Turpin to be awarded honorary degree from University of Manitoba

Selection committee cited Turpin’s leadership, commitment to scholarship and advocacy for an arts education as reasons for the award.


(Edmonton) University of Alberta president-elect David Turpin has been selected to receive an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba at this spring’s convocation ceremonies.

“Dr. David Turpin has made significant contributions to education in Canada as a scholar, educator, scientist and administrator. He is an outstanding example of leadership in post-secondary education, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to transformative research and scholarship,” said David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba. “Awarding an honorary doctor of science to Dr. Turpin would be a most fitting recognition of his dedication to higher education in Canada, and the University of Manitoba is honoured to recognize him in this way.”

The selection committee touted the advances the University of Victoria saw during Turpin’s tenure as president and vice-chancellor from 2000 to 2013, including the doubling of financial assistance for students, the construction of nine residences and the establishment of Ocean Networks Canada, which operates three ocean observatories, as well as his advocacy for the value of liberal arts education. As a noted plant biologist, Turpin is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers and reviews.

“I’m delighted to be chosen for this honour,” Turpin said. “It’s especially meaningful to be recognized by a peer institution with such a rich history of academic excellence in service of the public good.”

Turpin will receive his honorary degree on May 26 as part of the University of Manitoba’s 136th annual spring convocation. Other honorary degree recipients include public health reporter André Picard, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre artistic director Steven Schipper, Aboriginal elder and healer Stella Blackbird, and University of Manitoba president emeritus Emőke Szathmáry.