Six distinguished Canadians to receive Honorary Doctorates

Chief Justice of Canada, Chief Executive of Anglo American among recipients

MAY 26, 2016 – Six distinguished Canadians from the fields of law, mining, engineering, journalism, education and social activism will be awarded Honorary Doctorates by Laurentian University at Spring 2016 Convocation ceremonies in Sudbury and Barrie.


Among the recipients of Honorary Doctorates this Convocation season are the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin (May 31, 10:00 a.m.) and Suzanne Tessier, the first woman to graduate from Laurentian University’s School of Engineering. 


“It is a privilege for us to pay tribute to these outstanding Canadians who have led the way in their respective fields,” said Laurentian University Chancellor Steve Paikin.  “Each of them has inspired and enlightened so many others, and we are proud to celebrate them.”


The full list of Honorary Doctorate recipients follows:

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C (May 31, 10 am, Sudbury, ON)

Born and raised in Pincher Creek, AB, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Appointed on January 7, 2000, she is the first woman to hold this position and is the longest serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. The Chief Justice also chairs the Canadian Judicial Council, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada and the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute.


Mark Cutifani (June 1, 2:30 pm, Sudbury, ON)

A champion for workplace safety in mining, Mark Cutifani is the current Chief Executive of Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining companies. He is also a member of the Board and Group Management Committee, a non-executive director of Anglo American Platinum, Chair of Anglo American South Africa and Chair of De Beers. Mr. Cutifani is the former COO for Inco and Vale’s global nickel business.


Suzanne Tessier  (June 1, 7:00 pm, Sudbury, ON)

Sudbury-born Suzanne Tessier was the first woman to graduate from Laurentian University’s School of Engineering (B.Eng ’79) and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Laurentian’s Bharti School of Engineering. One of her great passions has been encouraging girls and women to consider science and engineering as career choices, and mentoring new women engineers in the mining industry. She was elected to the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Board of Directors in 2014.


André Picard (June 2, 10:00 am, Sudbury, ON)

As a public health journalist for The Globe and Mail, André Picard’s work has shone a light on health policy in Canada. Considered one of the country’s leading voices on health policy, his work includes articles on the treatment of thalidomide survivors and on the death toll of asbestos. He is a best-selling author and the recipient of the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism, the Canadian Policy Research Award and the Atkinson Fellowship for Public Policy Research. 


Dr. Charles E Pascal (June 2, 2:30 pm, Sudbury, ON)

Dr. Charles Pascal is a Canadian educator with expertise in early and higher education, public policy and leadership development. In 2007, he was appointed Ontario’s Special Advisor on Early Learning. In June 2009, he released his seminal report With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario, which has informed policy and practice across and outside of Canada.  Dr. Pascal also serves as Chair of the Ontario Council of Regents for the province’s colleges of applied arts and technology and has held several Ontario Deputy Minister positions including the Premier’s Council on Health, Well-Being and Social Justice.


Joseph Roberts (June 23, 2:00 pm, Barrie, ON)

Joseph Roberts is a social activist, author, motivational speaker and CEO. Born and raised in Barrie, Mr. Roberts overcame personal struggles with addiction, poverty and homelessness.  He created a foundation dedicated to youth drug prevention after entering an alcohol and drug intensive treatment program.  As a motivational speaker, Mr. Roberts has reached thousands of young people.  He is currently leading a campaign to end homelessness among youth.  He was named to the Maclean’s Magazine’s Honour Roll in 2003 and has won several awards for his public service.