Honorary Degrees

The University confers “honorary” degrees which symbolize the highest honour that can be conferred upon an individual by the University. An honorary degree may be awarded in recognition of scholarly or creative achievements or distinguished public service to the country or region.

At Convocation, the degree is awarded honoris causa, or “for the sake of honour”. A hood is also given to the recipient and it may be worn to any academic affair. Recipients of these degrees become honorary alumni of the University and they may affix, after their names, the abbreviation of the degree.

Photo of Marion Buller

Marion Buller - Doctor of Laws

Thunder Bay, Thursday May 25, 2023 at 9:00am

Hon. Marion R. Buller, C.M.

Marion Buller is a member of the Mistawasis Nehiyawak, a Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan. Marion was the initial First Nations woman to be appointed as a judge in British Columbia. While a Provincial Court Judge, Marion established the initial First Nations Court in BC and built the foundation for BC’s first Indigenous Family Court.

After presiding in the BC Provincial Court for 22 years, Marion was appointed as the Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Since the completion of the National Inquiry, Marion has returned to the practice of law. She is currently the Chancellor of the University of Victoria.

Photo of Bob McDonald

Bob McDonald - Doctor of Science

Thunder Bay, Thursday May 25, 2023 at 2:00pm

Bob McDonald has been bringing science to the public for more than 40 years. In addition to hosting Quirks & Quarks, the award-winning science program heard by 800,000 people each week, Bob is also science correspondent for CBC TV’s The National and host of the children’s series Heads Up.

He has written and hosted numerous television documentaries and more than 100 educational videos in Canada and the US. As a writer, he has authored six bestselling science books including the 2022 Canadian bestseller, The Future is Now: Solving the Climate Crisis with Current Technology.

Bob is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

Photo of Stephen Low

Stephen Low - Doctor of Letters

Thunder Bay, Friday May 26, 2023 at 9:00am

Stephen Low is recognized by audiences and peers as one of the world’s foremost large format filmmakers.

His creative vision, storytelling ability and commitment to cinematic innovation have yielded an extraordinary body of work enjoyed by audiences of all ages. He has written, directed and produced more than 20 IMAX films and TV projects over the past 40 years, relentlessly following his curiosity wherever it took him.

His filmography encompasses a remarkable diversity of subjects and themes from science, surfing and shipwrecks to trains, planes and racing cars, from deep sea exploration to drama and history.

He earned a BA in Political Science from Lakehead University.

Photo of Lance Anderson

Lance Anderson - Doctor of Music

Orillia, Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10 am

Lance Anderson is a Juno award-winning music producer, film composer and a multiple nominee and recipient of the national Maple Blues Award for Keyboard Player of the Year.

He holds an Honours Bachelor of Music (Composition) degree from Western University and has enjoyed a professional career as a sought-after performer and partner with some of Canada’s most respected artists.

Lance was music producer and performer on the 2015 recording, ‘Oscar With Love,’ a critically acclaimed 3-CD package commemorating Oscar Peterson’s 90th birthday. Lance also co-produced the ground-breaking ‘Multi-media Oscar Peterson CD-Rom,’ which is considered to be one of the best resources for jazz piano in the world. More recently, Lance has arranged the first-ever orchestral score for Peterson’s ‘Canadiana Suite,’ which premiered in 2017.

Through his work as a professional musician/composer/performer and producer, Lance has shared his passion and musical expertise with his local community. As an artistic director, Lance has brought world-renowned artists to Orillia. His musical leadership has enhanced the cultural fabric of the community and provided education, entertainment and inspiration to fellow musicians and artists, students and countless audience members.