inspiring leadership to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as a board member, chair, and volunteer fundraiser. She has been governor of The Banff Centre and the prestigious Shaw Festival, chair of the Canadian Arts Summit, and committee co-chair for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Currently, Ms Glass is vice-chair of the National Arts Centre and a board member of many other arts groups. She has also lent her expertise to several local institutions, including the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface General Hospital.

In 2008, the Association of Fundraising Professionals named Ms Glass and her entrepreneur husband, Arni Thorsteinson, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers in Manitoba. In 2009, she received Canada’s highest honour, an appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada for her inspiring service to the arts and to Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba is delighted to celebrate Ms Glass for her dedication to the local and national arts communities, and for her commitment to Winnipeg, as a supporter of the University of Manitoba, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the United Way, and many other institutions.

In bestowing Ms Glass with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, the University of Manitoba commends her longstanding generosity and determination to make Winnipeg, and Canada, a finer place for artists, and a better place for all citizens.

Dean Louder

Dean R. Louder, LL.D., June 1, 2015
Dean R. Louder
B.A.(Brigham Young); M.A., Ph.D.(Washington)

Dr. Dean Louder is an unlikely champion and pioneer of research into the North American Francophonie. Slowly, consistently, passionately, for over thirty-five years, this American-born geographer became the foremost specialist of French-speaking America by exploring communities others overlooked. The University of Manitoba honours him today for his extraordinary contributions to the preservation and promotion of French-language culture in North America.

Dr. Louder is an anglophone whose love of the French language infuses everything he does. Indeed, he has published the greater part of his scholarly work in French.

Upon his arrival at Université Laval, Dr. Louder immediately took up the cause of the Francophonie. Throughout his career, the now retired geography professor pioneered studies into French-speaking America and became a recognized expert in the field. His works have made important contributions to the knowledge and understanding that we have of Franco-America, and his publications have led to specialized studies and research chairs in this field.

Dr. Louder took an interest in minorities in the United States, particularly in Louisiana, where he made the discovery of a different America, a French-speaking America. This first contact with the francophone world influenced the direction of his career, and the majority of his work has dealt with various aspects of living in French in North America.

Early in his trailblazing career, Dr. Louder and a colleague published a book that set the tone for research into the continental Francophonie, a foundational text that would become a classic, translated into English as: French America: Mobility, Identity, and Minority Experience across the Continent.

Throughout his academic career he made numerous students aware of French communities by organizing excursions to the far corners of the continent. What followed were explorations into French-speaking regions: Acadia, Louisiana, New England, Ontario, the American Midwest, Western Canada and the United States, and many other tiny communities of which few people are aware.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize Dr. Dean Louder, a fine example of an academic explorer, with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Michael Nesbitt

Michael F.B. Nesbitt, LL.D., October 21, 2015
Michael F.B. Nesbitt
B.Comm., B.A. (Man.)

A businessman, philanthropist and patron of the arts, Mr. Michael Nesbitt grew up with an understanding that education opens doors. Eager to learn, he wasted no time and by 21 had completed two degrees at the University of Manitoba - in commerce and arts.

Following graduation, he headed to Toronto to work on Bay Street for the TD Bank and soon started a family, doing so on the advice of his dad who encouraged his son to: ‘Go explore, and come back only when you’ve got some life experience’.

When Mr. Nesbitt returned in 1965, he took the helm of his father’s mortgage company. He grew Montrose Mortgage Corporation into one of the largest privately owned mortgage banking and servicing companies in the country. Today, the firm manages $2 billion in loans from coast to coast.

As its Chairman and President, Mr. Nesbitt is known for leading by example. He believes that if you are ethical and hard-working, that is the type of employee whom you will attract, and hiring good people is key. It is equally important to get out of their way and let them shine.

With five decades of experience, Mr. Nesbitt has been a beloved mentor to many, always mindful to teach in a manner that he would want to be taught. When colleagues speak about him, they use words like: integrity, inspiring and humble.

Few know the depth of Mr. Nesbitt’s philanthropic contributions in the home province he treasures. Out of the spotlight, he has been building a better community by taking steps to: send more kids to Camp Stephens, attract more graduate students to Manitoba, and ensure Indigenous students have access to university. When Mr. Nesbitt sees a need, he finds a solution: in the mid-60s he helped found the first Montessori School in the province, and in 1977 he supported Winnipeg’s first public, co-ed squash courts.

Mr. Nesbitt has also shaped the creative landscape in Manitoba. Local organizations, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Graffiti Gallery, the Manitoba Opera, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, know well the impact of his generosity.

Mr. Nesbitt’s drive to make a difference has brought world-class exhibits to Winnipeg - the type of shows normally reserved for galleries in Paris or New York.

He is also eager to celebrate Winnipeg talent, commissioning artists’ work and underwriting project and exhibition costs. He has invested in people like U of M alumnus Micah Lexier, a Winnipeg artist who, in 2015, received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Mr. Nesbitt also supported the Art Gallery of Ontario’s acquisition of a major installation of U of M alumna and Winnipegger, Sarah Anne Johnson, in 2009, ensuring the unique artworks stayed in Canada.

Believing in the intrinsic power of music, Mr. Nesbitt has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Desautels Faculty of Music. He helped establish the Babs Asper Professorship in Jazz Performance and later helped the faculty launch the Bridge Program to bring jazz music instruction to inner-city kids.

His steadfast support has made it possible for emerging artists and musicians to not only dream, but to dream big. One thoughtful gift at a time, Mr. Nesbitt has had a transformational impact on the projects and people he believes in.

André Picard

André Picard, LL.D., May 14, 2015
André Picard
B.Comm.(Ott.); B.J.(Car.); LL.D.(UOIT)

In 1987, journalist André Picard put a human face on the AIDS crisis, forever changing the way the disease and its victims are perceived and treated. Three years later, he exposed the Canadian tainted blood scandal, prompting a complete overhaul of the national blood system and ensuring a safer, more transparent health-care system for all Canadians.

This is what defenders do. This is what challengers do.

For almost thirty years, Mr. Picard has been one of the most admired, respected and relevant journalists in Canada. The Franco-Ontarian from North Bay never imagined he would stay at the Globe and Mail for long, but it has been decades since he began writing for the national newspaper and people still want to know what André Picard has on his mind. He has a loyal following that continues to grow among young and emerging generations who read his articles, listen to his radio interviews, watch him on television or read his thought-provoking tweets.

Mr. Picard was a business student at the University of Ottawa when he was first attracted to journalism. It took some persuading from a friend, but he soon started writing album reviews for the Fulcrum, an independent English-language student-run newspaper. He would go on to become the paper’s arts editor, then editor-in-chief.

When Mr. Picard joined the Globe and Mail in 1987, he focused his reporting on the AIDS crisis, specifically on the men and women suffering from the fatal disease and the stereotypes which went along with the diagnosis. It was a time when most media outlets did not explore the human side of the disease, and many reporters avoided the subject altogether. Mr. Picard’s bold AIDS reporting changed our national attitudes and our public policy. By 1990, Mr. Picard assumed the health beat and continued to challenge the system. It was Mr. Picard and a colleague who discovered that provincial governments across Canada conspired to deny compensation to victims of tainted blood transfusions. Within weeks, provinces changed their policies and provided $159 million in victim compensation. For this reporting, he won the 1993 Michener Award for public-service journalism.

That was only the beginning of the awards and accolades to come:  Mr. Picard was honoured with the Outstanding Leadership in Cancer Control Prize from the International Campaign to Control Cancer. He was celebrated as the top health reporter in the Americas by receiving the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Organization. He was named Canada’s top newspaper columnist in 2010, and is a six-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards.

Mr. Picard has achieved success for many reasons, his integrity and intelligence being key contributors. But his ability to gain and hold trust cannot be overstated. Many health-care professionals are wary to speak with journalists, but Mr. Picard stands as one of the most trusted.

It is why the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine solicited his expertise to contribute to the Evidence Network of Canadian Health Policy. This network was created to bridge the gap between academics and journalists so that mainstream media can support their stories with the best science possible. In true Picard style, André Picard provided invaluable insights that improved the network, resulting in our nation being better informed.

Mr. Picard is a leader in health-care journalism in Canada. Throughout his career he has given a voice to the voiceless, defended the truth, and challenged our thinking. It is with pride that the University of Manitoba bestows upon him an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Ernest Rady

Ernest S. Rady, LL.D., May 27, 2015
Ernest S. Rady
B.Comm., LL.B.(Man.); LL.D.(UCSD)

Mr. Ernest Rady is a nice guy. So true is this characterization that, in 2012, he was celebrated as the “Nice Guy of the Year” by the San Diego Nice Guys charity. A few years later, San Diego’s main daily newspaper named him its city’s Person of the Year for 2015. Mr. Rady is loved because he creates opportunities for others to succeed. Whether he is supporting this institution, his alma mater, the Jewish community in his birth-city of Winnipeg, a children’s hospital or his adopted city’s world-famous zoo, Mr. Rady is a leader determined to change lives.

This is what visionaries do.

In 2009, Mr. Rady and his sisters, Marjorie Blankstein and Mindel Olenick, established the Mindermar Professorship in Human Simulation at the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine, which has transformed how our students learn and ultimately how they practice medicine. It is no surprise that Mr. Rady and his family chose to support medical training at the University of Manitoba. Their father was a deeply respected member of Winnipeg’s medical community and a great friend of the University of Manitoba. He taught his children the importance of giving back to the community.

Mr. Rady recognizes his tremendous capacity to impact the health and well-being of young people. In 2006, he and his company, American Assets, Inc., donated $60 million to San Diego’s children’s hospital. Driven to do more, this past year, Mr. Rady pledged a further $120 million to the hospital to establish the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute. This is the largest donation ever made to the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation and its impact on sick children and their families is immeasurable. Most recently, in April of this year, he donated $100 million to the Rady School of Management, a school he founded at the University of California, San Diego.

Mr. Rady’s impact is vast, with philanthropic gifts well in excess of $200 million spread among an array of charities. He has the foresight to use his resources to challenge others to participate in advancing their communities. He also has the determination to give his time as a committed volunteer, whose service is sought after by numerous organizations such as the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, and Junior Achievement Winnipeg.

An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Rady has founded several successful businesses, including American Assets Trust in 1967. He is currently chairman of this and other businesses, and sits on the boards of a number of corporations in the United States and Canada. A trailblazer in the business world, his skillful leadership has steered his companies to tremendous success in financial services, investment management, real estate, and other industries.

Mr. Rady has received many honours for both his charitable work and professional achievements. Most notably, Ernst & Young named him its 2009 Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year and presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although Mr. Rady calls California home today, his path to success started right here at the University of Manitoba where he received his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws. It is fitting that he now returns to his alma mater to have his accomplishments and impacts recognized by the University of Manitoba’s highest award, an honorary degree.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Mr. Rady, a loving family man, visionary philanthropist, savvy businessman, and truly nice guy who has transformed the lives of many.

Steven Schipper

Steven Schipper, D.Litt., May 28, 2015
Steven Schipper
C.M.; D.Litt.(Wpg.)

What do celebrated actors Keanu Reeves, Kathleen Turner, William Hurt and Judd Hirsch all have in common? They were each coaxed, enticed and ultimately persuaded to bring their talents to Winnipeg through the enthusiasm and passion of Steven Schipper.

Mr. Schipper is just coming out of his twenty-fifth year as Artistic Director to the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. During that quarter century, he established the artistic excellence and fiscal stability for which the Royal MTC has become known - a notable achievement given the company’s considerable duress at the time he took the helm. To commemorate his dedication, in 2014, the theatre centre renamed its endowment fund, The Royal MTC Endowment Fund, in honour of Artistic Director Steven Schipper.

As Artistic Director, Mr. Schipper is a tireless champion of the theatre who has cultivated interest in his audience for both classic and contemporary works.  In 2013, he staged the world premiere of Gone with the Wind to much acclaim. His depth of commitment to the arts and artistry are unparalleled. While aware that talented Hollywood names draw attention, Mr. Schipper is also a keen promoter of Manitoba actors, ensuring audiences experience and appreciate the talent that exists in our own backyard.

Steven Schipper uses theatre to change the world. This is what creators do.

Through his vision and quiet determination, he has dramatically transformed the theatre community in our city and province, so it is our good fortune that Mr. Schipper chose to practice his craft here. Today, the University of Manitoba is pleased to honour him with its highest award.

He has also been celebrated as the recipient of the David Peacock Award and as a member of the Order of Canada, recognizing his contributions to Canadian theatre.

This passionate born-and-bred Montrealer is now a passionate Winnipegger. Mr. Schipper trained at McGill University, Bishop’s University and the National Theatre School of Canada. He has served as associate director at the Stratford Festival and has directed almost three dozen plays, including world premieres by local and Canadian playwrights. But Mr. Schipper remains dedicated to grassroots theatre.  He conceived and directed The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes, an award-winning play that tours Manitoba high schools. He also volunteered to direct a summer production of Little Red Riding Hood for the Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s Aboriginal Training Program and directed an all-female production of Les Miserables at Balmoral Hall, setting the classic story in our own city.

Under his artistic direction, the Royal MTC has solidified an international reputation and expanded its purview and audience through popular enterprises such as the annual Fringe Festival and Master Playwright Festival. Mr. Schipper’s innovations include an annual regional tour, much-lauded youth programming, and audience/actor/production panels and in-house tours, all garnering audience involvement and enthusiasm.

The Globe and Mail described Mr. Schipper’s revival of the Manitoba Theatre Centre as “one of Canadian theatre’s most striking success stories”, and in 2010, after years of bold action by Mr. Schipper and the theatre’s general manager and support team, the Manitoba Theatre Centre was recognized with a Royal designation, becoming the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Every great play has a cast of characters who are dedicated, invested and passionate. In this regard, the Royal MTC has a stellar cast and Steven Schipper plays the lead role.

The University of Manitoba is proud to shine a well-deserved spotlight on a visionary and champion whose accomplishments we celebrate today with an honorary degree.

Emőke J.E. Szathmáry

Emőke J.E. Szathmáry, LL.D., May 26, 2015
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.

David Turpin

David Turpin, LL.D., May 26, 2015
David Turpin
C.M.; B.Sc., Ph.D.(UBC); F.R.S.C.

Through his visionary leadership, Dr. David H. Turpin transformed a relatively young Canadian university from regional jewel to international star.

During his tenure as President of the University of Victoria, Dr. David Turpin’s vision was clear - develop UVic into one of the best universities in the world. And he did. At the end of his final term in 2013, the University of Victoria was ranked among the best in the world for universities founded within the last fifty years. It was the only Canadian university on the list.

This is what visionaries do.

For more than three decades, Dr. Turpin has shaped the definition of what a publicly-funded university should be. Through positions he has held at multiple universities, he pushed scientific exploration, championed the liberal arts, and advanced Indigenous excellence. The University of Manitoba is proud to award an honorary degree to this innovative leader.

Dr. Turpin trained as a botanist and began teaching at Queen’s University and then at the University of British Columbia. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Turpin stressed that a liberal arts education is the heart of a university and key to the economic and social well-being of our communities. He has infused this idea into his practices, and his own research interests have expanded to include issues related to post-secondary education, and how our society views universities.

In 1995, Dr. Turpin left the classroom to begin serving as Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s University. He proved a gifted leader and in 2000, he took the office of President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Victoria. There, in his thirteen years of service, he radically improved the university’s trajectory by bolstering its research, teaching and student services. He was instrumental in establishing the university’s internationally-renowned Ocean Networks Canada, a set of two oceanic observatories, which, in keeping with his philosophy, were not just about the science, but also focused on law, culture and social science. Dr. Turpin also placed a special focus on attracting and supporting Indigenous students, establishing programs to meet their specific cultural and academic needs.

Dr. Turpin shares his acumen with governing bodies across Canada. As a result, he has earned many honours and distinctions including Queen’s University’s highest award for teaching, the NSERC Steacie Fellowship. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and is a member of the Order of Canada.

On July 1, 2015, Dr. Turpin will re-enter the academic realm, serving as the thirteenth President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta.

Marie Wilson

Marie Wilson, LL.D., October 22, 2015
Marie Wilson
Diplôme d’études étrangères (Besançon); B.A. (Hons.), M.A. (Western); LL.D. (STU)

Before she became a tireless advocate for Indigenous communities across this country, Dr. Marie Wilson was a 15 year-old who longed to explore.

She spent two weeks as an exchange student near Montreal and instantly her world was much larger than the small Ontario town where she grew up. She fell in love with the French language, and believed it was key to learning about different cultures.

By 23, she was on her way to Africa to teach high school students in the impoverished francophone country of what is now known as Burkina Faso. With civil unrest happening all around her, Dr. Wilson saw that foreign media coverage was focused on politics rather than on the impact the strife was having on the local people. At that moment, Dr. Wilson knew she wanted to become a journalist.

