Three Alumni Named to Order of Canada

Ondaatje, Adams and Evans

Three Queen’s alumni – an acclaimed author, the former president of the Canadian Space Agency, and one of Canada’s top pollsters – have been named to the Order of Canada.

Michael Ondaatje, MA’67, Michael Adams, Arts’69, and William “Mac” Evans, Sc’64, LLD’14, are among 100 people to be appointed to one of our country’s highest civilian honours.

Mr. Ondaatje is an acclaimed novelist and poet who has won several of Canada’s and the world’s top literary awards, including the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and the Booker Prize. His acclaimed novel, The English Patient, was turned into an Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. Mr. Ondaatje is one of only three people who were promoted to Companion, which is the highest level within the Order.

Mr. Evans is considered a key architect of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He served as CSA president from 1994 to 2001. During his career at the CSA, he negotiated Canada’s role in the International Space Station and helped select nine Canadian astronauts. In 2012 he received the John H. Chapman Award of Excellence, which goes to people who have made a remarkable contribution to the advancement of the Canadian Space Program

Mr. Adams is the co-founder of Environics Research Group and one of Canada’s leading experts on public opinion, demographics, and trends. Environics is one of Canada’s top research firms, and the company’s public opinion polls are often quoted in the media. He is also the author of several books, including Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism (2007). He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Canadian communications by Marketing magazine 

“Some of Canada’s best and brightest have spent their formative years at Queen’s. I'd like to congratulate these three alumni on their Order of Canada honours and for their excellence in representing the Queen's community,” says Queen’s University Alumni Association President Sue Bates, Artsci’91.

Also being named to the Order is Hugh Segal, a former fellow with the Queen’s School of Policy Studies, and ex-Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff, who received an honorary degree from Queen’s in 2001.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 by Queen’s alumnus and Member of Parliament John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’80. He said the Tricolour Society at Queen’s served as a model for the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada recipients will be honoured at a ceremony with Governor General David Johnston, Law’66, later this year.