Convocation

Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degree Recipient

At most Convocation ceremonies, the University confers an Honorary Degree on an individual, who then gives an address. The tradition of granting honorary degrees at the University of Alberta dates back to our first Convocation, in 1908.

Honorary degrees are generally awarded for one of three reasons: to recognize extraordinary intellectual or artistic achievement; to honor service to the university and to the wider society; and to recognize men and women who might serve as examples to the institution's student body. An honorary degree, it is said, honours both the grantee and the spirit of the institution.

Conferred honoris causa, "for the sake of honor," honorary degrees are awarded as one of three types:

  • Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
  • Doctor of Letters, honoris causa
  • Doctor of Science, honoris causa

The PhD is granted only as an earned degree.


Selection process

Honorary Degree recipients are chosen by the University Senate.

Past recipients

The tradition of granting honorary degrees at the University of Alberta dates back to the first Convocation in 1908. The complete listing of honorary degrees granted is published in the University Calendar and on the Senate website.

2018 Fall recipients

November 20th, 3:00 p.m.
Ms. Brenda McLean, Doctor of Laws

November 21st, 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Jeremy Spurgeon, Doctor of Letters

November 21st, 3:00 p.m.
Honourable Mr. Dan Hays, Doctor of Laws

2019 Spring recipients

To be announced in April 2019.