Honorary degrees are awarded honoris causa, “for the sake of honour,” and recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions locally, nationally and globally, such as:
Wilfrid Laurier University invites members of the university community and the general public to nominate worthy individuals for honorary degrees. The individuals upon whom the university bestows honorary degrees should reflect both the full diversity of Canadian society and the qualities that Laurier prizes, as expressed in the university’s vision statement:
“Our commitment is to justice and sustainability now and in the future, so we strive to ignite the minds, spirits and hearts of our communities through excellence in teaching and learning, in the discovery, scholarly exploration, and application of new ideas, and in instilling the courage to engage and challenge the world in all its complexity.”
Honorary degrees are not awarded posthumously, and generally not to any of the following: current faculty or staff; current members of the Board of Governors or Senate; and active politicians.
Nomination deadlines are Nov. 15 for spring convocation and Feb. 15 for fall convocation.
Nominations are reviewed by the Honorary Degree Committee and must include a completed nomination form, a letter of nomination signed by two nominators (or two representatives of a nominating group), and a full curriculum vitae and/or fulsome biographical sketch.
All information submitted will be kept confidential. It is recommended that nominees not be advised of their nomination.
The following is a list of honorary degree recipients since 1961.
On Jan. 11, 2016, Senate approved procedures for rescinding an honorary degree.
The Senate Executive Committee, acting on the recommendation of the Honorary Degree Committee, may revoke honorary degrees or distinctions of the university and all privileges connected therewith of any holder who has been convicted of a criminal offence, or whose name has been removed for misconduct by a properly constituted legal authority from any official register of members of the profession to which the individual belongs, or whose conduct is judged by the Senate Executive Committee to constitute a significant breach of the standards of the university normally applied to the conferment of such degrees or distinctions.
The Senate Executive Committee may restore the degree, distinction or privileges previously enjoyed by an award holder on cause being shown and upon recommendation of the Honorary Degree Committee.
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