She pursued a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Western Ontario and by 1980, was a national reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC/Radio-Canada) based in Quebec City, covering the first referendum on Quebec sovereignty. She also covered important stories affecting Indigenous people - stories that would challenge Canadians to face tough issues involving the rights of the country’s First Peoples.

A lengthy Radio-Canada labour strike in 1981 prompted a move for Dr. Wilson and her husband, Stephen Kakfwi, to his hometown in the Dene community of Fort Good Hope near the Arctic Circle.

Dr. Wilson found the North rich in stories that needed to be shared with the rest of the country. With her skills as an experienced reporter, she trained community news contributors and encouraged them to recognize the value of their own stories and expertise. As a non-Indigenous woman, she was in awe of traditional northern skills used to make shelter, source clean drinking water and navigate by the stars.

In 1982, CBC launched Northern Canada’s flagship TV current affairs show, Focus North. As its first host, Dr. Wilson helped pioneer the broadcast industry above the 60th parallel. Ten years later, Dr. Wilson became the CBC’s senior manager for northern Quebec and the three northern territories. As regional director, she launched daily television news for Canada’s North, navigating four time zones and 10 languages, the majority of them Indigenous.

She developed the Arctic Winter Games and the True North Concert Series for network television to showcase Indigenous talent. She received a CBC North Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Northerner of the Year Award.

By the time Dr. Wilson left the CBC, nearly half of her reporters were Indigenous northerners.

Because of her expertise in cross-cultural communications, the South African Broadcasting Corporation invited Dr. Wilson to work with their journalists as they brought Nelson Mandela’s dream for democracy to life. Throughout the 1990s, she taught reporters how to hold their new public government to account.

All these experiences would prove valuable when Dr. Wilson, two decades later, bore witness to the stories of Canada’s Residential School Survivors. As one of three Commissioners of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, she heard horrific accounts of cruelty and abuse from among the 7,000 courageous Survivors. Yet she found a thread of beauty and of shared hope. She continues to lend her voice to encourage all Canadians to explore our past so we can move forward together on a path to national healing.


Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella, LL.D., June 5, 2014
The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella
B.A., LL.B.(Tor.)

In this year of the Centennial of the Faculty of Law, and of the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in this province with a long and deep history of human rights struggles, at this University with its commitment to human rights teaching and research, it is fitting that we are honouring Supreme Court of Canada Justice, Rosalie Silberman Abella.

She has devoted seemingly limitless passion, energy and intellect to all that she does but particularly to human rights. She has said that “one of the psychological legacies of having a Holocaust background like mine, is that you take nothing and no one for granted and you appreciate that it’s not just what you stand for, it’s what you stand up for….Without democracy, there are no rights; without rights there is no tolerance; without tolerance there is no justice; and without justice, there is no hope.”

Justice Abella was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany just after the end of the Second World War. She and her family came to Canada as Jewish refugees in 1950. Twenty years later she had earned both an arts degree and a law degree from the University of Toronto. She was called to the bar in Ontario in 1972 and was appointed a judge in the Ontario Family Court in 1976, the youngest judicial appointment in Canada; she was seven months pregnant with her younger son when she was appointed. She was the sole commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment and the theories of equality and discrimination she developed became the foundation of the Supreme Court’s first decision about equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1989. In 1992, she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and in 2004 was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Abella is known and loved in this city. She spoke last February at the retirement of Chief Justice Scott, in 2006 she visited and spoke at the Faculty of Law and met with members of the Jewish community, and in 2004 she came to receive the Tarnoplosky Award for Human Rights at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Bar Association. While she has been a great champion for human rights, she is so much more. She is a champion for humanity. She is a lover of the arts, an accomplished pianist who graduated from the Royal Conservatory. She has served as a judge for the Giller literary prize, and has a remarkable collection of art hanging on the wall of her office. When she spoke to our law students, she reminded them that they must make time to read great literature and poetry, to play or listen to music and spend time with their loved ones. Law serves people, and law students and lawyers must never forget their own humanity.

The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella with an Honorary Doctor of Laws for enriching our society with her integrity, bold ideas and humane service.

Marjorie Blankstein

Marjorie B. Blankstein, LL.D., June 3, 2014
Marjorie B. Blankstein
C.M., O.M.; B.A.(Man.); M.S.W.(Minnesota)

Dr. Max and Rose Rady taught their children to live by two principles: kindness and generosity. Their daughter Marjorie Blankstein embodies these values and displays them with intelligence and grace. Her devotion to her native city of Winnipeg has resulted in many extraordinary contributions to its welfare and citizens.

She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in 1950 and then earned her Master of Social Work degree in 1952 from the University of Minnesota. After her graduation, she married architect Morley Blankstein and devoted her life to her five children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and volunteerism.

In the 1960s, as President of the Winnipeg Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and together with the Junior League, she was instrumental in sponsoring a nursery school for Indigenous children. She became the President of the National Council of Jewish Women in 1977. As a member of the Manitoba Study Committee for Children with Emotional and Learning Disorders, she helped produce a report that advocated for all children to be integrated in regular classrooms instead of being segregated. Later, as chair of the Jewish Child and Family Service Child Care Committee, she was instrumental in establishing a group home for boys. Mrs. Blankstein has continued to advocate for Manitoba’s young people throughout her career as a volunteer and has been instrumental in establishing many services, including a youth hostel and Klinic, in the 1970s.

She has shared her wisdom and passion with over 30 different community organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, St. Boniface Hospital, the Winnipeg Library Foundation, the Legal Education and Action Fund, Rady Jewish Community Centre, Age & Opportunity Centre, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, and she was a founding member of the Women’s Health Research Foundation. She is a Board Member Emerita of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice. She served on the Board of the United Way, and chaired the 1994 Campaign. She chaired the Capital Campaign for the Asper Jewish Community Campus.

Mrs. Blankstein has received numerous honours for her exceptional service. In 1982 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba in 2010, and she has received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and 125th Anniversary of Confederation Commemorative medals. She was the first recipient of the Sol Kanee Distinguished Community Service Medal from the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council. She has been recognized as the YM/YWCA Woman of the Year (Community Service category) in 1978, Volunteer of the Year (by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Manitoba) in 2000, and received a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Manitoba in 2003. Most recently, in May of this year, the Canadian Associates of  Ben-Gurion University of the Negev honoured her and her husband Morley.

Marjorie Blankstein is a philanthropic leader and cultural nurturer. She is the hallmark of a selfless citizen. She inspires and she amazes. The University of Manitoba is proud to award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to one of its own, a woman for others.

Lorne Davies

Lorne Davies, LL.D., June 3, 2014
Lorne Davies
O.B.C.; B.Ed.(Western Washington State); M.Sc.(Oregon)

Lorne Davies counseled Terry Fox before and after his valiant run. For the past 40 years, Lorne Davies has championed sports in Canada and influenced thousands of young athletes - some famous, some not - but all nevertheless enriched by the impact of Mr. Davies’s commitment to them and their sports. A former football player and coach, Mr. Davies has long been a pioneer, leader, motivator, teacher and tireless volunteer worthy of recognition, and the University of Manitoba is proud to celebrate and honour him.

Mr. Davies counseled Terry Fox, a student athlete at Simon Fraser University, before and after his Marathon of Hope. Mr. Davies helped develop the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Program and is now its executive director, providing support to outstanding young Canadians, encouraging them to pursue humanitarian work while studying in a Canadian college or university. The program has produced more than 75 medical doctors, 50 teachers, hundreds of other professionals in a wide variety of fields and seven recipients of the prestigious Rhodes scholarship. Mr. Davies also raised funds and organized to have a bronze statue of Terry Fox, worth $75,000, displayed on the Simon Fraser University campus to honour the Canadian hero.

For half a century Mr. Davies has been committed to community service, lending his voice to various causes that foster young athletic talent, including the B.C. Special Olympics and the Provincial Drugs in Sport Task Force. In 2000, he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia for his lifetime of achievement. Mr. Davies’s dedication to transforming sports in Canada has spanned decades and helped inspire generation after generation of Canadians. Just like the athletes whose lives he has touched, Mr. Davies shows us what is possible when we dare to go further and pursue our personal best.

As director of athletics and recreation at Simon Fraser University - a position he held for three decades, from 1965 to 1995 - Mr. Davies created the current gold standard for athletic programs and award funding in Canada. The groundbreaking program he established in his first year there has since been adopted by most universities and colleges across Canada. Mr. Davies’s forward-thinking produced the first university athletic endowment fund and the first university athletic awards program in Canada—all during a time when athletic scholarships were being openly shunned. His awards program sparked a change nationwide that has helped post-secondary institutions, including the University of Manitoba, keep Canadian athletes from leaving for more lucrative opportunities south of the border. Mr. Davies’s model also aimed to put male and female athletes on equal footing. In the 1960s, women in sport didn’t have as many teams or receive the same level of coaching, funding or equipment. When Mr. Davies built his varsity program he leveled the playing field: nine of the 18 teams were female and everyone would receive top coaching, equipment and equal scholarships.

Indeed, Mr. Davies changed the athletic landscape in Canada. But he also directly helped to shape our country’s young athletes. He coached 30 seasons of football at various levels, from high school to professional. Mr. Davies was assistant coach at Western Washington State University, the University of Oregon and the University of British Columbia; was head coach of the Vancouver Blue Bombers junior team, a special assistant with the BC Lions when they won the 1964 Grey Cup, and the first coach at Simon Fraser University. He earned an education degree and Master of Science before joining Simon Fraser University where, under his leadership, their coaches produced the most players in the Canadian Football League, wrestlers on the Canadian Olympic team, swimmers on the Canadian national team, basketball players on the Canadian national team, and track and field athletes on the Canadian national team. Mr. Davies has helped develop numerous Olympic athletes and provided guidance on sport, career and life to athletic and humanitarian heroes like Karen Magnusson, Debbie Brill, Dave Cutler, Jay Triano, Wayne Holm, Lui Passaglia and Terry Fox.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Mr. Lorne Davies for all the work he has done to inspire those who inspire us through sport.

Joseph N.H. Du

Joseph N.H. Du, LL.D., May 15, 2014
Joseph N.H. Du
C.M., O.M.; M.D. (National Taiwan University); F.R.C.P.C.; F.A.A.P.

Dr. Joseph Du was born in Laokay, Vietnam in 1933, the youngest of 11 children. It was a time of great turmoil - the Japanese army occupied his home country at the time - and his father was killed when Dr. Du was 10. His mother struggled to support his family, and three brothers had to quit school to help. At 17 Dr. Du fled Communist North Vietnam and studied medicine for the next seven years in Taiwan, graduating from National Taiwan University Medical School. He then came to Canada to complete his accreditation and later studied at the University of Washington under a scholarship from the National Institute of Health, specializing in neonatology. Dr. Du returned to Winnipeg in 1968 to join the Winnipeg Clinic as a pediatrician.

Soon after beginning his career, he joined a group of doctors in an outreach program in northern Manitoba. For 33 years, Dr. Du regularly flew to all remote communities in northern Manitoba as well as communities of the Northwest Territories, often travelling in small airplanes in difficult and perilous conditions. During this time he was appointed an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba Medical School. In the 1980s he was commissioned by the God’s Lake Narrows Band to write a study on gasoline sniffing and organized the first symposium on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Winnipeg.

Dr. Du has stepped forward to contribute when crises threatened. In 1979 he co-chaired a committee to help coordinate the settlement of Vietnamese boat people in Canada and later served for nine years on the Council for Canadian Unity when the possibility of Quebec separation was at its peak.

The scope of his involvement has always been broad. In 1989 Dr. Du spearheaded the visit of two pandas from China to the Winnipeg Zoo; in the 1990s he led the commissioning of two sculptures, including one by Leo Mol, to commemorate the role of Chinese-Canadian workers in constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway; and in 2001 he worked with Winnipeg’s Jewish community to bring the Shanghai Connection exhibition to the Jewish Heritage Centre, which told the story of the successful efforts of a Chinese counsel in Vienna to help over 18,000 Jewish refugees escape the Holocaust.

Dr. Joseph Du has been the key force in redeveloping Winnipeg’s Chinatown beginning in the 1980s. His leadership efforts in this regard include the development of the Chinese Cultural Centre, two commercial buildings – the Dynasty Building and the Mandarin Building – a Chinese Gate and Garden and two residential buildings, Harmony Mansion and the Peace Tower. In October 2013 a portion of James Street in Chinatown was named after this physician and community builder to honour his work in transforming this area and his contribution to Winnipeg.

Dr. Du’s distinguished career spans almost four decades, to his retirement in 2002. He has received many honours and awards, including being named to the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, and the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

Chantal St-Cyr Hébert

Chantal St-Cyr Hébert, D.Sc., October 22, 2014
Chantal St-Cyr Hébert
O.C.; B.A.(York); LL.D.(Bishops, York, W.Ont., Concordia)

One of Canada’s most influential journalists, Ms. Chantal St-Cyr Hébert’s reportage and commentary have profoundly shaped the way Canadians understand their government, their country, and their place in global society. Guided by integrity, skepticism and a challenger’s mind, Ms. Hébert has promoted and protected our democracy through her insightful questioning of the status quo.  The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize her with an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Ms. Hébert is a national affairs writer with the Toronto Star, a guest columnist for L’Actualité, and a regular voice on the At Issue political panel on CBC’s The National. She is also a panelist on Les Coulisses du Pouvoir and C’est pas trop tôt on Radio-Canada.

Ms. Hébert’s distinguished career began in 1975 when she reported for Radio-Canada in Toronto. Her understanding of politics and determination to promote public discourse quickly landed her on Parliament Hill where she also served as parliamentary bureau chief for Le Devoir and La Presse.

“You could tell from the get-go that she was good—and that she was going to be really good,” Peter Mansbridge, CBC news anchor, told the Ryerson Review of Journalism about a young Ms. Hébert. Mansbridge later made Hébert a regular on the At Issue panel and now calls her the group’s lynchpin.

A Senior Fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto, she holds numerous honorary degrees from Canadian universities and is the recipient of two Asia-Pacific media fellowships. In 2005 she received the APEX Public Service Award, and in 2006 the Hy Solomon Award for excellence in journalism and public policy. In 2012 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2014 her column Politique in L’Actualité won gold at the National Magazine Awards.

Her 2007 political affairs book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec, explores the fall of the Liberal party and the rise of the Conservative party in that province. It was short listed for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction in 2008.

Her latest book, The Morning After, investigates the 1995 Quebec Referendum by asking a simple question: What would the different party leaders have done if the ‘Yes’ vote won? Published in September 2014, it is described as being a “sly, insightful and wonderfully original book…that cleverly expose[s] the fractures, tensions and fears that continue to shape Canada today.”

Born into a francophone family in Ottawa, raised in Hull and Toronto and educated at York University, she is a rare bilingual political columnist. She has acquired and nurtured the ability to assess and critique our cultural and political landscapes, reporting on them with passion and courage. As Allan Gregg, pollster and frequent panelist on CBC, told the Ryerson Review of Journalism: “She is the most influential journalist in the press gallery right now….When she says something, when she writes something—English and French—all her colleagues pay attention.”

She is undoubtedly one of the best-known and trusted political pundits in our country. In her three decades of commentary and investigative journalism, Ms. Hébert has explained, documented and argued the finer points of constitutional struggles, free trade, parliamentary politics, and First Nations concerns, among others.

She is bold. She is astute. She is a rebel. The University of Manitoba is proud to bestow Ms. Hébert with one of its highest honours, a Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Leah Hollins

Leah Hollins, LL.D., May 15, 2014
Leah Hollins
Dip.P.H.(Man.); B.Sc.Nurs.(Vic.B.C.); M.B.A.(Healthcare)(City University, Seattle)

Leah Hollins, a powerhouse generator oforiginal thoughts and solutions, changed the Canadian medical system with a radical idea: join together. Ms Hollins identified a gap in organ and tissue donation and transplantation when she boldly stated, “Canada needs an integrated national organ donation system.” She envisioned a solution that involved a revolutionary change in the way organs and tissues are donated and supplied in Canada. Her tireless and inexhaustible energy ultimately facilitated the transfer of responsibility for organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) from the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation to Canadian Blood Services (CBS). She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of CBS, Canada’s national (save Quebec) blood system with an annual budget of $1 billion.

The organization’s innovative “Call to Action” plan propelled the creation of several national registries now coordinated by CBS. The number of organ transplants conducted in Canada has dramatically increased, especially kidney transplants. This result is unprecedented and unparalleled in Canadian health care. Nine months after assuming responsibility for OTDT, the not-for-profit organization launched the first of three patient registries - the Living Donor Paired Exchange - as a three-province pilot. By November 2010 all provinces had signed on, making it the first-ever Canada-wide registry. To date, 270 transplants have been completed; each one saving the health care system upwards of $40,000 annually. The decrease in dialysis treatments saves our system millions of dollars and improves the lives of the transplant recipients beyond any monetary value.

