The Executive Committee of Senate is pleased to announce the 2018 Victoria University Honorary Degree recipients. At the May 10th, 2018 Emmanuel Convocation, Victoria University will confer honorary degrees upon Dr. Cassim Degani, and The Very Reverend Stanley John McKay. Professor Emeritus Linda Hutcheon will receive an honorary degree on October 10th, at the Charter Day Convocation.
Dr. Cassim Degani is the Chief Surgeon for the Shouldice Hernia Centre hospital in Thornhill,Ontario. On his own, for several decades, he has volunteered for at least one month each year by offering his skills as a physician somewhere in the world. He has also responded specifically to major natural disasters, as well as conflicts and invasions, by taking time off from work and volunteering to set up medical camps and to assist survivors by offering medical assistance. He has conducted these kinds of missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Haiti. Dr. Degani has also served Emmanuel College in the midst of a busy career, supporting the college’s Muslim Studies program through his excellent leadership and guidance. Victoria University will confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa,upon Dr. Cassim Degani.
The Very Reverend Stanley John McKay is the first Aboriginal person to lead the United Church of Canada, serving as moderator from 1992 to 1994, where he played a key role in working towards reconciliation. Reverend McKay coordinated the developments of the United Church’s national consultation process for the National Native Council, 1982-1987. During that time, he successfully advocated for the Church’s apology for its role in the cultural oppression of First Nations peoples. Reverend McKay is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Victoria University will confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa, upon The Very Reverend Stanley John McKay.
Professor Emeritus Linda Hutcheon is a celebrated author and a University Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. She has written several books on postmodernist culture and critical theory. Professor Hutcheon’s work and service have been honored through her receipt of distinguished fellowships and awards, and several honorary degrees. A few of these honours include the Killam Prize in the Humanities from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Northrop Frye Award, which is the University of Toronto’s highest award for teaching. Victoria University will confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon Professor Emeritus Linda Hutcheon.
Victoria University Honorary Degrees
Victoria University awards honorary degrees to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of graduates of Victoria College and Emmanuel College, and to honour the exemplary lives of individuals who have made remarkable contributions to Canadian society, and communities abroad. The Committee considers candidates whose accomplishments reflect the distinctiveness of Victoria University, including fostering diversity and the practice of inclusive excellence. The high esteem of these honorary degree recipients should be such that, in the awarding of the honorary degree to them, distinction is also brought to Victoria University.
The degree of Doctor of Divinity may be conferred upon persons who have made a significant contribution to the Church or to its mission; the degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters may be conferred upon persons who have made a significant contribution to the study of Theology or Religion. Members of the Order of Ministry and laity are eligible for consideration for either degree. The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters may be conferred upon persons whose outstanding contributions to society exemplify the values that Victoria University seeks to cultivate in its members.
Honorary degrees are normally conferred either in May at the Victoria University Convocation at which Emmanuel College students receive their degrees, or in October at the Charter Day Convocation.
Honorary graduands may be Canadian or non-Canadian. They must, however, attend Convocation for the conferring of their degree. The Committee does not consider nominees who are currently active in political life, or current members of Victoria University or the University of Toronto, or of the governing bodies of these institutions.