His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Ms Malala Yousafzai will be among the five highly distinguished honorary degree recipients at King’s 225th Encaenia ceremony on 15 May 2014. King’s will also give honorary degrees to the Hon Michael A Meighen, Dr Carol Ann Charlebois, and the Hon Dr John Hamm. All five individuals have made significant contributions to education and the rights of the individual.
“In this important anniversary year,” says President George Cooper, “we celebrate 225 years of empowering people through education. The Loyalists arrived in Nova Scotia in 1789 and built King’s before Canada was a country, believing that education was essential for their future. At Encaenia, we will honour five individuals who also believe that education is essential, not only for the future, but for basic human dignity as well. By accepting these honorary degrees, these outstanding individuals honour King’s and everything we believe in.”
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada, will receive a Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) for his services to education, universities, and to Canada. Prior to his appointment as Governor General of Canada in 2010, he served 44 years in the academic world at several Canadian universities and was the fifth president of the University of Waterloo. Mr Johnston also served on many task forces and committees, as well as on the boards of a number of public companies. He was the first non-American citizen to chair the Harvard board of overseers. Mr Johnston is a Companion of the Order of Canada and holds honorary degrees from over 20 Canadian and international universities.
Ms Malala Yousafzai will receive a Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) for her dedication to universal education. Ms Yousafzai is a campaigner for the basic right to education, particularly for girls and women. In 2012, her courage captured world attention as she stood up to and survived the Taliban’s attempt to silence her. In October of 2013, Ms Yousafzai started the Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to empowering girls through education, so they can recognize their potential and be agents of positive change in their communities. The Canadian government has committed to confer honorary Canadian citizenship upon Ms Yousafzai, the sixth person ever to receive that honour. Ms Yousafzai has received the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize, and the World Children’s prize. Malala Yousafzai cannot attend the ceremony in person because of her course of studies. Her honorary degree will be conferred in England. Its delivery will be broadcast during the Enacenia ceremony at the Cathedral of All Saints in Halifax.
Photo: Elyse Marks
The Honourable Michael A Meighen will receive a Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) for his commitment to King’s and to Canada. He served the University of King’s College as chancellor from 2001 to 2013, and was recently appointed chancellor of McGill University. Mr Meighan is a former Canadian senator and has practised as a litigation and commercial lawyer in Montreal and Toronto. He is past chair of the Stratford Festival, current chair of the T R Meighen Family Foundation, and sits on a number of other boards of directors.
Dr Carol Ann Charlebois will receive a Doctor of Canon Law (honoris causa) for her commitment to social justice and Halifax’s most vulnerable citizens. She is executive director of Metro Non-Profit Housing Association (MNPHA), an organization that provides stable homes for individuals with a variety of health and other challenges. Under her leadership, MNPHA has collaborated with other social service groups, organizations, such as Halifax Housing Help and the Out of the Cold emergency winter shelter, to support those with housing-related needs.
Dr John Hamm will receive a Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) for his service to King’s, his community and the province. Dr. Hamm retired in 2013 after serving two terms as chair of the King’s board of governors. He served as a family doctor before entering politics and becoming Nova Scotia’s 25th premier in 1998. Under his leadership, the government invested in education and health care and balanced the provincial finances. Following his retirement from politics, Dr Hamm served as chairman of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada. In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.