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Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are awarded honoris causa, “for the sake of the honour,” and recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions locally, nationally and globally, such as:

  • Leading academics and public intellectuals across the disciplines;
  • Exemplary leaders in all fields;
  • Outstanding artists and performers; and
  • Community builders and philanthropists.

The individuals upon whom the university bestows honorary degrees should reflect both the full diversity of Canadian society and the qualities that Laurier prizes, as expressed in the university’s vision statement:

“Our commitment is to justice and sustainability now and in the future, so we strive to ignite the minds, spirits and hearts of our communities through excellence in teaching and learning, in the discovery, scholarly exploration, and application of new ideas, and in instilling the courage to engage and challenge the world in all its complexity.”

Honorary Degrees are generally not awarded to any of the following: current faculty or staff; current members of the Board of Governors or Senate; and active politicians.

Order of Wilfrid Laurier University 

The Order of Wilfrid Laurier University honours worthy recipients who have a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the university.

The award is available to any member of the university, those currently or formerly attached to the university, and to those representing the university in the community. Candidates nominated for membership in the order may include, but are not limited to, current or former faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and friends of the university. 

The award consists of a diploma suitably inscribed, a pin denoting membership in the order, and a citation to be read at the convocation ceremony at which the award is presented. The recipient may also be invited to address convocation.

Nominations Overview 

Fill out the nomination form. The form and process for Honorary Degrees and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University are the same.

Past Recipients


Karen Jack