Media Releases

Renowned authors and global thinkers to receive honorary degrees from UofT

April 21, 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.

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For more information contact Jennifer Lanthier at 416-978-8362 or jennifer.lanthier@utoronto.ca or Media Relations at 416-978-0100.