2021 Honorary Degree and Award Recipients

St. Stephen's College is delighted to announce that Dr. Marilyn Hundleby, Lorraine Nicely, and Omar Yaqub are the 2021 Honorary Degree and Award recipients of St. Stephen’s College. In various ways, each of these exceptional individuals have made substantive and lasting contributions to the fields of healthcare, mental and spiritual health, post-secondary education, and/or social services.

3---image-1---marilyn-hundlebyDr. Marilyn Hundleby (PhD, RPsych, CRHSP) is recognized with the Order of St. Stephen’s College for her work with Wellspring Edmonton, both as one of the founders of the organization and as the current Psychologist and Program Director. Under her leadership, Wellspring Edmonton offers a broad range of evidence-based and evidence-informed programs that afford a multitude of opportunities to gain deeper understandings of the lived experiences of patients and families going through a diagnosis of cancer. She is the author of numerous academic articles, presentations, posters, and workshops, including co-author (with S. Abbott) of Cancer and the Art of Healing (Alberta Cancer Foundation, 2006). Prior to her work at Wellspring Edmonton, she also founded the Arts in Medicine Program at the Cross Cancer Institute.

lorraine-nicely-imageLorraine Nicely (MTh, MRelEd, BEd) is honoured with the Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa for her transformative and integrative contributions in the areas of pastoral counselling, spiritually-integrated psychotherapy, and ecological spirituality. As past president (1991–1992) of the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care/Association canadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS), Ms. Nicely addressed aspects of the Association’s governance that disadvantaged women, and she led CASC/ACSS to develop and secure its first Code of Ethics. She was one of the co-founders of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling degree at St. Stephen’s College (known today as the Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality). She also worked closely with Edmonton’s L’Arche community and founded and facilitated the Kukui Fountainhead Retreat Centre (Devon, Alberta), which cultivated nature-centered spiritual practices. Through her many years of professional service, Ms. Nicely has embodied and practiced the College’s understanding of ministry as “the self-reflective awareness of the nurturing quality of service to the human community and Earth.”

5---image-3---omar-headshot-21Omar Yaqub (MBA, BSc) is honoured with the Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa for his exceptional service that has brought about transformation and international recognition to Edmonton’s social services sector. Through multiple years of volunteer and professional service, he has helped Edmonton’s Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA) grow from a neighbourhood organization that served 2,500 people per year to a Canadian leader that serves 5,000 people per month. When Mr. Yaqub started with IFSSA, the Association’s focus was primarily on one Edmonton suburb; today it is a culturally and spiritually relevant organization that provides service in 8+ languages, works closely with Indigenous partners, and draws together diverse peoples with origins in 60+ nations. Through his many years of service, Mr. Yaqub has created sustainable sacred spaces within the Muslim community that are welcoming of different faiths and focussed on those in need of service.

Please visit our 2021 Award Recipients page to read more about Dr. Hundleby, Ms. Nicely, and Mr. Yaqub and the contributions for which they are being recognized.

St. Stephen’s College confers honorary degrees and awards each year at the College’s annual convocation ceremony. This year, the 97th Annual Convocation will be held on November 1, 2021. Details can be found on our Convocation website. The convocation address this year—titled, “Spiritual Originality in Care”—will be delivered by Omar Yaqub, recipient of the Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa.

Since 1917, St. Stephen's College has granted honorary degrees in recognition of individuals who have made exceptional contributions of leadership or ministry, either to their faith community or in spiritually integrated ways to the broader human community. Honorary degrees and awards are granted to individuals whose meritorious work embodies and extends the mission of St. Stephen's College. St. Stephen's College is an affiliated degree-granting graduate college of the University of Alberta.