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His Highness the Aga Khan receives honorary degree from Trinity College in the University of Toronto

November 26, 2013

TORONTO, ON — His High­ness the Aga Khan was last night award­ed an hon­orary degree of Doc­tor of Sacred Let­ters from Trin­i­ty Col­lege in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to for his ser­vice to human­i­ty. This degree acknowl­edges His High­ness’ excep­tion­al efforts to improve the health, edu­ca­tion and liv­ing con­di­tions of the poor­est peo­ple of the world by empow­er­ing them to achieve self-reliance.

The degree was award­ed at a spe­cial con­vo­ca­tion presided over by Trin­i­ty College’s Chan­cel­lor, the Hon. William C. Gra­ham. Chan­cel­lor Gra­ham not­ed “Trin­i­ty Col­lege in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is con­fer­ring the degree of Doc­tor of Sacred Let­ters on His High­ness Prince Karim Aga Khan in recog­ni­tion of his con­tri­bu­tion to peace, secu­ri­ty and the well-being of mil­lions of peo­ple through­out the world. His encour­age­ment of plu­ral­ism and dia­logue among all races and reli­gions and the glob­al insti­tu­tion­al frame­work he has estab­lished in many trou­bled areas of the world to fur­ther these goals and pro­vide edu­ca­tion and health ser­vices through the Aga Khan Devel­op­ment Net­work is an inspi­ra­tion to us all. He has enriched our coun­try by estab­lish­ing major insti­tu­tions in Cana­da such as the Glob­al Cen­tre for Plu­ral­ism in Ottawa and the Aga Khan Muse­um in Toron­to.”

Based in one of the most diverse cities in the world, Trin­i­ty Col­lege is proud to be home to stu­dents reflect­ing that diver­si­ty, in nation­al­i­ty, eth­nic­i­ty and cul­ture. Trin­i­ty Col­lege is also home to a renowned Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Pro­gram, an under­grad­u­ate degree pro­gram that brings his­tor­i­cal, polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic per­spec­tives to the rela­tion­ships between nations in today’s glob­al envi­ron­ment.

Trin­i­ty Col­lege looks for­ward to new and excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to col­lab­o­rate with the Aga Khan Devel­op­ment Net­work.

Trin­i­ty College’s Divin­i­ty Fac­ul­ty grad­u­ates priests in the Angli­can tra­di­tion; this hon­orary degree, grant­ed to His High­ness the Aga Khan in the pres­ence of the Arch­bish­op of Toron­to, sym­bol­izes the impor­tance of inter­faith dia­logue that is a cor­ner­stone of our faiths.

The Con­vo­ca­tion was attend­ed by Inter­im Provost Michael Rat­cliffe, For­mer Provost Andy Orchard, Fel­lows of the Col­lege, senior mem­bers of the Uni­ver­si­ty, along with com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and dis­tin­guished alum­ni.

Address­ing the Con­vo­ca­tion, the Rt. Hon. Adri­enne Clark­son, alum­na and Hon­orary Fel­low of the Col­lege, said “Hav­ing had the hon­our of know­ing and work­ing with His High­ness the Aga Khan for a num­ber of years, I feel that all Trin­i­ty grad­u­ates will be delight­ed that he is accept­ing this hon­our to acknowl­edge the work he is doing in Cana­da and inter­na­tion­al­ly. No one has done more to fur­ther the cause of diver­si­ty, inclu­sion and shar­ing than this remark­able leader and human being.”

His High­ness the Aga Khan is the 49th hered­i­tary Imam (spir­i­tu­al leader) of the Shia Ismaili Mus­lims and Founder and Chair­man of the Aga Khan Devel­op­ment Net­work (AKDN), one of the largest pri­vate devel­op­ment agen­cies in the world. Since tak­ing on his role as Imam in 1957, the Aga Khan has been deeply engaged in improv­ing the qual­i­ty of life of the most vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, while empha­siz­ing the need to uphold human dig­ni­ty as well as respect for tol­er­ance and plu­ral­ism.

The AKDN is active in over 30 devel­op­ing coun­tries employ­ing some 80,000 peo­ple with the sup­port of tens of thou­sands of vol­un­teers. The Network’s under­ly­ing eth­ic is that of com­pas­sion for the most vul­ner­a­ble in soci­ety and ser­vice to human­i­ty with­out regard to faith, ori­gin or gen­der.

His High­ness was grant­ed hon­orary Cana­di­an cit­i­zen­ship in 2009. His activ­i­ties in Cana­da include the estab­lish­ment of the Del­e­ga­tion of the Ismaili Ima­mat in Ottawa; the Glob­al Cen­tre for Plu­ral­ism in Ottawa; the Ismaili Cen­tre in Van­cou­ver; and a major cul­tur­al com­plex cur­rent­ly under devel­op­ment in Toron­to that includes the Aga Khan Muse­um, the Ismaili Cen­tre and a land­scaped park.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on His High­ness the Aga Khan or the AKDN, please vis­it

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For infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Jill Rooks­by
Man­ag­er, Alum­ni Affairs and Out­reach
Office of Devel­op­ment and Alum­ni Affairs
Trin­i­ty Col­lege, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–978-2651