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Law and business visionaries to receive honorary degrees

By Communications Staff

The country’s first Canadian-born black judge and the former president and dean of law at the University of Saskatchewan will be among those receiving honorary degrees at this year’s fall convocation ceremonies.

 Justice George Carter 

Justice George E. Carter is a lawyer and the country’s first Canadian-born black judge. Born in Toronto, Judge Carter graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1948 and was called to the bar a year later. He articled with the only black lawyer practicing in Ontario, B.J. Spencer Pitt, before opening his own firm in Toronto in 1952. He practiced in the areas of real estate, criminal and family law for 31 years until he was appointed an Ontario provincial court judge in 1979. He was later appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice, where he served for 16 years. Carter, who served in the Canadian Army from 1944 to 1945, is also a founding member of the Toronto Negro Veterans. He was a member of the Committee for the Adoption of Coloured Youngers, a founding member of the National Black Coalition of Canada, a founding member and past president of the Toronto Negro Business and Professional Association, and a board member of the Ontario Black History Society. He also played an instrumental role in the establishment of Legal Aid in Ontario. Judge Carter holds a Queen’s Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, among other awards and honours.

Justice George E. Carter will receive his honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 10:00am.


 Thomas Kierans 

Thomas Kierans has served at the helm of numerous companies and distinguished organizations. He is currently chair of council and vice president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He serves as a director and vice-chair of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is also co-chair of the research committee of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. Among his many corporate directorships, Mr. Kierans has been chaired the boards of a number of organizations, including the Canadian Journalism Foundation, CSI-Global Education, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Petro-Canada. He was previously CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute and President of McLeod Young Weir Ltd (later ScotiaMcLeod Inc.). Mr. Kierans is a senior fellow at Massey College, a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and executive chairman emeritus of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He serves on the board of Historica Canada, the Canadian Curatorial Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and is a heritage governor with the Royal Ontario Museum. He also chairs the board of Xylitol Canada Inc. Mr. Kierans was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Thomas Kierans will receive his honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 2:30pm.


 Michael M. Koerner 

Michael M. Koerner is the founder and president of Canada Overseas Investments Limited. He was an early participant in oil sands development with Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, Sun Oil Company of Canada, and Suncor Energy, where he was active as a director and served as the company’s chair for two years. He has also served as a director at CAE Industries, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Finning International and JP Morgan Canada. Active in the Canadian cultural community, Mr. Koerner is currently Chancellor of the Royal Conservatory of Music and was the driving force and principal benefactor in the creation of Koerner Hall. He is a trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he is also a past president of the board. He serves as director and treasurer of the Ontario Arts Foundation and as director and secretary-treasurer of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund. He has also served on the boards of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet School and the Bata Shoe Museum. Mr. Koerner was educated in England and Canada, and majored in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is a life trustee. He also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a member of the Order of Canada.

Michael M. Koerner will receive his honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 10:00am.


 Peter MacKinnon 

Peter MacKinnon (LLB ’72) is a former president (1999-2012) and dean of law at the University of Saskatchewan. He was admitted to the Bars of Ontario in 1975, and Saskatchewan in 1979. He has taught on various public law subjects, published articles and commentaries, and is co-editor of a number of books. Mr. MacKinnon served as a bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan for ten years and has been a career-long member of the Canadian Bar Association. He has also chaired the Canadian Association of Law Teachers, the Council of Canadian Law Deans, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. He is a member of the boards of the Council of Canadian Academies, the Stem Cell Research Foundation and the Confederation of the Arts in Charlottetown, PEI. Mr. MacKinnon has also served on the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada and continues to serve on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Public Service and on the Chief Justice’s Advisory Committee of the Canadian Judicial Council. He also chairs the Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council. Mr. MacKinnon is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Queen’s Counsel and a recipient of the Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch) Distinguished Service Award, among other honours.

Peter MacKinnon will receive his honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 2:30pm.