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.

Honorary Degrees

2023 Spring Honorary Degree Recipients and Convocation Speakers

Ms. Shirley McClellan, Doctor of Laws
Sunday, June 4, 2:30 p.m.

Mr. Scott Graham, Doctor of Laws
Tuesday, June 6, 10:00 a.m.

Convocation Speaker
Dr. Janet A. W. Elliott
Tuesday, June 6, 3:00 p.m.

Ms. Stacy Schiff, Doctor of Letters
Wednesday, June 7, 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Brian Paisley, Doctor of Letters
Wednesday, June 7, 3:00 p.m.

Mr. Bert Crowfoot, Doctor of Laws
Thursday, June 8, 10:00 a.m.
Convocation Speaker: Thursday, June 8, 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Joanne Liu, Doctor of Science
Friday, June 9, 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Temple Grandin, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, June 13, 10 a.m.
Convocation Speaker: Tuesday, June 13, 3:00 p.m.

Sir Michael Houghton, Doctor of Science
Wednesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m.

Convocation Speaker
Dr. Stephanie Green
Wednesday, June 14, 3:00 p.m.

Mr. Fred Penner, Doctor of Letters
Thursday, June 15, 10:00 a.m.
Convocation Speaker: Thursday, June 15, 3:00 p.m.

Past recipients

The complete listing of honorary degrees granted is published in the University Calendar and on the Senate website.