Queen's 175th Anniversary

Queen's University Queen's University

[Queen's University Douglas Library]
[Queen's University Douglas Library]
Celebrating Queen's 175th Anniversary

Honorary Graduates

In celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary, Queen’s reserved all of its honorary degrees in 2016 for alumni. Throughout the spring and fall convocations, the Gazette profiled the honorary degree recipients to explore how their time at Queen’s influenced their lives and careers.

  • [Michelle MacLaren]
    Michelle MacLaren

    For Hollywood director and producer Michelle MacLaren, receiving the call saying she had been selected to receive an honorary degree from Queen’s was not unlike her first Emmy nomination. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Judith Thompson]
    Judith Thompson

    Luminary playwright Judith Thompson's honorary Doctor of Laws is the latest honour in a highly-lauded career in the dramatic arts. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Andrew Feustel]
    Andrew Feustel

    His career as a geophysicist has taken Andrew Feustel, PhD’95 ,from deep underground mines across North America to over 500 km above the earth as an astronaut servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Carol Ann Budd]
    Carol Ann Budd

    Carol Ann Budd – a revered mentor and role model to generations of Aboriginal youth, a strong supporter of Aboriginal programs and initiatives at Queen’s, and the science, technology, engineering, and math fields in particular, and a champion for Aboriginal women across Canada – said the granting of her honorary degree was a proud moment for all Aboriginal women. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Stephen H. Safe]
    Stephen H. Safe

    Stephen H. Safe, distinguished professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, shared a story about his experiences on the Queen’s varsity tennis team to convey that though, in certain pursuits, your best efforts may still fall short, you should still enjoy small victories along the way. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Brian Yealland]
    Brian Yealland

    Former Queen’s Chaplain Brian Yealland, with his usual grace and wisdom, urged graduating students to make room for the heart and soul, the spiritual work of living, in all that they set out to do in their lives. Dr. Yealland founded the Interfaith Council in 1983 at Queen’s, working with many to develop new protocols to accommodate religious needs on campus. He was chaplain at Queen's for 30 years. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • [Wendy Crewson]
    Wendy Crewson

    From a young age, Ms. Crewson knew she wanted to act. At Queen's, she started in English but soon switched to drama. After graduating in 1977, Ms. Crewson acted in both Canadian and American film and television productions including Air Force One with Harrison Ford, The Santa Clause film series opposite Tim Allen and Saving Hope as Dr. Dana Kinney. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • [Debra Pepler]
    Debra J. Pepler

    Honorary degree recipient Debra J. Pepler says healthy relationships are the building blocks of a healthy society. They are the foundation of her groundbreaking research through Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)with co-scientific director Wendy Craig. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • [Ali Velshi with Peter Milliken]
    Ali Velshi

    A career in media was never the original plan for Mr. Velshi, Artsci’94. After Queen's, he received a fellowship to the United States Congress, before turning to journalism – eventually, leading to his own show on CNN. Covering monumental events such as the financial crisis of 2008, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, he became a household name in news. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • [Eileen Hutton]
    Eileen K. Hutton

    Honorary degree recipient Eileen Hutton says her work is the extension of early health-care pioneer Lady Aberdeen, the first woman to receive an honorary degree at Queen’s, and indeed the first in Canada, in 1897. Dr. Hutton is currently assistant dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences and director of midwifery at McMaster University, as well as professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • Piers Handling
    Piers Handling

    Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, Piers Handling found his calling while studying history at Queen's. He has overseen TIFF’s evolution into one of the biggest and most influential film festivals in the world. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

  • [Ronald McCallum]
    Ronald McCallum

    Upon earning his Master of Laws, Ronald McCallum returned home where he would become a law lecturer at his alma mater Monash University and would eventually become the first blind person to be appointed to a full professorship in any subject at an Australian university. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Dean Woodhouse with P. Kim Sturgess]
    P. Kim Sturgess

    Ms. Sturgess has enjoyed a long and successful career working as the chief executive officer for a number of technology-based companies. She is also the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, a services organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [Chancellor Leech, Donald Creighton Rae Sobey , Dean Saunders]
    Donald Creighton Rae Sobey

    Donald R. Sobey, Com'57, is an inductee of both the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. Mr. Sobey and his son Rob (Artsci'88) have created scholarships to support Atlantic Canadian students who want to study commerce at Queen's. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

  • [The Tragically Hip]
    The Tragically Hip

    The Tragically Hip took the stage in Grant Hall on May 19 to receive an honorary degree during the commencement ceremony for the 2016 School of Medicine graduating class. The event was a homecoming of sorts for The Hip, with even the location of the ceremony holding special significance for the band. (Photo by Bernard Clark)


The historical content of this site was curated by a committee of faculty and staff with submissions from the broader Queen’s community.
These moments are not intended to represent an exhaustive history of the university, but rather significant sign posts in its development.
Special thanks go to University Historian Duncan McDowall for his contributions.
Many thanks also to the people of Queen's University Archives for their support of this anniversary project.
Have feedback about the moments? Please contact qu175@queensu.ca