Past Honorary Degree Recipients

Honorary Degrees are awarded to individuals who have accomplished extraordinary achievements and remarkable service.  These individuals support the values of advanced learning and the pursuit of knowledge.  These individuals are of provincial, national or international status, have demonstrated a distinctive and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more fields of endeavour, have contributed either directly or indirectly to the welfare of humankind, and have made a substantial contribution to the University and/or the regions in which its campuses are located. 


Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.), first conferred in 1773, is the most popular honorary doctorate now awarded. Despite a wide variety of recipients in the past (clergymen, aviators, bankers, sportsmen and scholars), it is now regarded as the most appropriate award for a person distinguished in general service to the state, to learning and to mankind.

Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.), first awarded in 1892, is considered to be appropriate as a reward for scholarly work of a somewhat restricted nature. It is usually conferred upon scholars in particular disciplines.

Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), first conferred in 1884, unfortunately also is awarded as an earned doctorate at several prominent universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Despite this confusion, it is an increasingly popular award for persons who have made distinguished contributions and preformed services in the sciences.

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), first awarded in the 1880’s, is the honorary doctorate usually given to persons who have distinguished themselves in the humanities.

Other degrees may be conferred as appropriate.  The honorary degree to be awarded to an individual is decided by the Senate Honorary Degree Committee.

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. They are designed by the University’s Senate, its senior academic governing body, as deserving special honour.



Lakehead University is proud to have honoured the following exceptional individuals over the years.

Doctor of Civil Law

1973     Paterson, Norman

Doctor of Commerce

2018    Deluce, Robert

2017    Dhillon, Bob 

2016    Bonnie M. Patterson C.M.O. Ont. B.A. M.L.S. ICD.D

2015     Rapino, Michael
1997     Mauro, Arthur
1996     Ristimaki, Ronald
1993     Maxwell, Judith
1987     Ward, Maxwell W
1986     Dye, Kenneth M
1978     Prettie, Robert James

Doctor of Education

2018     Levy, Sheldon

1990     Steele, Robert Reid

1989     West, William A

Doctor of Engineering

2000     Cardinal, Douglas
1998     MacGregor, James G
1997     Zadeh, Lotfi
1996     Pervais, Melvin
1995     Frize, Monique
1980     Cowan, Benjamin
1975     Fleming, J. Murray

Doctor of Fine Arts

2019     Pachter, Charles

2008     Pinsent, Gordon
1988     Shaffer, Paul

Doctor of Humane Letters

2018    MacLean, Ron

2017    Deverell, Dr. Rita, C.M., Ed.D

2016     Virtanen, Dr. Keijo

2013     Olsson, Eva
2011     McGarvey, James “Pete”
2005     Barlow, Maude
2003     Jackson, Tom
1994     Franklin, Ursula
             MacNeill, James
1989     Clarkson, Adrienne
             Mansbridge, Peter 

Doctor of Laws

2019     O'Reilly, Gwen

2017     Page, Kevin

2016     The Honourable Jean Charest

2014     Chambers, Mary Anne
              Iacobucci, Frank
              Rae, Bob
2013     Martin, Paul
2012     Dennis, Lloyd
2012     McLachlin, Beverley
2011     Davis, William G
2010     Belcourt, Tony
             Grandin, Temple
             Onley, David C
2007     Pound, Richard
2006     Weiler, Paul
2005     Fontaine, Phil
2004     Dottori, Frank
2003     Axworthy, Lloyd
2002     Arbour, Louise
1998     Jamieson, Roberta L
1996     Paterson, Robert
1995     Laskin, Saul
1994     Cournoyea, Nellie
             Tamblyn, Ian
1992     Weiler, Karen Merle
1990     Agnew, Jeanne L
             Burney, Derek
             Erickson, Arthur Charles
1988    Chretien, Jean
            Lewis, Stephen
            Stokes, John Edward
1987     Fisher, Douglas M
1985     Schreyer, Edward R
1984     Aird, John B
             Johnston, Agnew H
1983     Bernier, Leo
             Fisher, Harry K
             Howe, Bruce I
1978     Andras, Robert Knight

 Doctor of Letters

2019     Pierre, Marlene

             Talaga, Tanya

2015     Phillips, Margaret
2014     Wagamese, Richard
2010     Highway, Tomson
2009     Dyer, Gwynne
2007     Kakegamic, Goyce
2004     Clarke, Austin
2002     Berton, Pierre
2001     Shields, Carol
2000     Sainte-Marie, Buffy
             Urquhart, Jane
1999     Pungente, John
1998     Atwood, Margaret
1997     Dickason, Olive
             Gwyn, Richard
1996     Dudek, Louis
1995     Findley, Timothy
1991     Black, Arthur
             Lyons, Richard Charles
1988     Forrester, Maureen
1987     Fulton, E. Margaret
             McIntosh, Cliff M
1986     Bateman, Robert M
             Mowat, Farley McGill
1985     Johnston, Lynn
             Morriseau, Norval
1984     Sheffield, Edward F
1982     Clark, Samuel Delbert
             Laskin, Bora
             Penelhum, Terence M
1981     Monahan, Edward J
             Tamblyn, William Gordon
1979     Duncan, Alastair Robert C
1975     Waddington, Miriam
1974     Gerstein, Reva

Doctor of Music

2015     Lightfoot, Gordon
1997     Bernardi, Mario
1992     Young, Neil
1990     Bell, John Kim

Doctor of Science

2018     Martin-Downs, Deborah

2017     Wahl, Rudolf (Rudy)

2016     Cromarty, Helen

2015     Lam, Dominic
2014     Aberman, Arnold
2013     Mason, John
2013     McLoughlin, Dermot
2012     Marini, Irmo
2012     Orbinski, James
2011     O’Dor, Ronald Keith
2009     Evans, John
             Stallman, Richard
2008     MacInnis, Joseph
2007     Strangway, David
2006     Franklin, Jerry F
2001     Thomas, Jack Ward
1996     Everett, Lorne
1995     Donis-Keller, Helen
1991     Armson, Kenneth Avery
             Bondar, Roberta Lynn
1990     Fyfe, William S
1989     Kenney-Wallace, Geraldine
1986     Suzuki, David Takayoshi
1985     Flaherty, M. Josephine
1984     Wilson, J. Tuzo
1979     Garton, Claude Eugene
1977     Braun, Harold S
1974     McTaggart-Cowan, Patrick D

Doctor of Social Work

1996     Untinen, Lenore
1976     Crittenden, Dorothea