Ms Hollins is literally irreplaceable. A board once refused her resignation because she would leave too big a void. One of her referees pointed out, “health-care systems in Canada could do with a few more leaders such as Leah Hollins.”

Recognized as a leader in program review, organization structure, and governance related issues, Ms Hollins has built and maintained a high level of credibility. Her views are often sought after by both provincial and national health care forums. A CBS board member shared that at the conclusion of meetings, fellow members do not merely shake her hand as they depart, instead they give her a hug.

Ms Hollins’s involvement in Canadian health care is as impressive as her CV: she’s a graduate of the Master of Business Administration in Health Care program from City University of Seattle, holds a BSc Nursing from University of Victoria, and completed the Executive Development Program at Queen’s University.

During her appointment as Deputy Minister of Health in British Columbia she managed an organization of 2,500 employees and a budget of $9.5 billion; she transformed the B.C. health care system into a regionalized delivery system and led the province’s response to the Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for Health Information and is currently chair of Maximus Inc., the company on contract to the B.C. government that administers the medical services plan.

Ms Hollins’s game-changing ideas, passion for collaboration and trailblazing success in shifting the way Canadians donate organs bring distinction to the University of Manitoba. We are delighted to recognize Ms Leah Hollins with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Robert Houle

Robert J. Houle, D.Litt., June 4, 2014
Robert J. Houle
B.A.(Man.); B.Ed.(McGill)

Robert Houle is an artist, curator, critic and educator who has played a significant role in shaping Indigenous art history. Exhibited nationally and internationally, his art is a force that compels and disarms, and through it he opens a direct dialogue on the toughest issues in Canada’s history and contemporary society. The University of Manitoba is proud to honour such a bold and fearlessly creative mind.

Mr. Houle is the oldest sibling in a large and supportive family and he embodies the joy and responsibility that comes from leading with strength, courage and love. He has freely shared his immense talents, found ways to collectively overcome challenges, and honoured his Anishnaabe Saulteaux culture. Across four decades in a formidable career, he has brought together these same abilities to create a collective, broader awareness that challenges assumptions and breaks down barriers.

In Mr. Houle’s own words, “Art has the capacity to lift people’s spirits. Culture is an essential ingredient to any improvement in social and economic conditions. For that reason the special status of native people must be acknowledged and protected not only in a constitutional but also in a cultural context.”

Mr. Houle is a member of Sandy Bay First Nation, Manitoba. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in Art History in 1972, and in the same year studied painting and drawing at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria. He then went on to earn a BEd in Art Education from McGill University in 1975.

It didn’t take long for his vision and talent to be recognized, and shortly after graduating Mr. Houle became the first curator of Contemporary Indian Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. During his tenure he was a strong voice in opposition of relegating contemporary Indigenous art to anthropological artifacts, and was proactive in having them understood as living pieces of work. As a curator, he has achieved extraordinary impact in bringing together groundbreaking exhibitions such as “New Work by a New Generation” at the World Assembly of First Nations in Regina in 1982, and “Land Spirit Power: First Nations at the National Gallery of Canada” in 1992.

Drawing on Western and Aboriginal artistic traditions, Mr. Houle’s work is a testament to the survival and strength of Indigenous people. Moving past the destruction of colonization, he opens a path where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can form a new relationship together.

Most recently, Robert Houle’s work examines his own Residential School experiences. This body of significant work is now in the collection of the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, and its importance was recognized in the receipt of the 2013 York Wilson Award of the Canada Council.

Mr. Houle is the recipient of several awards that recognize his immense contributions to the development and advancement of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada. He received the Janet Braide Memorial Award for Excellence in Canadian Art History in 1993 and the 2001 Toronto Arts Award for Visual Artists. He was awarded the Eiteljorg Fellowship in 2003, membership in the Royal Canadian Academy, Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Manitoba in 2004, and the 2006 Canada Council International Residency Program for the Visual Arts in Paris.

Mr. Houle has shared his knowledge and experiences through the publication of many critical essays on contemporary First Nations art and as a professor of Native Studies and Indigenous Abstraction at the Ontario College of Art and Design University for over 15 years, and continues to do so through extensive volunteer work, serving on the board of many prominent organizations.

Robert Houle is a brave leader, forging a path for future generations of his family, his community and this country. He exemplifies strength and hope in building a better Canada. The University of Manitoba is honoured to celebrate Mr. Robert Houle with an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Israel Idonije

Israel Idonije, LL.D., June 5, 2014
Israel Idonije

While quarterbacks in the National Football League have scrambled to escape his grasp, thousands of young people in Winnipeg, Chicago and West Africa have found comfort and hope in a hug from Israel “Izzy” Idonije. A feared defensive lineman, and a humble humanitarian, Mr. Idonije is an extraordinary study in contrast.

Mr. Idonije is the only Manitoban, and former Bison football player, to ever suit up in the NFL. His career spans more than a decade, and during that time the 33-year-old has experienced something few of his professional peers ever will: playing in football’s ultimate competition - the Super Bowl - in 2007.

He has debunked the myth that kids from Canada can’t crack the NFL, and it’s a message he shares with current Bison football players each time he returns home: “I don’t care where you’re from, you should set your goal for the highest possible achievement,” says Mr. Idonije.

Impressive as his on-field accomplishments are, Mr. Idonije has never let his career define him. He calls his status as a professional athlete his “platform”, and uses it as the foundation for what has been a lifelong endeavour: community service.

For his charitable work, Mr. Idonije has received numerous honours, including being recognized at the White House by President Barack Obama and former President George H.W. Bush as a Daily Points of Light Award recipient in 2013.

Since 2007, the primary vehicle for Mr. Idonije’s philanthropic activities has been the Israel Idonije Foundation. It focuses on kids in underserved communities in the three places Mr. Idonije considers home: West Africa, where the foundation delivers humanitarian aid; Winnipeg, where it hosts an annual All-Star Football Camp; and Chicago, where it leads a variety of after-school, mentorship and community-building activities.

In recent years, Mr. Idonije has branched out beyond the work of his foundation to reach kids in different ways – like starting a comic book series called The Protectors. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Idonije builds brands and opportunities reflective of his own diverse interests. The end result always has a positive impact.

Mr. Idonije’s childhood experiences helped forge his identity. His family immigrated to Brandon, Manitoba, from Lagos, Nigeria, when he was four. His father Henry and mother Choice, both Christian missionaries, didn’t have much money, but they exposed young Israel Idonije to the wealth one realizes through selfless acts of charity.

Inspired by those early experiences, Mr. Idonije’s personal investment in his foundation today goes far beyond lending his fortune or fame to the organization. His work with kids parallels his role on the football field. In both, he is an indomitable presence on the front line. To both, he commits himself 100 percent.

Mr. Idonije was traded from the Chicago Bears in 2013 but not only did he continue his work in Chicago, he also looked to get involved with youth in Detroit. After only being in Detroit for a few weeks, he teamed up with an alternative school and began an incentive-based program to help them make improvements in school.

He was re-signed to Chicago for the 2014 season and last summer he joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a bet with kids who are part of the Rahm’s Readers literacy program. The bet: If the kids collectively read more than two million books during the summer, the duo would take the traditional Polar Plunge the following spring.

The kids won the wager. This past March, Mr. Idonije made good on his promise, joining Emanuel and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon for a frosty dip in Lake Michigan. The water hovered around the zero degree mark, but the smile on Mr. Idonije’s face told the cameras that there’s no place he’d rather be and nothing he wouldn’t do for the kids he loves.

The University of Manitoba is proud to award an Honorary Doctor of Laws to such an inspiring, selfless role model who is committed to achieving excellence in all his endeavours.

Hubert Kleysen

Hubert Kleysen, LL.D., June 4, 2014
Hubert Kleysen

Inventor, entrepreneur, family man, philanthropist, leader. Hubert Kleysen has embodied all these roles and more throughout his life and successful career in the transportation industry. Mr. Kleysen built a small family-run business into one of the largest trucking companies in Manitoba. In 2006, he sold that company, Kleysen Transport, to the Mullen Income Fund and now serves as Chairman of Kleysen Inc.

As his company continued to grow, Mr. Kleysen always maintained a hands-on approach that often found him checking a truck, chatting with a mechanic or acting as a mentor to those who worked for him.

A firm believer in education, Mr. Kleysen was an early supporter of logistics courses at the University of Manitoba in the 1990s. These small beginnings eventually led to the founding of the Department of Supply Chain  Management at the I.H. Asper School of Business, the Logistics and Transport major in the Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and the Master of Science programs in Transport and Logistics. In 2008, he established the Kleysen Transport Award for the top graduate in the Certificate in Logistics program, and he continues to support undergraduates in the Logistics and Transport program through a bursary program he recently established.

As a business leader and innovator, Mr. Kleysen has provided a livelihood for thousands of Canadians and has contributed to Canada’s productivity and competitiveness. From new ways of loading freight, to finding a new market for what was previously a waste by-product of the potash mines, Mr. Kleysen is a visionary who has helped grow the Canadian economy. As a philanthropist, Mr. Kleysen’s generosity has contributed to the fabric of our society, and for more than 50 years he has supported or served on the boards of numerous organizations.

Whether it’s organizing the Parade of Lights or chairing the Breakthrough Capital Campaign for the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Mr. Kleysen has a proven track record as an involved and compassionate leader in his community.

His generosity and leadership has been recognized with numerous honours. In 2002, Mr. Kleysen was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his community. In 2008, he was the St. Ignatian Challenge Award  recipient at St. Paul’s High School, where he chaired a major fundraising campaign.

Few people have made such a positive impact on their industry and their community as Hubert Kleysen. He is still actively involved in his community, generously sharing his time and expertise for anyone who needs it. The University of Manitoba is proud to honour him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Richard Waugh

Richard Waugh, LL.D., October 23, 2014
Richard Waugh
O.C.; B.Comm.(Hons.)(Man.); M.B.A.(York); LL.D.(York, Assumption); B.AV., F.I.C.B.

Rick Waugh’s career reflects a truly Canadian success story – a story that started from humble beginnings and culminated with trailblazing achievements in Canada’s banking sector.

The son of a fireman, Mr. Waugh worked his way through university in Alberta’s oil industry, graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in 1970. At the age of 20, he began his banking career working as a Bank of Nova Scotia teller at the Windsor Park branch in Winnipeg. Over the next 43 years, his talents and tenacity saw him ascend to the apex of the banking world, moving from Scotiabank’s treasury, corporate international and retail banking areas, to eventually serving as Scotiabank’s President and CEO from 2003 until his recent retirement.

Under his watch, Scotiabank experienced a period of unprecedented growth – a period when the bank’s profits tripled. Mr. Waugh also oversaw Scotiabank’s international operations with a steady hand during the most severe global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

These accomplishments represent a fitting career arc for a man who received the International Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in 2011.

Despite international acclaim, Mr. Waugh remains true to his prairie roots and proud of where he came from. In a profile published in Canadian Business Magazine, reporter Jason Kirby wrote that Winnipeg is never far from Mr. Waugh’s thoughts.

“If the so-called Winnipeg mafia—those power brokers who hail from the keystone province—ever handed out loyalty cards, Rick Waugh would warrant super-elite status. His stories almost always circle back to the prairie city. He’s a diehard Bombers fan. When the Jets returned home in 2011, he was there for the opening game. An aerial painting of Winnipeg fills an entire wall in his living room.”

Throughout his life, Mr. Waugh has managed to balance a busy professional life with a truly philanthropic spirit. In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Waugh was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012 and in 2008 he received the Award of Merit from B’Nai Brith Canada for his great success as a leader in the corporate and humanitarian realms – an honour made all the more meaningful when it was presented to him in Winnipeg.

For his work to promote Canadian business interests internationally, Mr. Waugh received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Foreign Policy Association in New York, and had the Order of Merit conferred upon him by the president of the Dominican Republic for distinguished service to that country. In 2007 he received the Merit of Honor, Council of the Americas, for his distinguished contribution to the Americas.

Mr. Waugh actively contributes to his community as a dedicated philanthropist. He has worked extensively with the MS Society, and is a board member for their Scientific Research Foundation. In 2006, he was campaign chair for the United Way of Greater Toronto’s 50th anniversary.  He is a director of St. Michael’s Foundation and was co-chair of the hospital’s campaign to build the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

A tireless advocate for the importance of education, Mr. Waugh and his family have endowed scholarships at the University of Manitoba for the children of Scotiabank employees living and working outside of Canada.  In keeping with his commitment to education, Mr. Waugh also serves on the advisory councils for the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Mr. Waugh, along with his wife Lynne and their three sons, has also generously contributed to the construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

As Winnipeg philanthropist and community builder Gail Asper stated,“Rick Waugh is one of Canada’s most visionary leaders with a sharp mind and a huge heart. He and Lynne and their family truly understand the importance of investing in a better future and of igniting the energy and the transformative power of young people. They lead by example.”

Mr. Waugh’s leadership has helped guide the banking sector, both in Canada and internationally, to greater prosperity, stability and security.  His boundless generosity and passionate involvement continue to positively impact communities around the globe. The University of Manitoba is proud to honour him here today with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Richard Waugh, LL.D., October 23, 2014
Richard Waugh
O.C.; B.Comm.(Hons.)(Man.); M.B.A.(York); LL.D.(York, Assumption); B.AV., F.I.C.B.

Rick Waugh’s career reflects a truly Canadian success story – a story that started from humble beginnings and culminated with trailblazing achievements in Canada’s banking sector.

The son of a fireman, Mr. Waugh worked his way through university in Alberta’s oil industry, graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in 1970. At the age of 20, he began his banking career working as a Bank of Nova Scotia teller at the Windsor Park branch in Winnipeg. Over the next 43 years, his talents and tenacity saw him ascend to the apex of the banking world, moving from Scotiabank’s treasury, corporate international and retail banking areas, to eventually serving as Scotiabank’s President and CEO from 2003 until his recent retirement.

Under his watch, Scotiabank experienced a period of unprecedented growth – a period when the bank’s profits tripled. Mr. Waugh also oversaw Scotiabank’s international operations with a steady hand during the most severe global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

These accomplishments represent a fitting career arc for a man who received the International Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in 2011.

Despite international acclaim, Mr. Waugh remains true to his prairie roots and proud of where he came from. In a profile published in Canadian Business Magazine, reporter Jason Kirby wrote that Winnipeg is never far from Mr. Waugh’s thoughts.

“If the so-called Winnipeg mafia—those power brokers who hail from the keystone province—ever handed out loyalty cards, Rick Waugh would warrant super-elite status. His stories almost always circle back to the prairie city. He’s a diehard Bombers fan. When the Jets returned home in 2011, he was there for the opening game. An aerial painting of Winnipeg fills an entire wall in his living room.”

Throughout his life, Mr. Waugh has managed to balance a busy professional life with a truly philanthropic spirit. In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Waugh was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012 and in 2008 he received the Award of Merit from B’Nai Brith Canada for his great success as a leader in the corporate and humanitarian realms – an honour made all the more meaningful when it was presented to him in Winnipeg.

For his work to promote Canadian business interests internationally, Mr. Waugh received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Foreign Policy Association in New York, and had the Order of Merit conferred upon him by the president of the Dominican Republic for distinguished service to that country. In 2007 he received the Merit of Honor, Council of the Americas, for his distinguished contribution to the Americas.

Mr. Waugh actively contributes to his community as a dedicated philanthropist. He has worked extensively with the MS Society, and is a board member for their Scientific Research Foundation. In 2006, he was campaign chair for the United Way of Greater Toronto’s 50th anniversary.  He is a director of St. Michael’s Foundation and was co-chair of the hospital’s campaign to build the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

A tireless advocate for the importance of education, Mr. Waugh and his family have endowed scholarships at the University of Manitoba for the children of Scotiabank employees living and working outside of Canada.  In keeping with his commitment to education, Mr. Waugh also serves on the advisory councils for the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Mr. Waugh, along with his wife Lynne and their three sons, has also generously contributed to the construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

As Winnipeg philanthropist and community builder Gail Asper stated,“Rick Waugh is one of Canada’s most visionary leaders with a sharp mind and a huge heart. He and Lynne and their family truly understand the importance of investing in a better future and of igniting the energy and the transformative power of young people. They lead by example.”

