Honorary degrees announced

(Edmonton) Three outstanding Canadians will receive honorary degrees from the University of Alberta this November.

“We are delighted to recognize the inspiring commitment of each of these individuals to groundbreaking research and positive social change. Our university’s commitment to ‘uplifting the whole people’ seeks both to develop the whole person and to engage the many communities we serve,” said U of A Chancellor Linda Hughes.

The three recipients of the university’s highest honour will deliver addresses during convocation ceremonies at the Jubilee Auditorium Nov. 16 and 17.

Honourable Michael J.L. Kirby
Honorary Doctor of Laws, 3 p.m., Nov. 16

Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Michael Kirby has had a distinguished career as a public servant. As deputy clerk of the Privy Council from 1980 to 1983, he was deeply involved in the negotiations that led to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution and the adoption of the Charter of Rights. As chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology while serving on the Canadian Senate, he co-wrote the first-ever national report on mental health, mental illness and addiction. Named an officer of the Order of Canada for his leadership on mental health and his contributions to public policy and good governance, Kirby has made an enduring difference in the lives of many Canadians.

Richard M. Hansen
Honorary Doctor of Laws, 10 a.m., Nov. 17

A celebrated athlete and a dedicated social innovator, Rick Hansen is best known in Canada and around the world as the Man In Motion. Winner of 19 international wheelchair marathons, six Paralympic medals and nine gold medals at the 1982 Pan American Wheelchair Games, he then set out to make a difference in the lives of others.  For two years, two months and two days, Hansen wheeled more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, raising $26 million which was further leveraged to $246 million and granted for spinal-cord injury research and accessibility initiatives. Twenty-five years later, he continues his quest for a healthy and inclusive world through the Rick Hansen Foundation. A Companion of the Order of Canada, he seeks to ensure all individuals can contribute to our society in a meaningful way.

Lawrence Chia-Huang Wang
Honorary Doctor of Science, 3 p.m., Nov. 17

An outstanding educator, innovator and global citizen, Lawrence Chia-Huang Wang has led the creation of international partnerships, sustainable development practices and economically vibrant rural communities. Following his research on metabolism and cold tolerance in humans, he invented the Canadian Cold Buster bar and the Access bar, a patented “functional food” currently marketed in 12 countries. In 2000, he co-founded the University of Alberta’s ECO (Ecological Conservancy Outreach) Fund to help with rehabilitation and eco-management of the Upper Yangtze River in China. An elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the Friendship Award, the highest honour the government of China bestows upon foreign experts, Wang has made lasting contributions to the pursuit of knowledge and the alleviation of poverty.