Media Releases

Renowned authors and global thinkers to receive honorary degrees from U of T

May 24, 2011

TORONTO, ON – What do Mal­colm Glad­well, Craig and Marc Kiel­burg­er and Nan­dan Nilekani have in com­mon? All are influ­en­tial lead­ers, thinkers and acclaimed authors who inspire oth­ers to exam­ine the world in new ways. And each will receive an hon­orary degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to at Con­vo­ca­tion this spring.

Craig, who grad­u­at­ed from U of T in 2006, and Marc, who grad­u­at­ed from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty and holds a law degree from Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty, will receive hon­orary doc­tor­ates of laws on June 8 at 2 pm.

“The uni­ver­si­ty is delight­ed to rec­og­nize the impor­tant work of Marc and Craig Kiel­burg­er to ame­lio­rate pover­ty and improve oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple in many devel­op­ing coun­tries, “ said Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor. “Their efforts have inspired chil­dren and youth around the world.”

Glad­well, on staff at The New York­er staff since 1996 and one of the world’s most pop­u­lar writ­ers, will receive his hon­orary doc­tor­ate of let­ters June 14 at 10am. The author of inter­na­tion­al­ly acclaimed books such as What The Dog Saw (2009), Out­liers (2008), Blink (2005) and The Tip­ping Point (2000), Glad­well grad­u­at­ed from U of T’s Trin­i­ty Col­lege in 1984.

“Mal­colm Gladwell’s work has had a glob­al impact on how peo­ple think about the social sphere and human poten­tial,” said Nay­lor. “Among our liv­ing alum­ni, Mal­colm Glad­well is sure­ly one of the best known.  I am sure his remarks to our grad­u­ates will be mem­o­rable.”

Nan­dan Nilekani, co-founder of Infos­ys Tech­nolo­gies Ltd., a glob­al cor­po­ra­tion that has placed India at the fore­front of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy ser­vices, will receive an hon­orary doc­tor­ate of laws on May 31 at 2:30 pm. Nilekani’s book, Imag­in­ing India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation, sets out his vision for the future of India.

“Mr. Nilekani has made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to inter­na­tion­al busi­ness and the social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment of India,” Nay­lor said. “His cur­rent work on infor­ma­tion sys­tems for India will have a huge impact on the future of that great coun­try.  The Uni­ver­si­ty is very pleased to rec­og­nize Mr. Nilekani for his remark­able achieve­ments.”

Approx­i­mate­ly 12,512 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.


For more infor­ma­tion con­tact: Jen­nifer Lan­thi­er at 416–978-8362 or or Media Rela­tions at 416–978-0100.