Mr. Waugh’s leadership has helped guide the banking sector, both in Canada and internationally, to greater prosperity, stability and security.  His boundless generosity and passionate involvement continue to positively impact communities around the globe. The University of Manitoba is proud to honour him here today with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


Wayne Anderson

Wayne R. Anderson, LL.D., May 28, 2013
Wayne R. Anderson
B.S.A.(Man.); M.B.A.(York)

A champion of the University of Manitoba’s vision and mission, Wayne Anderson has invested himself in the governing of the University of Manitoba community to such an extent that in 2008 he received the Peter D. Curry Chancellor's Award in recognition of his service. He is again recognized today with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Mr. Anderson was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a suiting degree:  after he earned his MBA from York University in 1968 he became actively involved in his family’s cattle operation. He continued this farm work as he carved a path into Winnipeg’s business community. He has been a self-employed entrepreneur for most of the last forty years.

In 1973, Mr. Anderson was named President and General Manager of General Window Products of Canada Ltd. In 1981, he became President of Bonar Plastics Western Ltd. He remained there until 1993, when he became President at St. Boniface Pallet Co., a position he still holds today. He was Vice-President of Hillside Farms Manitoba Ltd. from 1963 until 2003, and from 1993 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission. He also served as a Director on the Board of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association for eighteen years, including three years as Chair. Multi-tasking has always been his strength: while a student here he was a hockey player for both Agriculture and the U of M Bisons, he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity and served on the Agriculture Student Council.

In 1998, Mr. Anderson was elected to the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors as a Representative of the Graduates. He was re-elected in 2001 and 2004. He served as Vice-Chair from September 2000 to June 2002, and elected as Chair of the Board of Governors in June 2002, the same year he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He served as Chair of the Board with great integrity for four years and then remained on the Board until May 2007.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, an independent "think tank". He is also, since 2009, the Chair of the St. Boniface Hospital’s Board of Directors and continues to be an integral part of the University of Manitoba community: since 1999 he has been a member of the U of M’s Trust and Endowment Committee.

Mr. Anderson is an example of the visionary and caring leaders the University of Manitoba has been shaping since 1877. He has enhanced his community, enriching its people and their connections to one another. He has committed his life to preserving and growing these bonds and the University of Manitoba honours him today for defending and promoting the community’s good.

Harry Bone

Harry Bone, LL.D., May 16, 2013
Elder Harry Bone

Elder Harry Bone has worked tirelessly and quietly throughout his life to bolster Indigenous rights. He serves as a source of inspiration to the Faculty of Medicine, which shares his goal of improving the lives of Indigenous peoples by respecting their individual and collective rights. He is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba for working with respect and humility toward this honourable end.

He is a member of the Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation, where he served as a Chief and Director of Education.  He also worked as a CEO at the West Region Tribal Council and as a Director of the Manitoba Indian Education Authority.  While a graduate student in political studies at the University of Manitoba he was a Student Advisor and Lecturer.  Elder Bone was also a Director of Native Programs for the Federal Government and he served as a Vice-President of Aboriginal Cultural Centres of Canada

Elder Bone is currently a member of the Elders Council, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and the Treaty Relations Commission.  Through the Treaty Relations Commission, he has been active in working with the Manitoba and federal governments, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre on the Treaty Education Initiative.  This initiative develops Treaty-education resources for K-12 teachers to help them introduce treaties and traditional laws and knowledge to their students.

Elder Bone’s expertise in First Nations governance at the community level is well regarded.  He has led delegations that have met with all levels of government and has been instrumental in furthering many projects for the benefit all Manitobans, such as the Oral History Project and the Historical Atlas of First Nations in Manitoba.

Elder Bone and Elder Doris Pratt co-authored Untuwe Pi Kin He - Who We Are:  Treaty Elders’ Teachings Volume, a book that documents the traditional laws and customs of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba in a way that is accessible to all interested readers; it is not a revision of history but rather a retelling of history from Indigenous historians, giving them an opportunity to reclaim words and inject new power into them.  Like Elder Bone, the book aims to inspire people through compassion, reason, humility and human dignity.

The University of Manitoba honours Elder Bone for his tireless and trendsetting work that advances Aboriginal education in Canada.

Mark Carney

Mark Carney, LL.D., April 5, 2013
Mark Carney
Magna Cum Laude A.B. Economics (Harvard), M.Phil. Economics (Oxford), D.Phil. Economics (Oxford)

Mr. Mark Carney was born in Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories, a town of 2,500 people founded by fur-trading explorers and intrepid adventurers. From here, Mr. Carney blazed a remarkable trail that has taken him to the top of the global financial world.

His journey began following high school in Edmonton, where his family moved to when he was young. He ventured from home, going to Harvard University to earn his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1988. He went further still, earning his master’s degree in economics in 1993 from St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, and a doctorate in economics in 1995 from Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

Mr. Carney went on to have a thirteen-year career with Goldman Sachs in its London, Tokyo, New York and Toronto offices, eventually becoming the bank’s managing director of investment banking. 

In August of 2003, Mr. Carney was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada. A little over a year later he left the Bank to become Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance. He served under both a Liberal and Conservative government before he was appointed to a seven-year term as the Governor of the Bank of Canada on February 1, 2008.  He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada, as well as serving as Chairman of the Board of the Financial Stability Board.

When Mr. Carney accepted the governorship at the Bank, the global financial system offered uninviting horizons. But no one, even Mr. Carney, knew how vast, vague and tangled the approaching troubles were. He faced a daunting test almost immediately upon taking the helm: guide Canada through the worst of the financial impacts of a global banking crisis that began in 2007. He succeeded. Time named him one of the top 100 influential people of 2010, and in 2011 Reader’s Digest declared him the Most Trusted Canadian.  And in recognition of his world-wide reputation, last year Mr. Carney was named Central Bank Governor of the Year.

A rare and unique opportunity came on November 26, 2012, when Her Majesty the Queen approved the appointment of Mr. Carney as Governor of the Bank of England, the second oldest central bank in the world. He is the first non-Briton to be appointed to the role since the Bank was established in 1694.

A visionary thinker and trailblazer who possesses tireless ambition and sterling integrity, Mr. Mark Carney is recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Laws for his leadership and impact on the financial world.

Margaret Conrad

Margaret Conrad, LL.D., October 16, 2013
Margaret Conrad
O.C.; B.A.(Hons.)(Acadia); M.A., Ph.D.(Tor.); D.HumL.(Acadia)(Mt.St.Vin.); F.R.S.C.

Historians possess a quiet and immeasurable power: they preserve our stories, stories that define a nation, a gender, a region and its peoples, or all. To re-evaluate facts, to reimagine history, takes a visionary rebel and Dr. Margaret Conrad is an example of one. Her work in two areas has been particularly valuable: history seen from the point of view of women's role and participation, and a re-conceptualization of Atlantic Canada's history, both as a region and an essential element of Canada. What is particularly inspiring about Dr. Conrad is that she fulfills the broadest possible spectrum of the humanities tradition – as a teacher, an advisor, a thinker, a writer and a citizen activist. In celebration of the contributions she has made to our understanding of history, the University of Manitoba is proud to bestow upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Dr. Conrad received a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University in 1967, and then studied at the University of Toronto, earning her Ph.D. in 1979.  Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1995, Dr. Conrad received both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004.

Dr. Conrad taught at Acadia University for many years where she helped to found Atlantis: a Women’s Studies Journal as well as the Planter Studies Centre, which explored the history of eighteenth-century migrations to the Maritimes. In 2002, she was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies at the University of New Brunswick. In that capacity, she probed the potential of Humanities Computing through the highly innovative Atlantic Canada Portal. Of the nine scholarly books she has written, Atlantic Canada: A Region in the Making, which she co-authored with James K. Hiller, won the 2002 Canadian Historical Association’s Clio Prize and her biography of Maritime political leader George Nowlan was a runner up for the CHA’s Macdonald prize. Her essay, “”Sundays Always Make Me Think of Home’: Time and Place in Canadian Women's History”, has made an enduring impact on the way historians conceptualize women and the work they do in production, reproduction, and caring for the young, the ill, and the elderly.

Esteemed English scholar, Gwendolyn Davies, describes Dr. Conrad’s scholarship – involving the detailed use of personal diaries in her research -- as taking place “at the intersection of research and originality”. Other contemporaries praise Dr. Conrad’s lifelong work of promoting history to Canadians – she has given over sixty public addresses, seven distinguished lectures, and published four book-length surveys of Canadian history in no less than sixteen editions for undergraduate students and the general public. She was President of the Canadian Historical Association from 2005 to 2007, and has served on a multitude of boards, including the Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium, Canada’s National History Society, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies.

The University of Manitoba is proud to honour Dr. Conrad for all she has done to enrich Canada’s historical narrative.

Abdo (Albert) El Tassi

Abdo (Albert) El Tassi, LL.D., October 17, 2013
Abdo (Albert) El Tassi
C.M., O.M.

Compassion can so often be a fleeting thing. For Mr. Abdo El Tassi, though, compassion is a daily practice and his lifetime devoted to selfless acts has transformed communities around the globe. He embodies the spirit of the University of Manitoba:  hard work, ingenuity, service, global perspective and borderless outreach. This is why the University of Manitoba is proud to award Abdo El Tassi an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Mr. El Tassi was born in Lebanon, where he became a schoolteacher and principal. He came to Winnipeg in 1969 and his first job was loading trucks in the shipping department of Peerless Garments. In 1978, he was appointed their General Manager and by 2003, he had become President and CEO.  Since that time he has increased the company’s annual sales from $3 to $45 million. He brings this drive to the many boards on which he sits, including the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice in St. Paul’s College.

Mr. El Tassi has sponsored dozens of people to come to Canada and established training and development opportunities at Peerless Garments for newcomers to learn marketable skills and English. To date, he has provided over $1.7 million in interest-free loans to cover business startup costs, mortgages and university tuition for immigrants building new lives in Canada.  He once helped a former Secretary of State for External Affairs reunite two boys in Lebanon with their mother in Winnipeg.

As a founder of the Islamic Social Services Association of Manitoba, the Al Hijra Islamic School, and the Mosque of Thompson, Manitoba, Mr. El Tassi has exhibited his commitment and dedication to his personal faith. He is also a member of the Arab Jewish Dialogue group, which helps bolster relations between differing cultures and religions in Canada. Beyond our borders, Mr. El Tassi is so dedicated to the worldwide effort to remove landmines from war-torn countries that the President of Lebanon has personally congratulated his efforts.

Mr. El Tassi is foremost a family man. He has four children and sixteen grandchildren, but he has made the world his family, and the children of the world - their education and well-being - are a top priority. His donations to Free the Children have enabled the building of several schools. He has given to the University of Manitoba, Sick Kids Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages Canada, UNICEF, the United Way and World Vision.

Over the past seven years he has supported the Mauro Centre’s Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival and is the largest personal contributor to the Military Family Fund, which provides support to families of the Canadian Armed Forces.

A recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, Mr. El Tassi is also a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba. Today, he joins the roster of distinguished global citizens celebrated by the University of Manitoba.

Henry J. Engbrecht

Henry John Engbrecht, LL.D., May 30, 2013
Henry John Engbrecht
B.A.(Bethel College), M.Mus.(Southern Methodist University), M.Mus.Ed.(Southern Methodist University Dallas)

Professor Emeritus Henry Engbrecht is celebrated today for his musical exploration and innovation.

A pioneer, he served as the University's first Director of Choral Studies from 1978 until 2006.  For the sixteen years prior to this appointment, he taught music and directed choirs in various schools and colleges in southern Manitoba.

Recognized as a leading music educator, choral conductor, clinician and adjudicator, he has made significant contributions to the development of music education and choral music throughout Manitoba and across Canada over the past fifty years. He helped establish the Manitoba Choral Association, the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba, and the Manitoba Summer Academy in Advanced Choral Conducting. He has conducted the University of Manitoba Singers, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, the Manitoba Opera Chorus, and Canzona, his own professional chamber choir. He also created CAN-AM Choir – the Canadian-American University Choir – in collaboration with former WSO Conductor Bramwell Tovey. This international choir offered students an extraordinary way to experience masterworks.

Professor Engbrecht was twice awarded the University’s Campbell Outreach Award in recognition of his achievements in promoting the University through concerts and tours of the University Singers across Western Canada, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Europe.

In 2000, he received the Prix Manitoba Award from the Government of Manitoba for his then forty years of service to choral music development across Manitoba and Canada. This admirable record of service also inspired the Manitoba Choral Association to award him with an Honorary Life Membership. In 2006, he was thrice honoured: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra presented him with the Manitoba Choral Association’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors presented him with the Distinguished Service Award, and his students nominated him for the UMSU Professor of the Year Award.

He is so well loved by his friends, colleagues, and former students that they established an endowment fund in his name at the University of Manitoba to recruit top graduate students to the Faculty of Music. The award celebrates Professor Engbrecht’s dedication to choral music at the University and throughout Manitoba.

Professor Engbrecht retired from the university in 2006 after twenty-eight years as Director of Choral Studies, but he continued to teach courses for two more years. He is a donor, a teacher, an artist and a source of inspiration. He forever changed the Faculty of Music for the better, and he continues to enrich Manitoba with his artistic gift. The University of Manitoba recognizes this creator and pioneer with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

J. Roger Léveillé

J. Roger Léveillé, D.Litt., June 3, 2013
J. Roger Léveillé
B.A., M.A.(Man.)

It has been said that all poetry is experimental, but J. Roger Léveillé made poetry pioneering too. He created and established Franco-Manitoban literature as a form, as something worthy of study in universities throughout the world. Perhaps no other person has exported Franco-Manitoba culture to such a degree. His creative, inspiring and reverberating voice will forever enrich the cultural environments of Canada and Europe. For this, the University of Manitoba awards him an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Born into an artistic family in Winnipeg, he developed a passion for literature at a young age. He pursued classical studies at Collège de Saint-Boniface where he was actively involved in various cultural activities, particularly as director of the film society and as writer and later editor of the student newspaper, Frontières. In 1965, he took part in the first exhibition of Franco-Manitoban artists at the St. Boniface Public Library. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, he moved to Montreal where he pursued graduate studies for one semester. He later received his Master of Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1968 and published his first poetic narrative, Tombeau, that same year. In 1973, he abandoned his doctoral thesis at the University of Manitoba to devote himself to writing. After briefly working as a French-language instructor, he went into journalism in 1981 while continuing to publish works such as L’incomparable and the collective works Le livre des marges and Œuvre de la première mort.        

In 1984, he established the collection Rouge at Les Éditions du Blé with the aim of promoting local young poets. He also started preparation work for the Anthologie de la poésie franco-manitobaine, which was published in 1990. In 1994, he received the Prix littéraire du Manitoba français for his work Causer l’amour and, in 1997, the Prix du Consulat général de France à Toronto for his entire body of work. That same year, he developed the Foyer des Écrivains, the francophone component of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, of which he was a board member for many years. In 1999, he was invited by the Government of Canada to the Salon du livre de Paris and was later inducted into the Temple de la renommée de la culture du Manitoba français.

In 2003, he received the Prix Champlain as well as the Prix Rue-Deschambault for his novel Le soleil du lac qui se couche. He received the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and most recently, he was named recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s 2012 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction.

J. Roger Léveillé has been writing for over forty years, publishing nearly thirty works. The University of Manitoba and Université de Saint-Boniface pay tribute to him today by conferring on him an Honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the promotion of literature and the arts both nationally and internationally.

Julie Payette

Julie Payette, D.Sc., May 30, 2013
Julie Payette
O.C.; C.Q.; B.Eng.(McGill); M.Appl.Sc.(Tor.)

Julie Payette is an explorer who once traveled six million kilometers in just shy of ten days. She did this as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1999. Her mission was to perform the first manual docking with the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver supplies. She was the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board ISS. She is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition of her courage to explore new boundaries, for challenging herself, and for trailblazing deeper paths for other women of science to follow.

Born in Montreal, Julie Payette joined the NASA astronaut corps in 1996 and flew two space missions aboard space shuttles Discovery and Endeavour. On Endeavour, in 2009, she again flew to the ISS and operated Canadarm, a robotic arm she guided through delicate maneuvers needed to complete installation of a new laboratory attached to ISS. Ms Payette has logged over 611 hours in space and from 2000 until 2007 she was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.

Ms Payette is Knight of the National Order of Quebec and in 2011 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. In January 2011, Ms. Payette accepted a fellowship in public policy at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. In October of the same year, she was named Quebec's Scientific Delegate to promote collaboration and linkages between science and technology institutions in the United States and in Quebec. In the summer of 2013, Ms. Payette will become the Chief Operating Officer of the Montréal Science Centre.

She is a Former Governor-in-Council for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and a Member of l'Ordre des lngenieurs du Quebec and the International Academy of Astronautics. In 1999, she received the NASA Space Flight Medal for her service and achievements; ten years later, she received the award again. In 2001 she was named Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pleiade de la francophonie, and in 2010 she was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame. She also received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers gave her their highest honour – Engineers Canada Gold Medal.

