Media Releases

University of Toronto honours public service and philanthropy

May 5, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The University of Toronto will recognize extraordinary achievements in public service and philanthropy at its Convocation ceremonies this spring, awarding honorary degrees to a select group of men and women who have made significant contributions in these fields.

“The University of Toronto students, faculty, staff and alumni are committed to building stronger communities in Canada and throughout the world,” said U of T president David Naylor. “These honorary degrees reflect and celebrate that commitment.”

Approximately 12,500 students will graduate from the university at ceremonies taking place from May 31 to June 17 in Convocation Hall, 31 King’s College Circle. Members of the media are welcome to attend convocation ceremonies but are asked to confirm their attendance in advance by calling U of T media relations at 416-978-0100.

The list of public servants and philanthropists receiving honorary degrees includes:

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Canada’s 21st Prime Minister. Since leaving office, Martin has led high-level initiatives promoting social and economic development in Africa and among Aboriginal Canadians.  A graduate of St. Michael’s College and the university’s Faculty of Law, Martin will receive his honorary doctorate of laws June 3 at 10 am.

Dr. Sonia Labatt and Arthur Labatt, distinguished philanthropists and volunteers. Arthur Labatt, co-founder and former president of Trimark Financial, is a past chancellor of the University of Western Ontario. Sonia Labatt, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at U of T’s Centre for Environment, an Arbor Award winner and a longtime member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Faculty of Arts and Science. The Labatts will receive their honorary doctorates of laws June 13 at 2:30 pm.

The High Commissioner of Singapore to Canada, Koh Yong Guan. Koh is one of the most esteemed public servants in the modern history of Singapore.  As a Columbo Plan scholar from 1966-72, he completed two degrees in engineering at the University of Toronto. Now serving as chair of Singapore’s national pension fund and the board of the Singapore Cancer Sciences Research Institute, Koh will receive his honorary doctorate of laws June 6 at 2 pm.

Renowned philanthropist and developer John H. Daniels. A University of Toronto alumnus in architecture, Daniels led Cadillac Fairview Corporation for more than 20 years. Since 1983, his Daniels Corporation has supported initiatives such as Second Harvest, Habitat for Humanity and Eva’s Initiatives and, in 2008, Daniels provided the university with the largest-ever private gift received by an architecture school in Canada. Daniels will receive his honorary doctorate of laws June 2 at 2:30 pm.

Anne Sado, President of George Brown College. Sado is a double alumna of the University of Toronto, having graduated from engineering in 1977 and from the Rotman School of Management in 1981. She had a long and distinguished career at Bell and is a role model for women in engineering and business across Ontario and Canada. She has served as president of the YWCA of Metropolitan Toronto, chair of the Trillium Health Centre, and as a member of the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and the Advisory Board for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Sado will receive her honorary doctorate of laws June 15 at 10 am.

Distinguished volunteers and philanthropists David M. Dunlap and J. Moffat Dunlap. The Dunlaps’ significant endowed gifts to establish the Dunlap Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics built on a legacy that began with their family’s establishment of the Dunlap Observatory in 1935. David, who graduated from engineering at the University of Toronto in 1961, and Moffat, an equestrian and former Show Jumping World Champion, have been tireless supporters of education, healthcare, and equine research at Guelph University and Seneca and Humber Colleges. The Dunlaps will receive their honorary doctorates of laws June 10 at 10 am.

As previously announced, the university will also confer honorary doctorates recognizing extraordinary global contributions by Malcolm Gladwell, (June 14) Nandan Nilekani (May 31) and Craig and Marc Kielburger (June 8), as well as extraordinary knowledge contributions by University Toronto Professor Emeritus Mladen Vranic (June 1), Bert Wasmund PhD (June 15) and Cambridge Professor Michael Lapidge (June 10).



For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Lanthier

Media Relations