Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

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.


2022 Spring Honorary Degree Recipients

Mr. Brian Wildcat, LLD
Sunday, June 5, 2:30 p.m.

Ms. Sheila O’Kelly, LLD
Tuesday, June 7, 3:00 p.m.

Mr. Douglas Stollery, LLD
Wednesday, June 8, 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Michael Phair, LLD
Wednesday, June 8, 3:00 p.m.

Mr. Garry Merkel, LLD
Thursday, June 9, 10:00 a.m.
Convocation Speaker: Thursday, June 9, 3:00 p.m.

The Honourable Eileen Gillese, LLD
Friday, June 10, 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Molly Shoichet, DSc
Monday, June 13, 3:00 p.m.

Dr. David Turpin, DSc
Tuesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Lorne Gladu, LLD
Tuesday, June 14, 3:00 p.m.

Ms. Ingrid Kritsch, LLD
Wednesday, June 15, 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Rick Mercer, DLitt
Wednesday, June 15, 3:00 p.m.

The Honourable Russell Brown, LLD
Thursday, June 16, 10:00 a.m.

The Honourable Sheilah Louise Martin, LLD
Thursday, June 16, 3:00 p.m.


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.