Ms Payette holds a commercial pilot license and obtained her military pilot captaincy. She is a certified deep-sea diver who is fluent in French and English, and can converse in Spanish, Italian, Russian and German. She plays the piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Piacere Vocale in Basel, Switzerland, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto. Her achievements listed in this last paragraph alone would allow others to declare her life one lived well and full. But explorers spill over the average life’s brim; Ms. Payette has lived beyond Earth’s horizons and continually expands her own. She goes forth, cultivating new talents and enriching old ones, all to the betterment of global society.  Ms Payette is an adventurer and the University of Manitoba is proud to honour her today.

Strinivasan Reddy

Strinivasan Reddy, LL.D., May 29, 2013
Strinivasan Reddy
O.M.; B.Ed., M.Ed.(Man.)

Strinivasan Reddy is a fighter. Throughout his forty-two year career as an educator working in five countries, he fought for social justice and peace by combating racism. He is a rebel and defender honoured today by his alma mater.

Mr. Reddy began teaching in 1956 in South Africa's Natal Province. In 1962 he moved to Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, to teach for two years before he became the Assistant Principal and Chief Examiner at a boarding school in Zambia. He later moved to London, England, to teach for one year before arriving in The Pas, Manitoba, where he was a teacher and administrator with Kelsey School Division as well as coordinator of Brandon University's Northern Teacher Education Program. In 1975, he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Education Administration. After earning his master's in 1979 he became a consultant for English as a Second Language with Manitoba Education, working mainly in northern Aboriginal communities. He then went on to work in Frontier School Division where, in 1985, he became the first ever Chief Superintendent of that Division. In 1992, he taught for Brandon University and in 1993 he took the post of Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents.

Mr. Reddy continues to work with community organizations to improve education and combat child poverty. Until the program ended last year, he was Manitoba Coordinator for Project Love, which annually sent upwards of 15,000 kits of basic school supplies to students in the most poverty-stricken countries in Africa. He is Chair of the South Africa Education Support Committee, which conducts annual fundraising activities in support of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also a co-founder of the Summer Learning Enrichment Program for Winnipeg's inner-city children. This free program operates five days a week for five weeks during the summer months, providing food, cultural enrichment and education to children.

Mr. Reddy is Past Chairman of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, for whom he still volunteers, and from 2004 until 2007, he served on the University of Manitoba's Board of Governors.

His life's work has earned him awards from numerous education organizations including the Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education, and in 2000, he was named a Member of the Order of Manitoba.

Mr. Reddy is a champion of social justice, racial understanding, literacy, and poverty reduction. And he has not stopped working. The University of Manitoba is proud to award its distinguished alumnus, Mr. Strinivasan Reddy, with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

V. James Weisgerber

V. James Weisgerber, LL.D., May 29, 2013
Archbishop V. James Weisgerber
Ph.L., S.T.L.(St.Paul, Ott.); D.D.(St. John's College)

Perhaps it was preordained that Archbishop V. James Weisgerber would reach beyond the borders of the Saskatchewan village where he was born to make an impact on Canadian society. His compassion and courage to rebel against the status quo allowed him to go forth from Vibank, SK, to promote social justice and defend marginalized peoples.

He was ordained as priest fifty years ago and in that time he has served numerous prairie communities and parishes, even serving as Dean of Arts at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, SK.  In Regina, he worked in the Archbishop's Office as director of the pastoral and social justice offices and served as Rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral and Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish. At Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Fort Qu’Appelle, he led the pastoral ministry in the neighboring First Nations’ reserves. In 1990, he was elected General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), a position he held until his ordination as the Bishop of Saskatoon. He was appointed the fifth Bishop of Saskatoon by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II on March 7, 1996, and named the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg by Pope John Paul II on June 7, 2000. One of his first actions as Archbishop of Winnipeg was to establish Micah House on Main Street, a centre for the promotion of social justice.

Archbishop Weisgerber was instrumental in bridging the divide between the Catholic Church in Canada and Canada's Aboriginal Peoples, a divide which developed because of the abuse of Aboriginal Peoples in residential schools established by the Government of Canada and operated by the Roman Catholic Church.  Archbishop Weisgerber worked tirelessly to bring about the meeting in Rome in April, 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI met with leaders of Canada's Aboriginal peoples at the Vatican to express his sorrow at the anguish caused by the conduct of some members of the Church. Archbishop Weisgerber did not allow the reconciliation process to stop here. Since 2009, he has been a driving force in setting up the Moving Forward Together campaign to encourage fundamental and lasting change to Aboriginal communities in Canada by supporting healing and educational programs.  He currently co-chairs the campaign with Dr. Phil Fontaine. In recognition of his work to amplify First Nation voices, Archbishop Weisgerber was symbolically adopted by several First Nations Elders at a ceremony in 2012 that made him a brother to the First Nations community.

Archbishop Weisgerber was awarded the Notre Dame Medal of Honor in 1994 and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2005. He attended St. Peter's College at Muenster and then St. Paul's University in Ottawa. Today, he is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba for his visionary commitment to social change and justice.

Phyllis N. Yaffe

Phyllis Nancy Yaffe, LL.D., May 28, 2013
Phyllis Nancy Yaffe
B.A.(Man.); B.L.S.(Alta.); M.L.S.(Tor.); D.Lit.(Mt.St.Vin.)

Phyllis Yaffe is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of her exceptional business acumen and for trailblazing paths for other women to follow into the world of publishing and entertainment. This former librarian has made a lot of noise in commercial entertainment.

Ms Yaffe was born in Winnipeg and began working as a librarian in the Winnipeg Public Library in 1969. Her love of books led her, after she earned her BA from the University of Manitoba, to receive a Bachelor of Library Science degree from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Library Science from the University of Toronto. In the 1970s she was a librarian at Seneca College in Toronto, and was later the Executive Director of the Canadian Children's Book Centre.

In 1980, the Association of Canadian Publishers appointed her Executive Director. Five years later she became Vice-President of Marketing for the children's magazine Owl, a position she held until 1993 when she was approached by Alliance; they wanted her to help them expand. She did, and they did.  By 1995, Ms. Yaffe was President of Showcase Television and she again helped them expand in 1996 with the successful licensing of History Television. In 1999, she became President and CEO of Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting and by 2001 she was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting. Four years later, they appointed her Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Atlantis Communications. She was responsible for overseeing the company's worldwide operations, including the specialty channels, the international television distribution business, and the CSI franchise. She is also credited for bringing such personalities as Mike Holmes, Christine Cushing, and the Trailer Park Boys to Canadian television.

In 1999, Canadian Women in Communications presented her with the Award for Woman of the Year. The following year she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Film & Television. In 2006, she was named one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network.

She is Chairperson of Women Against Multiple Sclerosis and she has sat on the World Wildlife Fund Board, the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Science Centre, and on the United Way of Greater Toronto's 2007 Campaign Cabinet. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Cineplex Entertainment and the Lead Director at Torstar Corporation, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Astral Media Inc. and Lionsgate Entertainment. Today, she receives an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba, a premier academic institution that celebrates Ms. Yaffe’s trendsetting spirit.


Robert Brennan

Robert Brennan, LL.D., May 30, 2012
Robert Brennan
C.A.; F.C.A.

Recognized for his visionary commitment to innovation, sustainability, and the growth and prosperity of Manitoba, Robert Brennan is also a dedicated philanthropist and enthusiastic champion of his community.

Mr. Brennan retired from Manitoba Hydro in 2011 as its longest serving President and Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure he transformed the Crown Corporation into a modern, customer-driven electric and gas utility that has become one of the major drivers of the provincial economy.

 A chartered accountant, Mr. Brennan is an elected a Fellow of Chartered Accountants with the Manitoba Institute of Chartered Accountants. In 1965 he joined Manitoba Hydro where he quickly moved up the ranks, fulfilling various managerial positions on the accounting and finance side of the firm, becoming Vice-President of Finance in 1987. He then briefly served as Senior Vice-President Finance and Administration before becoming CEO in 1990.

As a result of Mr. Brennan’s visionary leadership, Manitoba Hydro became a significant exporter of renewable energy to the United States. In 1999 the firm purchased Centra Gas to become the primary supplier of natural gas to Manitobans. In 2002 the utility grew again with the purchase of Winnipeg Hydro. It has built two wind farms in southern Manitoba and ushered in Power Smart, a wide-ranging incentive program that encourages consumers to make energy-efficient choices. Under Mr. Brennan, Manitoba Hydro built more dams and utilized the engineering prowess of University of Manitoba faculty members to explore alternative energy resources and to design new power grids and production methods. Mr. Brennan’s leadership also helped Manitoba Hydro establish profit-sharing deals with northern Aboriginal communities.

Mr. Brennan is the former chairman, and long-time director, of the Canadian Electrical Association. He is a long-standing director of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. He has supported Riverview Health Centre for many years and is currently the Chairman of its Foundation. He is Director and Treasurer of Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, the director of the Winnipeg Vintage Locomotive Society and past co-chair of the YMCA/YWCA.

During Mr. Brennan’s tenure as CEO, Manitoba Hydro has consistently supported the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Mr. Brennan has also supported the Asper School of Business, especially its MBA program: every year since the mid-1990s Mr. Brennan has spoken to MBA students on leadership.

Mr. Brennan is recognized today for his ability to challenge old ways of thinking and for finding new paths that lead toward prosperity and a stronger community.

Douglas Cardinal

Douglas Cardinal, LL.D., May 31, 2012
Douglas Cardinal
O.C., B.Arch.(Texas); F.R.I.A.C., F.R.I.A.S.

As the creative mind behind some of Canada’s most iconic buildings, Douglas Cardinal is recognized for his bold vision and commitment to his indigenous heritage.

Born in Alberta of Metis and Blackfoot heritage, Mr. Cardinal created an Indigenous style of architecture marked by smooth organic lines and influenced by his Canadian and Aboriginal heritage. His visionary work has earned him accolades around the world and eight honorary doctorate degrees from Canadian universities; he earns his ninth today from the University of Manitoba.

His creative process involves a strong community-oriented philosophy, in which he involves elders and community leaders to influence his design’s conceptual development.  One of his most famous works is the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Que., which earned him numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2001.

Graduating with a degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1963, Mr. Cardinal’s creative vision began to take shape in western Canada where he designed St. Mary’s Church in Red Deer, Alta. The design is reminiscent of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, except Mr. Cardinal’s church predates the Guggenheim by almost four decades. The church is made of brick and every wall, even the roof, is curved.

Other works by Mr. Cardinal include the Grande Prairie Regional College, the Edmonton Space and Science Centre, the Government Services Centre in Ponoka, Alta., First Nation University of Canada, and Thunderbird House here in Winnipeg, among many others.

Mr. Cardinal’s unique, pioneering style of architecture, rich in curvilinear forms, evokes the Canadian landscape and his Aboriginal ancestry. He believes that the design of buildings is a spiritual endeavor which demands collaboration and respect. And as his visionary creations grew ever-more complex, Mr. Cardinal began innovating the design process by incorporating computers into it; he was one of the first architects to do so.

In 1983 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. In 1990 he was awarded the Order of Canada. In 2003 he was elected a Member of the Royal Society of Canada.
Mr. Cardinal is recognized today for being an innovator, a creator, a visionary and a trailblazer.

Paul E. Garfinkel

Paul E. Garfinkel, D.Sc., October 18, 2012
Paul E. Garfinkel
O.C.; M.D.(Man.); F.R.C.P.

Dr. Paul Garfinkel is awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his determination to challenge preconceived notions of mental disorders and to pioneer new ways of thinking about, and treating, disease.
Dr. Garfinkel graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine in 1969. After completing his residency at the Toronto Western Hospital, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Toronto General Hospital, Dr. Garfinkel became a specialist in psychiatry and entered practice as well as teaching duties in 1974. His early academic career is marked by the numerous academic awards he received, like the Canadian Psychiatric Association Award. His subsequent career is characterized by the honours bestowed upon him by prestigious institutions and governing bodies, such as the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and the Pacesetter Award from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
His research focuses on eating disorders, pernicious illnesses that hijack minds and starve bodies. His main focus is Anorexia Nervosa, a notorious disorder that affects primarily young women across Canada and the globe, robbing them of the vigor and vitality that should characterize their youth. Dr. Garfinkel has dedicated his life to helping these young women regain control of their minds and bodies. His passion and courage propelled him to challenge his colleagues to think about eating disorders in new ways. His scholarship is well regarded and recognized around the world. He has published 155 refereed journal articles, 10 books, 82 book chapters, and many other publications over the course of his trendsetting career. His textbooks alone have been called landmark achievements.
Dr. Garfinkel has also distinguished himself as an administrator: he has served as Head of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, and as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Toronto General Hospital and President and CEO of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, also in Toronto. From 1998 to 2009, he served as the Founding President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This centre was created after four independent facilities merged together to form the largest mental illness and addictions treatment facility in Canada. Dr. Garfinkel led this visionary merger; he led infrastructure development and capital campaigns all while fostering a new public understanding of, and support for, mental health and addiction treatment. Through his innovative approach, CAMH has transformed into an urban village that has de-institutionalized patient care.
In 1996, Dr. Garfinkel was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2008 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Today, his alma mater honours his courage and vision to pursue and share an improved understanding of contemporary society’s most serious mental disorders.

M. Cyril Mooney

M. Cyril Mooney, LL.D., May 31, 2012
Sister M. Cyril Mooney
I.B.V.M.; Ph.D.(London)

A champion of the poor and disenfranchised, Sister Cyril Mooney is recognized for her commitment to education and her work to challenge the caste system in India.

Sr. Cyril belongs to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto). Arriving in India in 1956, she completed her PhD in zoology at India’s University of Lucknow. She taught at Loreto College and then in 1979 she was named Principal of Loreto Day School Sealdah in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India. The school was founded as an exclusively upper-class private school for girls. That changed when Sr. Cyril took the helm: the school opened itself to everyone, of any caste, class or religion. Now, of the 1,500 students, half come from families that pay full tuition fees that support the other half of the student body which pays nothing and receives high-quality education, medicine, food, books and uniforms. Bringing these two groups together into a cohesive, cooperative student body was, and remains, a revolutionary act.

Sr. Cyril’s initiatives extend further than this innovation: Through the Loreto’s Rainbow Program, 250 girls originally from the slums and streets now live on the school’s flat roof, allowing them to avoid the struggles of slum life in order to focus on learning. Her school’s staff and resources have built five other schools in Kolkata slums, providing access to the same high-quality education for an additional 6,500 students. Going further, Sr. Cyril created the Barefoot Teaching Program, which has trained 7,000 teachers who have reached 350,000 poor children in the city who otherwise would have no access to education. The model of education she developed is now being adopted by the state system of India.

Recognized as an education innovator, Sr. Cyril received the UNESCO’s NOMA Award in 1994 for spreading literacy. In 2007, the President of India honoured her with the Padma Shri Award, the Government of India’s fourth-highest civilian honour; Mother Teresa is the only other foreign-born recipient.
In 2010, Sr. Cyril was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Trinty College in Dublin, Ireland. The following year Monmouth University in New Jersey, USA, presented her with their Global Visionary Award for her work in India and for allowing its students to get involved in her program. For the past six years, University of Manitoba students from the Faculty of Education have also worked with Sr. Cyril at her school through an intensive field study program. Sr. Cyril is recognized today for transforming the lives of thousands of others in India with her innovative approach to education.

Tannis Richardson

Tannis M. Richardson, LL.D., May 29, 2012
Tannis M. Richardson
O.C.; B.Sc.(H.Ec.)(Man.)

A dedicated philanthropist and volunteer, Tannis Richardson is an enthusiastic champion of her community and its people. Her lifelong commitment to local and international charitable causes is why her name is so well loved in Winnipeg and why she is being awarded an honourary degree today.

Since graduating in 1948 from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Home Economics (now the Faculty of Human Ecology), Mrs. Richardson has made a difference in countless lives through her dedication to arts, health and cultural organizations in Winnipeg and Canada.

Two years after graduating, Mrs. Richardson joined the Winnipeg Art Gallery as a volunteer member of the Women’s Committee. Over the years she has helped the WAG raise funds for numerous projects and in light of her exceptional service she became one of the first members of the Advisory Council of the Volunteer Associates of the WAG, a position normally reserved for past WAG presidents and board members.

Mrs. Richardson is also a long-time benefactor and leader of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and in 1991 she was the first recipient of the Foundation’s Laureate of Excellence Award, which was establish to recognize the contributions of individuals in the community. In 1995, Mrs. Richardson, along with her husband George, acted as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Foundations for Health Campaign, an ambitious and successful project between the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and the Children’s Hospital that resulted in a new research centre. Today, Mrs. Richardson continues to support the foundation by being the Honorary Director of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.

Mrs. Richardson is a Member of the Order of Canada and she has served on the boards of Rainbow Stage, the Manitoba Opera Association, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras.

She has supported and volunteered for a multitude of organizations such as the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the United Way of Winnipeg, the Western Canadian Aviation Museum, the Manitoba Museum, and the Winnipeg Public Library Foundations. She is also on the Advisory Council of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry.

Mrs. Richardson is especially committed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) of Canada, chairing the local fundraising committee and serving on the national Executive Committee and Board of Chancellors, as well as serving with JDRF International. In recognition of her dedication and tireless effort, she was honoured with the One Step Closer Award from the Juvenile Research Foundation International.

There are few communities, organizations or causes in Manitoba that have not benefited from Mrs. Richardson’s selfless generosity. Today, we welcome her back home to the University of Manitoba and honour her ability to envision a better world and to make it so.

Lloyd Robertson

Lloyd Robertson, LL.D., May 29, 2012
Lloyd Robertson
O.C.; LL.D. (Royal Roads)

Admired as one of the most trusted journalists in Canada, Lloyd Robertson is recognized for his dedication to informing and educating Canadian citizens through comprehensive and objective reporting.

With 35 years at the helm of the CTV National News, Mr. Robertson became one of longest-serving national news anchors in TV history, beating Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite to name but two colleagues. With unrivaled integrity, character and equanimity, Mr. Robertson has shaped the way generations of Canadians understood their country and its place in the world.

For over 60 years he reported to Canadians on events that mattered to them. He covered the election of nearly half of Canada’s Prime Ministers, and the death of four of them. He was there when the Berlin Wall rose, and he reported back to us when it fell. He covered the moon landing and the Gulf War. He informed us during Royal weddings, visits, deaths and a Jubilee. He covered two Quebec referendums, Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, and nine Olympic Games.  Unflappable, Mr. Robertson was always there to tell us, in his signature sign-off, what kind of day it had been.

His career began in 1952 in Stratford, Ont., where he was an announcer and operator at CJCS Radio. Then he worked in radio in Guelph, Ont., before taking a job at the CBC in Winnipeg in 1956. Mr. Robertson read the CBC Weekend News from 1962 until 1970, when he became the anchor for CBC’s “The National”. In 1976 he left CBC to become a co-anchor for CTV’s national news program. In 1983 he became CTV’s chief news anchor and senior news editor. Mr. Robertson retired in 2011, a few years after being inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Mr. Robertson is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of two Gemini Awards. He won the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Golden Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence in 1995/96, and he was voted most trusted TV journalist ten times by TV Guide Magazine. He’s the first journalist inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and September 1 has been declared “Lloyd Robertson Day” in his hometown of Stratford, Ont.

Mr. Robertson’s commitment to Canada extends beyond the newsroom. He has co-anchored the annual Hospital for Sick Children Foundation’s telethon in Toronto for over a decade and he has served as the Honorary Chair for the Terry Fox Run. Even in the earliest days of his career, Mr. Robertson invested in community causes: a 1955 clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press notes that Mr. Robertson was lending his celebrity to a fundraising event at Winnipeg’s Rockwood School.

In 2006 he was given an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. Today he receives a Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Manitoba, a school that celebrates Mr. Robertson’s trendsetting spirit and his role in Canadian society as an adamant defender of truth.

Darlene Coward Wight

Darlene Coward Wight, D.Litt., October 17, 2012
Darlene Coward Wight
B.A.(Hons.), M.A.(Carleton)

An honorary Doctorate of Letters is bestowed upon Ms Darlene Coward Wight in recognition of her tireless dedication to preserve, promote, and celebrate art by Canada’s Inuit.

Ms Wight arrived in Winnipeg in 1986 to fulfill the position of Associate Curator, Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). Immediately after taking the helm from her excellent predecessors, Ms Wight enacted visionary innovations, exploring new ways to expand the collection and communicate its importance. Since 1986 she has mounted an astonishing 76 exhibitions, about as many as the rest of her Inuit art colleagues have mounted combined. Her exhibitions focus on alternating themes, artists, communities and regions. She has courted important collectors and organized major solo exhibitions of trailblazing artists. Her ability to engage with Inuit artists, which is a challenge in the field, has been one of her main strengths as a curator. In 1998, she became Curator of Inuit Art at the WAG.

Ms Wight has published 20 illustrated catalogues and many shorter brochures. She was a regular contributor to Inuit Art Quarterly and has authored 47 articles, papers and invited lectures. She has lectured at the University of Manitoba and at universities and art centres across Canada, the Unites States, and Europe.  

Ms Wight possesses a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Inuit art and an inexhaustible passion for the subject. For decades her efforts have put Inuit culture, an integral part of our national identity, in the Canadian spotlight. Her curatorial excellence has helped us understand the full extent of our national character.

But her working life did not begin in the realm of art. She began as a teacher. She graduated from Peterborough Teacher’s College in 1968 and taught Grades 4 and 5 in Ottawa until 1970. For five years she worked in libraries in Kingston, Ontario, and Ottawa. In 1975 she began studying art history at Carleton University and in 1980 she earned her Master’s degree, passing with distinction. In 1981, still in Ottawa, she worked as the Fine Arts Curator for Canadian Arctic Producers, a wholesale art marketing arm of Arctic Co-operatives Limited. From 1984 to 1986, Ms Wight worked as an independent curator and researcher in Ottawa before coming to Winnipeg to work at the WAG as an Associate Curator.

Ms Wight has ventured into Canada’s Arctic to conduct countless in-depth interviews with artists from many communities, especially in the Kitikmeot and Baffin regions.

Today, Ms Wight is honoured for her unwavering efforts to celebrate and illuminate art, and for amplifying the voices of Inuit artists for generations to come.

Gordon Ying-Sheung Wu

Gordon Ying-Sheung Wu, LL.D., May 30, 2012
Sir Gordon Ying-Sheung Wu
B.Sc.(Princeton); G.B,S.; K.C.M.G.; F.I.C.E.

A visionary entrepreneur, philanthropist and innovator, Sir Gordon Ying-Sheng Wu is recognized with an Honourary Doctor of Laws for his passionate commitment to higher education and his transformative impact on East Asia and the world.

Sir Gordon was one of the first international students to come to Canada from Hong Kong, arriving at the University of Manitoba from Hong Kong in 1953. Although Sir Gordon studied at the University of Manitoba for only one year before going to Princeton University to earn his civil engineering degree in 1958, he did not forget the special opportunity the University of Manitoba first afforded him. He has given generously to the University of Manitoba, helping support the construction of the Faculty of Engineering’s new home – the Engineering Information and Technology Complex.

Before Sir Gordon left for North America, his father, the son of a migrant pig farmer, foresaw the expansion of automotive transportation in China and launched Hong Kong’s first taxi service. Upon returning home from his studies, Sir Gordon showed exquisite business acumen, expanding the family business’ portfolio to include hospitality and infrastructure interests. This inspired Sir Gordon to create Hopewell Holdings Limited, a Hong-Kong based company that has helped modernize China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia, by building bridges, superhighways and power stations.

Sir Gordon is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and an advisor to the China Development Bank. He is also a member of the International Finance Corporation for the World Bank and an associate director for the United Nationals Association in China.

Sir Gordon has donated $118 million to Princeton University and made significant contributions to universities in Hong Kong, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. As a result of his community support, Sir Gordon has received numerous awards and honourary degrees from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Strathclyde and University of Edinburgh. He was Man of the Year (International Road Federation, USA, 1994), Business Man of the Year (South China Morning Post, 1991), Asia Corporate Leader (Asia Finance Magazine, 1991), and International CEO of the Year (George Washington University, 1996), to name just a few of many designations.

The King of Belgium, Albert II, awarded Sir Gordon the Chevalier de L’Ordre de la Couronne in 1985 and the Officer de L’Ordre de la Couronne in 2007.  In 1997 theQueen of England knighted him into the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Then, in 2007, he received the Order of Croatian Danica by the Republic of Croatia.

As one of the pioneering forces behind East Asia’s economic rise, Sir Gordon continues to dedicate his prodigious engineering skills and foresight to designing and building vertical axis, wind-powered turbines to help China tap clean energy. At age 73 he has not stopped trailblazing.

George E. Yee

George E. Yee, D.Sc., May 10, 2012
Dr. George E. Yee
M.D.(Man.); F.R.C.P.(C)

A celebrated physician and philanthropist, Dr. George E. Yee is recognized for his commitment to medicine, to his community and to the support of young doctors.

Dr. Yee grew up in one of Winnipeg’s poorest neighbourhoods and despite his family’s financial woes his parents supported and encouraged his pursuit of a university education. In 1960, he graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine. During his studies a pivotal moment in his career occurred: the faculty’s Dean, noticing his student’s financial needs, offered Dr. Yee a bursary. Grateful for this help, Dr. Yee vowed to himself that if he were ever fortunate enough to do so, he would give back to the University of Manitoba.

Upon graduating, he worked at the Winnipeg General Hospital and then began residencies in pathology there, and at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In 1964 he became an American Cancer Fellow. A year later Dr. Yee was certified in General Pathology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. From 1992 to 2002 he held the role of Inspector for the College of American Pathologists. He has also served as the President of the Ontario Association of Pathologists and as a member of medical organizations such as the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Society of Cytology.

Throughout his career Dr. Yee has worked in various hospitals, often as their chief pathologist, and today he is the CEO and Laboratory Director of Medical Laboratories of Windsor, Ont., the busiest laboratory in Canada. He has held this position since 1966.

Despite his busy schedule as a world-renowned pathologist and a father of four, Dr. Yee has never forgotten his vow. To that end, to help further philanthropy in his graduating class, Dr. Yee challenged his classmates to donate funds, which he would match dollar for dollar, to assist medical students. The result: the University of Manitoba Class of 1960 Entrance Scholarship in Medicine, which Dr. Yee underwrote to the sum of $95,000.

In 2008, Dr. Yee provided a $2.5 million gift to establish the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba, a place that fosters interdisciplinary research and collaboration that will result in new ways to improve patient care and safety.  

To honour his mother’s memory, Dr. Yee donated $200,000 to establish the Pauline Yee Harrison Medical Student Bursary at the University of Manitoba. He has also given $150,000 to the Ontario Medical Student Bursary Fund, of which he is a founder and sustaining member.

In 2001, Dr. Yee received the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Life Membership Award. In 2002, he received the Canadian Medical Association’s Senior Membership Award. And in 2007 he received the OMA’s Advocate for Student Awards. Today, Dr. Yee is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sciences from the school where he began his trailblazing career.


Izzelden Abuelaish

Izzelden Abuelaish, LL.D., June 2, 2011
Izzeldin Abuelaish; Dip.Obstetric (London); Post Grad.Dip (King's); M.RH.(Harvard)

A passionate and eloquent champion for peace in the Middle East, Dr. lzzeldin Abeulaish is a Palestinian doctor and infertility expert who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Despite incredible tragedy, Dr. Abuelaish has devoted his life to medicine and the search for reconciliation between the Israeli and Palestinian people. For years, Dr. Abuelaish has been an important figure in Palestinian-Israeli relations. He has treated Palestinian and Israeli patients and worked in Israeli hospitals, and is a committed advocate of forgiveness and healing as engines in the peace journey.

On January 16, 2009, Dr. Abuelaish lost three of his daughters and a niece when Israeli tank shells shattered his house in the Jabalia camp. In the face of this horrific personal tragedy, Dr. Abuelaish has continued to advocate for peace and harmonious coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis. Dr. Abuelaish continues to live up to the description bestowed upon him by an Israeli colleague: a magical, secret bridge between Israelis and Palestinians.

He has received the Stavros Niarchos Prize for Survivorship, which honours individuals and organizations that promote survivorship and resilience through outstanding contributions to peace, reconciliation and recovery in conflict- affected societies. He has also received a Search for common Ground Award; which are presented annually to honour outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, negotiation, community and peace building. And among other awards and honours, he was one of three finalists for 2009 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, the European Parliament's award for human rights and democracy campaigners. He was also a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

An international foundation, inspired by Dr. Abuelaish's vision and commitment to peace and reconciliation, is being created, with headquarters in Toronto and the Gaza Strip. The Foundation, with an international mandate, is being established to nurture leadership among women and girls in Gaza and the Middle East in the fields of education and health. Inspired by Dr. Abuelaish's values and lifetime commitment to working across challenging situations, the foundation will honour the memory of his daughters and serve as their living legacy.

Dr. Abuelaish was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and he received a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, Egypt, and then received a diploma from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of London. He completed a residency in the same discipline at Soroka hospital in Israel, followed by a subspecialty in fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium. He then undertook a master's in public health at Harvard University.

He is the author of the bestselling book I Shall Not Hate, which chronicles his life growing up in Gaza and the development of his outlook on life and peace in Israel and Palestine. He lives with his five remaining children in Toronto, where he is in associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Claude Bernier

Claude Bernier, D.Sc., June 6, 2011
Claude Bernier
B.A., B.S.A., M.Sc. (Manitoba); Ph.D. (Minnesota)

A distinguished researcher, scholar and pioneer in plant pathology, Dr. Claude Bernier is recognized for his role in improving wheat production processes at home and around the world.

Dr. Bernier was born in Saint-Boniface in 1931 and obtained his master's degree from the University of Manitoba.  He earned his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota and in 1965 he took the position of assistant professor in the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba.

Beginning in the 1970's, Bernier contributed as a consultant to many programs in developing countries, particularly in the north of Africa, and was consultant for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).  He assessed the disease situation in food legumes and the research capabilities of national programs in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.  This led to the establishment of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas ( ICARDA) at Aleppo, Syria.  He also directed a major project on wheat pathology and tillage in Uruguay; his job was to stabilize wheat production in the entire country.

Throughout his career, Dr. Bernier contributed to his community as a member of the Board of Governors for Saint-Boniface College from 1966-75, serving as president of the board from 1972-74.  He was a board member for Caisse populaire de Saint-Boniface, and member of the Conseil de promotion de la cooperation.  He was a member of the University Senate from 1974-76 and he also lent his expertise to Agriculture Canada, the Department of Natural Resources, Red River Community College, and the Canadian Phytopathological Society, of which he was a member of throughout his career, serving as vice-president from 1977-78.

Manitoba has always had one of the largest concentrations of plant pathologists in Canada.  Today, more than a third of the plant pathologists in Manitoba were either graduate students of Dr. Bernier, had him on their advisory committees, or took his graduate course.  This is in addition to the hundreds of undergraduate students who were exposed to plants through Dr. Bernier's teaching.

Dr. Bernier's knowledge has been invaluable to so many societies, including our own.  In the 1980's a wheat disease called Tan Spot caused serious yield losses in western Canada and elsewhere.  It was Dr. Bernier's research program that provided the critical understanding of this disease that brought it under control.  He did the same for lentils in 1990 when a fungus threatened them. For a city boy exposed to plants through his dad's garden, he has made an impact in the agricultural world, working to save our food stuffs from disease.  His impact on the 30 graduate students he trained is immeasurable but the wake of his career is evident in the 50 refereed journal articles, numerous book chapters, and participation in hundreds of national and international conferences.

John Buhler

John Buhler, LL.D., October 19, 2011
John Buhler
Hon.Dip.(Red River College)

As a boy growing up in Morden, Manitoba, John Buhler would walk to a nearby farm to admire the rumbling engines and lurching steel of tractors; watching them as their tires chewed muddy paths in the fields. He loved tractors and knew he wanted to build them.

His passion for farm equipment never waned. In 1969 he purchased Morden's Standard Gas Engine Works. He renamed it Farm King Limited. In 1981 he purchased the company's Winnipeg factory. He made a series of other acquisitions and amalgamated the companies to form Buhler Industries in 1994. Years passed and he won awards such as the Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1997, but it was not until 2000 that Mr. Buhler sated his boyhood dream of making tractors: he bought the last remaining tractor manufacturing facility in Canada, renaming it Buhler Versatile.

His success in business, achieved not with formal training but with unwavering determination, vision and acumen, has enabled him to give generously to Manitoba communities. Today, he and his wife Bonnie remain passionate philanthropists.

John and Bonnie Buhler have touched many lives through their charitable offerings to numerous organizations. They have given to museums such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Children's Museum. They have supported hospitals and care facilities such as Victoria General Hospital, Seven Oaks Hospital, St. Amant Centre, St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation, the Misericordia Hospital Eye Care Centre, and the Health Sciences Centre, which named a research facility after him. They have also given to the Town of Morden, Winnipeg parks, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and schools. In short, John and Bonnie's vision and generosity have nurtured growth, health, and prosperity in Manitoba communities.

In 1998, Mr. Buhler was named Morden's Citizen of the Year and in 2002 he received the Queen's Jubilee Medal for his community service. Five years later, he and Bonnie received the Variety Club Gold Heart Humanitarian of the Year award. In 2010, he was inducted into the Manufacturers Hall of Fame.

As a true visionary, Mr. Buhler has shared his wisdom with many organizations, sitting on the boards of Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has volunteered for groups such as Friends of Upper Fort Garry and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. And he and his wife Bonnie have been deeply involved in the trendsetting Buhler Gallery at St. Boniface Hospital - the only public art gallery in a Canadian Hospital presenting rotating exhibitions by major Canadian artists. With the full support of the Buhlers, the gallery has provided more than 60,000 hospital visitors a place to find inspiration or solace. At age 77, now retired as CEO of Buhler Industries Inc., the indefatigable Mr. Buhler continues to make positive impacts on the community.

Stuart Clark

Stuart Clark, LL.D., June 1, 2011
Stuart Clark

A renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist and volunteer, Stuart Clark is recognized for his tireless dedication to supporting a variety of charities and educational institutions in Canada.

Growing up in rural Manitoba, the second of four children born to a teacher and a nurse who volunteered often, Mr. Clark was taught early about the value of giving back. To date, the modest Calgary businessman has given millions to various Alberta charities. And in the past couple of years, he has donated $5 million to his alma mater, the University of Manitoba, which enabled the establishment of the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship in the I.H. Asper School of Business. This Centre cultivates the development of new businesses and entrepreneurial thinking among Canadians and students by encouraging them to consider entrepreneurship as their life's calling. Currently, the Stu Clark Centre supports a variety of programs aimed at youth as well as undergraduate students.

Mr. Clark also donated $4 million to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which earlier this month announced plans to name a room after him in the museum, called the Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation.

Born in 1954, Mr. Clark graduated with a B.Comm (Hons) from the University of Manitoba in 1976 and immediately set to becoming a successful entrepreneur. After graduating from the University of Manitoba, he went west, to work in business and the banking industry in Vancouver and Calgary.

He returned to commercial banking in Winnipeg with the T.D. Bank and the Northland Bank, gaining invaluable experience in that field before being transferred back to Calgary in 1984.

In 1986 he worked as Chief Financial Officer in a public oil and gas exploration company, Pinnacle Resources. He and his partners raised $2 million of shareholder capital; they sold that company in 1998 for approximately $1 billion. Since then Mr. Clark has been involved in the start-up and reorganization of a number of Calgary-based public and private entities.

Mr. Clark officially retired in 2001 but continues to sit on the Board of Storm Exploration Inc., and is Chairman of the Board of Rock Energy Ltd.

Today, his focus revolves around his philanthropic interests; causes he's chosen specifically to match his areas of interest and passion. His endowments to the University of Manitoba's and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights stem from his belief in the power of education.

Catherine Delaney

Catherine Delaney, LL.D., June 1, 2011
Catherine Delaney
C.M.; B.A.(Man.)

A successful businesswoman and community advocate, Catherine "Kiki" Delaney is recognized for her support of charities focused on women, youth and the arts.

Ms. Delaney has thrived in the investment business for over 30 years and has played a strong role in her community. Ms. Delaney began her career as a Sales Assistant at Merrill Lynch, later becoming Executive Vice-President at Guardian Investment Counsel and then a Partner at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. In 1992, Ms. Delaney founded C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., an investment counselling firm directed at private wealth.

Since its inception in 1992, Delaney Capital Management has become one of the leading investment counselling firms in Canada and one of the most recognised firms in capital markets in this country. In a 14-year period Delaney Capital Management has grown and expanded and today employs 16 people and manages over $1.8 billion on behalf of individuals and institutions.

In addition to the role Ms. Delaney has played at Delaney Capital Management, she has been involved in industry affairs as a director of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts. She is a past president of The Ticker Club, one of the least known but most prestigious investment organizations in Canada. In The Ticker Club's 78-year history, Kiki Delaney was its second female president.

Delaney Capital Management encourages the ethic of giving to charitable causes by matching employee gifts and by stressing the importance of community involvement. The firm is a major supporter of not-for-profit groups in the areas of health, culture and women's and children's issues including organizations such as The Pier 21 Society, The Famous5 Foundation, LEAF - The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund Foundation, Canadian Women's Foundation, Trails Youth Initiative, The Avenue Road Arts School and many others.

Ms. Delaney is also very involved in the cultural life of Canada, serving as a trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, a board member of the National Arts Centre Foundation and she was on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. She was once the Chair of the National Ballet School, the director of the Shaw Festival Board, and a past director of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

In October, 2006, Governor General Michaëlle Jean appointed Ms. Delaney a Member of the Order of Canada

Gary Filmon

Gary Filmon, LL.D., May 31, 2011
The Honourable Gary Filmon
P.C., D.C., CM.; B.Sc.C.E., M.Sc.(Man.)

A dedicated public servant and volunteer, Gary Filmon led Manitoba as its Premier and contributed to the economic and social growth of the province.

A University of Manitoba graduate, Mr. Filmon is an engineer by profession, but he found his calling in public service. He served as a member of the Winnipeg City Council prior to his first being elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1979. In 1981 he was Minister of Environment, and he also served as chair of the Manitoba Roundtable on Sustainable Development.

In 1983 he became leader of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party - a position he held until his retirement from politics in 2000. During his tenure, he steered the province through a recession, the 1997 Red River flood, and the worst wildfires in Manitoba's history, which burned in 1989. The province's response included the evacuation of thousands of residents in northern Manitoba and the co-ordination of interdepartmental efforts, including working in close conjunction with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre in Winnipeg. In 2003, he was commissioned by the government of British Columbia to undertake a survey of forest fires in that province.

Upon retiring from politics, Mr. Filmon was appointed to the federal Security Intelligence Review Committee, an independent body that oversees the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. He has also worked as a business consultant and was elected chairman of the board of trustees for the Exchange Industrial Income Fund and was vice chairman for Wellington West Capital Inc.

Among his other community activities, he has served as President of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association, and as President of the Association of Canadian Career Colleges. He is a member of the Senate of the University of Manitoba, Director of the Administrative Management Society and Director of the Red River Exhibition Board.

His awards and honours include a Community Service Award from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, B'nai B'rith Canada Award of Merit, a Ukrainian Canadian Congress Tribute Dinner and together with his wife, Janice, he received the University of Manitoba's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. Mr. Filmon is also a Member of the Order of Manitoba as well as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Janice Filmon

Janice Filmon, LL.D., May 31, 2011
Janice Filmon
O.M.; B.Sc.(H.Ec.)(Man.); LL.D.(Cannon Law)(St. John’s College)

Janice Filmon is recognized for her prolific work with community organizations and committees at the local, national and international levels including serving on the boards of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba. In 2007 she was made an officer of the Order of Manitoba.

Ms. Filmon was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. She worked as a social worker with the Children's Aid Society of Winnipeg and was a caseworker in Family Protection. She is a past president of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association and a past member of the University of Manitoba Students Union Scholarship/Bursary Fund and Endowment Fund Board of Trustees.

She is the president of the Nellie McClung Foundation, was the founding Co-chair for Leadership Winnipeg, and continues to be involved in youth leadership. The Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation have honoured her with the Guardian Angel Award. As well, the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation and Great West Life created the Janice C. Filmon Award for Leadership in Cancer Care in Manitoba, to honour those who make significant contributions in this field. And the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice have a student award named after her.

In the spring of 2005, Ms. Filmon received the Peter D. Curry Chancellors Award at the University of Manitoba for contribution to the university's governance and development. In June of 2005, Janice and her husband, Gary, were jointly honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Manitoba's Fall Convocation.

Ms. Filmon is well known for her volunteerism: she was the founding co-chair of Leadership Winnipeg and founding chair of Manitoba A.L.I.V.E., a leadership initiative which teaches selected high-school students the skills needed in the voluntary sector. She was Chair of Festivals for the 1999 Pan American Games and has also acted as a member of Toronto's 2008 Olympic Bid Committee. She was the Honorary Co-chair of Thunderbird Lodge's capital campaign, and a board member for the Canadian Centre for Social Justice. She was a board member of the Manitoba Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer and national board member for Help The Aged. This is a shorted list but her full resume brought her the honour of receiving the Variety Club's Gold Heart Humanitarian of the Year award in 2006.

David Johnston, CC., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.,

David Johnston, LL.D., October 20, 2011
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
CC., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada; A.B.(Harvard); LL.B.(Cambridge); LL.B.(Queen's)

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the 28th Governor General of Canada, is recognized for his distinguished achievement as a national trailblazer in scholarship, public service, Canadian unity and the nation's national sport.

Born in Sudbury, Ont., His Excellency received his A.B. degree from Harvard University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1963. He then earned his LL.B. from Cambridge University in England. In 1966, His Excellency received his LL.B. from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., He remained at Queen's University as an Assistant Professor in their Faculty of Law, a position he later held at the University of Toronto before becoming a full professor there in 1972. In 1974 he became Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Waterloo. Five years later, he was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor at McGill University. He held that office until 1994. He continued to teach law at McGill until he returned to the University of Waterloo in 1999 to become President and Vice-Chancellor.

Recognized as visionary throughout his career, His Excellency has authored or co-authored over two dozen books, as well as numerous reports, academic articles and conference papers. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada.

His service to governments and public agencies, and his contributions to communities throughout Canada are too numerous to list in full. He has served academic associations like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He also shared his wisdom and expertise with public institutions, chairing numerous advisory panels, committees and task forces. To name a few: The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy; the National Task Force on High Speed Broadband Access; the Advisory Committee on Online Learning; and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He also acted as an Independent Advisor to the many Task Forces.

At Harvard University he played defence on the school's hockey team and was recognized for his extraordinary ability to balance athletics with academics. Indeed, he was a member of the All-American Hockey Team for two seasons in the early 1960s. In 1988, His Excellency was inducted into the Harvard Sports Hall of Fame.

At his installation as Governor General, His Excellency spoke eloquently of the honour of public service and the need for Canada to embrace three principals in order to become the smart and caring nation Canadians desire. Canada, he said, must support families and children.  It must also reinforce learning and innovation, and it must encourage philanthropy and volunteerism. The University of Manitoba shares these visionary values with His Excellency as they are elements in the university's mission to learn, discover, and serve.

Phillip S. Lee

Philip S. Lee, LL.D., May 31, 2011
The Honourable Philip S. Lee
C.M.; CM.; B.Sc., M.P.A.(Man.)

Manitoba's first Chinese-Canadian lieutenant-governor, the Honourable Philip Lee has played a prominent role in supporting and nurturing Winnipeg's Chinese community for more than 35 years. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has praised Mr. Lee for his tireless work on causes important to the Chinese-Canadian community and today he is recognized for his service to this community, the City of Winnipeg, and Manitoba.

Born in Hong Kong in 1944, Mr. Lee came to Canada in 1962 to further his education at the University of Manitoba. During his student years, he was elected Chairman of the University College Students Association.

In 1967 Mr. Lee began his career with the City of Winnipeg as a research chemist. Between 1967 and 1972 he worked in the area of water research, dealing with water supply and water quality studies for the City of Winnipeg. He produced several research reports pertaining to the Shoal Lake Water Supply. He retired from the City of Winnipeg in 2005 as the Branch Head Chemist in charge of Winnipeg's Industrial Waste Control Program.

Between 1979 and 1986, Mr. Lee served as a member of the City of Winnipeg's Refugee Assistance Committee. Much of Mr. Lee's energy goes towards helping Chinese immigrants enter Canada and to enhancing the Chinese-Canadian experience. He was a driving force behind the construction of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre in the Dynasty Building, the Chinese Gate and Garden, and the Mandarin Building, all of which remain important centres within the Chinese-Canadian community and important landmark destinations for visitors to Manitoba. Mr. Lee has also worked with Folkorama, Winnipeg's annual multicultural festival, since its inception in 1970, and he continues to help the festival's Chinese pavilion.

Mr. Lee has received the Golden Dragon Award for Citizen of the Year and was the Rotary Foundation's Paul Harris Fellow. Mr. Lee is a member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. In 1999 he became a member in the Order of Canada and in 2002 he received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Lee’s leadership has been recognized through the City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, which he received in 1984. He also served on the Multiculturalism Council of Canada between 1984 and 1988. He received the Recognition of Service Award from the Community and Race Relations Committee, City of Winnipeg in 1990. Mr. Lee received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 1993. In addition to being an Executive Board Member of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre, he is also a member of the Chinese Development Corporation. Between 1995 and 1999, he was a board member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a board member of the Alumni Association of the University of Manitoba.

Allan Ronald

Allan Ronald, D.Sc., May 12, 2011
Allan Ronald
O.C.; B.Sc.(Med.), M.D.(Man.); F.R.C.P.D.; M.A.C.P.; LL.D.(Providence College; D.Sc.(Wpg.); F.R.S.C.

Dr. Allan R. Ronald, a pioneer of the University of Manitoba's world- renowned infectious disease research program in Africa, is recognized for his tireless work in HIV/AIDS research. In 2002 he retired from a 35-year career at the University of Manitoba but continued to foster the HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention Program in Uganda. He is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medical Microbiology and in 2010 he was inducted in to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Born in Portage la Prairie, Dr. Ronald trained in Manitoba, Maryland, Washington and Pakistan before returning to the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine in 1968 to head its infectious disease unit. In 1978 he established one of the first clinical investigation units studying a new disease that would eventually be known as HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In 1979, he was invited to coordinate a research training centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where he and other members of the Faculty of Medicine have significantly advanced HIV/AIDS prevention programs and the understanding of HIV transmission. The program started small but eventually would put the University of Manitoba on the map as a leader in the field of HIV epidemiology and immunology, as well as improve disease prevention and care. Lessons learned have been used widely throughout Kenya and around the world. The University of Manitoba/ University of Nairobi group has made major discoveries, including recognizing the importance of breast milk in the transmission of HIV from mothers to infants, the role of male circumcision in reducing the risk of HIV infection among men, and the role of the immune system in protecting some individuals from acquiring HIV infection.

He has been a visiting professor at the University of Nairobi on over 40 occasions and at the University of Hong Kong, where he assisted in the development of an Infectious Disease Program.

Dr. Ronald led the department of medical microbiology (1976-85) and then the department of internal medicine (1985-90) before serving as the faculty's associate dean of research (1993-99). He also led programs in Winnipeg's teaching hospitals, initially as head of clinical microbiology and later as physician-in-chief at the Health Sciences Centre and subsequently at St. Boniface Hospital as head of infectious diseases. He has received awards from, among others, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine, the American Venereal Disease Association, and the Canadian Medical Association, which in 2003 presented him with its highest honour, the F.N.G. Starr Award. Dr. Ronald is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Terry Sargeant

Terry Sargeant, LL.D., June 2, 2011
Terry Sargeant
B.A., LL.B. (Man.)

Terry Sargeant is being recognized for his distinguished record of public and volunteer service, in particular his work as Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Sargeant attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a B.A. in 1967.  Following graduation, he served in Parliament from 1979-1984 representing the riding of Selkirk-Interlake as a member of the New Democratic Party. In parliament he served as critic for both National Defense and Sport. After his time in Parliament, Mr. Sargeant continued his public service, serving as a senior official in the provincial governments in Manitoba, the Yukon and British Columbia. 

Following almost twenty years of government service, Mr. Sargeant entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. After articling  with the Public Interest Law Centre, he was called to the Manitoba Bar in June 2000. He then worked as the chair of two important quasi-judicial bodies in Manitoba - the Appeal Commission of the Workers' Compensation Board and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission.

For nine years, Mr. Sargeant was a member of the University's Board of Governors; he served as Chair for four of those years. In these roles, Mr. Sargeant volunteered thousands of hours of his time to strengthening the University's governance system, advising two presidents and leading a presidential search process.

Mr. Sargeant is a steadfast community leader and volunteer, having served on the boards of numerous arts organizations, including Prairie Theatre Exchange, the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. He has also served in leadership roles in national organizations, including the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, and the National Association of University Board Chairs and Secretaries.


Constance Backhouse

Constance Backhouse, LL.D., June 2, 2010
Constance Backhouse
C.M. O.Ont., B.A.(Man.); LL.B.(Osgoode Hall); LL.M.(Harvard); LL.D.(Law Society); F.R.S.C.

A respected lawyer, author, educator, and public intellectual, Constance Backhouse is recognized for her unwavering dedication to human rights and social justice in Canada and around the world. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Osgoode Hall Law School and Harvard University, Ms. Backhouse has taught at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. She is an inspiring teacher and a renowned scholar whose work is informed by feminism, critical race analysis and anti-poverty concerns.

Professor Backhouse was honoured twice with teaching excellence awards at the University of Ottawa where she teaches in criminal law, human rights, legal history, and women and the law. Prior to her move to Ottawa ten years ago, she spent 21 years at the University of Western Ontario and also lectured across Canada and in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Backhouse is a prolific and award-winning author, whose academic publications span the fields of law, history, and law and society. She has written ten books, most of which employ a distinctive narrative style which illuminates and makes accessible difficult topics in legal theory and history. Her first book, The Secret Oppression: Sexual Harassment of Working Women, was the first book published on the topic in Canada and only the second in North America. Her most recent book, Carnal Crimes:Canadian Sexual Assault Law, 1900-1975, demonstrates the ubiquitous nature of sexual assault in Canada in the 20th Century and the appalling failures of the Canadian justice system.

Professor Backhouse is a model of the engaged scholar, who is an active member of her community and whose research is directly applicable to contemporary concerns. She is currently the vice-chair of the Content Advisory Committee of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. As part of this committee, Ms. Backhouse is working to gather human rights stories and communicate the values and responsibilities of human rights through the museum. She has served as a mediator and adjudicator of human rights complaints and as an adjudicator for the compensation claims for the former students of Indian residential schools across Canada. She has also served as an expert witness and consultant on various aspects of sexual abuse and violence against women and children. She hopes that her scholarship and activism will help inspire others, as she has been inspired by the courage of the women and children who took the witness stand to demand justice.

Ms. Backhouse has received numerous honours and distinctions for her work. She has received the Bora Laskin Human Rights Fellowship, the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship and the Killam Prize in Social Sciences. In 2006, she became a Trudeau Fellow. She is the 2010 President of the American Society for Legal History - the first non-US scholar to hold that distinction. She has also been recognized with the Law Society Medal and the CBA Ramon Hnatyshyn Award for Law. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada.

Gary Doer

Gary Doer, LL.D., June 1, 2010
His Excellency Gary Doer
Canada's Ambassador to the United States of America

In conferring this honour on Gary Doer, the University of Manitoba is recognizing one of Manitoba's most influential and effective leaders. His highly distinguished record of achievement in public service makes Mr. Doer a very worthy recipient of such an honour.

As the outpouring of good wishes upon the announcement of his retirement proved, along with the highly positive press coverage, Mr. Doer is a remarkable public personality. He served for over two decades as the leader of the New Democratic Party and led it in a series of hard- fought elections. He battled opponents in the Manitoba legislature and made countless difficult decisions concerning the most crucial and often divisive public policy issues of our time. Yet he maintained the highest respect and admiration among the population at large.

Indeed, Mr. Doer is regarded by almost all Manitobans as a friend and fellow citizen who embodies the best of the Manitoba lifestyle. His ability to bridge the usual partisan divides, drawing support and earning the confidence from individuals in various camps and from different backgrounds allowed him to achieve the success for which the University recognizes him today.

Mr. Doer's public biography is well-known to Manitobans. A lifelong Winnipegger, his entire career has been in public service - first, as a provincial corrections officer, rising to become deputy superintendent of the Manitoba Youth Centre. Active in union politics, he was elected President of the Manitoba Government Employees Association in 1979. He continued in that capacity until 1986, when he entered the political arena, elected as the MLA for Concordia. This was followed by 23 years in public office. After two years in Cabinet, he became leader of the Manitoba NDP in 1988, Leader of the Opposition in 1990 and Premier in 1999.

As premier, Mr. Doer focused on, among other things, enhancing and protecting the public health care system, expanding education opportunities by increasing access and reducing barriers to postsecondary education, developing the North and increasing opportunities for First Nations, reforming electoral law, and promoting and developing Manitoba's hydro resources.

A major priority for him, as Premier, was protecting the environment. An early and staunch supporter of the Kyoto Accord, Gary Doer advanced green causes at home and abroad, including enhancing the management of Manitoba's water resource. The combination of 'green' policies developed in Manitoba over the past decade has won international recognition for our province and has been the basis for agreements forged with like-minded jurisdictions from Quebec to California. This commitment to the environment led, in 2005, to the American magazine Business Week naming him as one of the top twenty international leaders fighting climate change.

Particularly relevant to the University has been Gary's commitment to post-secondary education. Upon assuming office in 1999, he reversed the slide in funding that had marked previous years. He expanded Red River College, created University College of the North and responded with enthusiasm to this University's fundraising endeavours, making significant contributions to both the "Building on Strengths" campaign and the "Domino" project. Throughout his term as Premier, there was never any doubt that he remained committed to doing all that his government could to advance universities and colleges in this province.

Among many other achievements are the expansion of the Red River Floodway, assistance in the development of a new arena in downtown Winnipeg, championing the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and being an early supporter of the new Blue Bomber stadium. All of this was done at the same time that his government introduced balanced budgets during each of his ten years in office, while reducing many taxes.
As Premier, Mr. Doer always adopted a broad world view of provincial politics which led him to foster excellent relationships with political leaders across Canada and the United States. His appointment as Canadian Ambassador to the United States is testament to his success in that and to his record of diplomacy while Premier.

During his many years in the public's service, Gary Doer has directly touched the lives of all Manitobans, working to provide a better future for all of us. And now his post-political career is continuing on the path of public service, as he represents the people and government of Canada as Ambassador to the United States.

Gary has made many other contributions to our community by serving on a number of governing boards, including the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Prairie Theatre Exchange and Manitoba Special Olympics, among others.

Gary is married to Ginny Devine and is proud father to Emily and Kate.

Among the criteria for awarding an honorary degree is to recognize distinguished achievement in the public sector. Gary Doer certainly meets that objective. Awarding an honorary degree to Gary will not only recognize his achievements, but will also be a credit to the University of Manitoba.

Larry Phillip (Phil) Fontaine

Larry Phillip (Phil) Fontaine, LL.D., October 20, 2010
Larry Phillip (Phil) Fontaine
O.M., B.A.(Man.); LL.D.(Royal Military College of Canada, Brock, Windsor, Lakehead, Wpg., Western Ont.)

A dedicated and highly respected Aboriginal leader, Mr. Fontaine is recognized for his instrumental role in advancing Canada's First Nations people throughout his distinguished career. Recently called "Canada’s foremost Aboriginal leader of his generation", Mr. Fontaine is a proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation and an alumnus of the University of Manitoba.

Forced to attend an Indian residential school, Mr. Fontaine endured racism, sexual and physical abuse and the despair of losing contact with his family and his culture. He determined to become involved in politics and advocate for First Nations people from a position of leadership. Entering public office as Chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation at the young age of 28, Mr. Fontaine established the first Aboriginal-controlled education system in Canada: a locally-controlled Child and Family Services agency and the first on-reserve alcohol and addictions treatment centre in his home community.

In the early 1980s, he was elected Manitoba Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). When his term expired in 1991, he was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs where he served for three consecutive terms. In this position, he was instrumental in protecting Aboriginal and treaty rights in the Canadian constitution. He also negotiated the first comprehensive self-government plan for Manitoba First Nations and signed historic employment equity agreements which resulted in thousands of job opportunities for First Nations citizens.

In 1997, he became the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations - the highest elected position in First Nations politics. He served in that capacity for an unprecedented three terms during which he advocated for self-determination and the implementation of treaty and land rights as crucial means to alleviating poverty among First Nations peoples. One of the most dramatic and meaningful achievements of Mr. Fontaine's career, was in leading the successful resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150-year Indian residential school tragedy. The Final Settlement Agreement now being implemented is the largest, most unique and comprehensive settlement in Canadian history. Worth over $5.2 billion in individual compensation, the settlement also includes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an education fund, healing resources and commemoration funding.

In 2009, Mr. Fontaine retired as National Chief of the AFN. Mr. Fontaine has received many awards and honours for his work, including the first Equitas Award for Human Rights Education, a number of honorary degrees and membership in the Order of Manitoba.

-citation delivered by mentor, Dr. Richard Sigurdson, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba

Michael James

Michael James, D.Sc., June 2, 2010
Michael James
B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc.(Man.); D.Phil.(Oxford); F.R.S.C.

Dr. Michael N.G. James has been the preeminent leader in protein crystallography in Canada for over four decades. Protein crystallography generates highly detailed information about the positions of the atoms in proteins providing insight into the mechanisms of all aspects of cell function. Dr. James graduated from the University of Manitoba with an honours degree in chemistry in 1962. He learned X-ray crystallography from Professor Bob Ferguson in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy at our University and graduated with an MSc in 1963. He then moved to Oxford University and, working with Professor Dorothy Hodgkin, earned a D. Phil. in 1966. Dr. James returned to Canada and established the first laboratory in our country dedicated to the study of proteins by crystallography at the University of Alberta. In 1974, he determined the first high-resolution structure of a protein in Canada. Since then, he has received worldwide recognition for his work that has explained, among other things, how muscle contraction is triggered and the detailed mechanisms by which enzymes work. His work has also led to a greater understanding of how and why bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and has contributed to the development of drugs to fight bacterial infections and HIV. His work has also led to the development of drugs to control high blood pressure. Dr. James has deposited over 150 protein structures in the publically accessible RCSB Protein Data Bank and published over 275 papers in the most prestigious scientific journals, so it is not possible to describe all of his work here. His research is remarkable for the breadth of the cellular processes that it covers and the deep insights he has contributed to several branches of biochemistry by pursuing structural explanations for important cellular phenomena. Dr. James has been recognized extensively for his work. An abbreviated list of his awards includes election to fellowship in the Royal Societies in London and in Canada, the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Ayerst Award in Biochemistry, and the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Dr. James has been an active and dedicated researcher and mentor to an entire generation of scientists - he has trained 20 PhD students and over 30 post-doctoral fellows. Many of Dr. James' students are now leading researchers in protein crystallography across Canada and around the world. He has played a leading role in his field, serving on a long list of national and international advisory bodies.

Michael Rachlis

Michael Rachlis, LL.D., May 13, 2010
Michael Rachlis

A respected and vigorous champion of Canada's public health care system, Dr. Michael Rachlis was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1951 and graduated from the University of Manitoba medical school in 1975. He interned at McMaster University and then practiced family medicine at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre in Toronto for eight years. He completed training in Community Medicine at McMaster and was made a fellow of the Canadian Royal College of Physicians in 1988. Dr. Rachlis practices as a private consultant in health policy analysis. His passionate and articulate analyses of the Canadian health care system have led to his service as a consultant to the federal government, all ten provincial governments, and two royal commissions. He also holds adjunct associate professor appointments with the University of Toronto Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Dr. Rachlis has lectured widely on health care issues. He has been invited to make presentations to committees of the Canadian House of Commons and the Canadian Senate as well as the United States House of Representatives and Senate. He is a frequent media commentator on health policy issues and the author of three national bestsellers about Canada's health care system.

Marshall Rothstein

Marshall Rothstein, LL.D., June 3, 2010
Marshall Rothstein
B.Comm., LL.B.(Man.)

A respected lawyer, teacher and now a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein has served his country with distinction and dedication. Born and raised in Winnipeg to parents who had immigrated from eastern Europe, Justice Rothstein obtained both a commerce and a law degree from the University of Manitoba. After being called to the bar in 1966, he joined law firm of Thorvaldson, Eggertson, Saunders and Mauro and then moved to Aikins, MacAulay and Thorvaldson in 1969. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1979. Justice Rothstein taught Transportation Law at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law for many years and Contract Law in the University's Extension Department. In his practice, Justice Rothstein appeared before various administrative tribunals and all levels of court. He also held many other offices or appointments connected to the Manitoba Human Rights Act; the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; the Civil Legal Aid Committee, the Law Society of Manitoba; the (Manitoba);Commission on Compulsory Retirement; the (federal) Ministerial Task Force on International Air Policy; the Manitoba Transportation Industry Development Advisory Committee; the Airports Task Force; the Airports Transfer Advisory Board and the External Advisory Committee of the University of Manitoba Transport Institute. Justice Rothstein was appointed to the Trial Division of the Federal Court of Canada in 1992. While a judge of the Trial Division, he also served as a member ex officio of the Appeal Division, a judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and a judicial member of the Competition Tribunal. He was elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal in 1999, and then to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006. Justice Rothstein is married to Dr. Sheila Dorfman and the couple has four children, Ronald, Douglas, Tracey and Robert, and five grandchildren.

Justice Rothstein is generous, unassuming, wise and dedicated. Manitoba lost one of its golden boys when he accepted the Federal Court appointment in 1992. But Manitoba's loss was Canada's gain. His written judgments are models of balance, clarity, brevity and wit. He also finds the time to return to Winnipeg two or three times a year to participate in legal education events and we treasure these visits.

Bernard Weiner

Bernard Weiner, D.Sc., October 21, 2010

Bernard Weiner
B.A., M.B.A. (Chicago); Ph.D. (Michigan); Ph.D. (Honorary) (Bielefeld, Germany; Turku, Finland)

Dr. Bernard Weiner is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on human motivation and emotion. Dr. Weiner's work seeks to account for how people's patterns of thinking influence things like goal-striving, coping with mental debilitation, stigmatization of vulnerable individuals and to adapting to age-and health-related disability. Few theories of motivation and emotion embrace such a broad range of human endeavours.

After obtaining his doctorate in 1963 under the tutelage of one of the leading personality theorists at the time, Dr. Weiner became a professor at the University of California Los Angeles in 1965. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UCLA, a title that few other professors hold in the multi-campus University of California system. He has authored 13 books and published over 200 articles and book chapters in the most important psychology journals in the world. Several have received special recognition and continue to be referenced and cited years after their publication. In one world-class journal, one of Dr. Weiner's articles was the most-cited publication over a 22-year time span, His scholarly accomplishments are all the more remarkable when considered in relation to his outstanding teaching record which was recognized by UCLA in awarding him the highly regarded Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Weiner's pioneering work has contributed to a substantially better understanding of the nature of causal attributions (how people explain causes of events, other's behavior and their own behavior) that lie at the heart of prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory actions. His work also provides a strong framework for innovative treatment interventions to assist individuals to overcome life's challenges.

Dr. Weiner's work has inspired and guided numerous students. In the context of an international research network which includes the University of Manitoba, the University of Munich, the University of California at Irvine and UCLA, Dr. Weiner has collaborated with faculty and students in Manitoba on their research and scholarship. His work has played a major role in the development of students here and around the world.

Widely recognized for his research, Dr. Weiner holds honorary doctorates from the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and Turku University in Finland. He has received the Donald Campbell Research Award from the American Psychological Association and the Palmer 0. Johnson Award from the American Educational Research Association.

Donald Whitmore

Donald Whitmore, LL.D., June 3, 2010
Donald Whitmore
B.Sc.(Man.); M.B.A.(W.Ont.)

A well-respected engineer and businessman, Donald Whitmore is also recognized for his contribution to his community through his professional and philanthropic endeavours. Born and raised in Neepawa, Manitoba, Mr. Whitmore obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He continued his studies at the University of Western Ontario where he earned a master's degree in business administration. Currently Chairman of the Vector Construction Group, Mr. Whitmore has spent his entire career in the construction industry. In 1965, along with two partners, he started his own firm that specialized in highway grading in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Upon the retirement of his partners in 1980, Mr. Whitmore diversified the operations of his firm to include site development work, concrete restoration and protection, and other specialized industrial activities, in addition to the traditional highway contracting. The firm has developed recognized expertise across North America in the mitigation of corrosion of reinforcing steel in reinforced concrete. Vector Construction Group maintains its head office in Winnipeg, with branch offices around North America. In 1996, The Construction Innovation Forum presented Mr. Whitmore's firm with its prestigious "NOVA" Award for innovation in recognition of the Norcure process of electrochemical chloride extraction from concrete as implemented by Vector. Mr. Whitmore has served on the boards of regional, provincial, national and international associations. He was the 1994 Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Construction Association. He is a Past President of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and a former Executive Committee member of both the Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association of Saskatchewan and the Western Canada Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association. Mr. Whitmore also served 18 years as a Governor of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, retiring in 2000. In addition to his business and professional activities, Don Whitmore has been a committed friend of the University of Manitoba. As Chair of the Board of the Intelligent Sensors for Innovative Structures Network of Centres of Excellence, he contributed to one of the most successful examples of industrial/academic cooperative research in Canadian history, spearheading the replacement of steel reinforcement with carbon and glass fiber. Don is a long-standing member of The Associates, the external business support group for the I. H. Asper School of Business, and currently serves on their Board as Vice-Chair. During the renovation of the Engineering and Information Technology Complex, he was an inspired leader of both planning and fundraising activities. More recently, he was the driving force behind the establishment of Friends of Engineering, an industrial advisory and support group for the Faculty of Engineering. He now serves as the first Chair of "Friends". Don Whitmore and his wife Florence reside in Winnipeg. They have four children and thirteen grandchildren.