Honorary degree recipients

SFU's honorary degree is the highest honour conferred by the university. The degrees are awarded to distinguished individuals in recognition of their scholarly, scientific or artistic achievement, or in recognition of exceptional contribution to the public good. Honorary degree recipients' achievements celebrate our values and serve as an inspiration to our students, graduands and our community. 

Fall 2021 Honorary degree recipients

At the fall 2021 convocation ceremonies, SFU will confer honorary degrees on Dr. John Blatherwick, Catherine Clement, Margo Kane and Nurjehan Mawani, and recognize recent honorary degree recipients Dr. John Borrows, Dr. Herb (Jay) James and The Honourable Dr. Wally Oppal who were conferred degrees virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

John Blatherwick, Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa

Dr. John Blatherwick is a trailblazing public health leader and widely recognized as one of Canada’s longest-serving medical health officers. His achievements include responding to the SARS epidemic and establishing the first non-smoking in the workplace by-law.

Catherine Clement, Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa

Catherine Clement, an award-winning community history curator, exhibition designer and dedicated volunteer, has been fundamental in uncovering and sharing stories of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown and Chinese Canadian history, shedding light on the lives of people from marginalized communities.

Margo Kane, Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa

Margo Kane is a renowned interdisciplinary artist and a major advocate for advancing Indigenous performing arts in Canada. She has dedicated her life to mentoring Indigenous artists and creating opportunities to showcase their work and culture.

Nurjehan Mawani, Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa

A lawyer, humanitarian, global Canadian and consensus-builder, Nurjehan Mawani is a champion of human rights, inclusion and gender equity. Her groundbreaking work in law and policy transformed refugee determination to recognize gender-related persecution in Canada and internationally.

Recent honorary degree recipients being recognized this fall

John Borrows, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Dr. John Borrows is a leading authority on Indigenous, constitutional and environmental law who helped establish the world’s first Indigenous law degree and whose scholarship is having a transformative impact on reconciliation efforts in Canada and around the world.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Borrows on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at the Virtual Convocation ceremony.

Herb (Jay) James, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

A charter student at SFU, Dr. Herb James has, through his foundation, spent more than half a century providing free hearing screening and treatment, including surgeries to deaf and hard of hearing children in developing countries.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. James on Monday, June 21, 2021 at the Virtual Convocation ceremony.

Wally Oppal, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

The Honourable Dr. Wally Oppal, a former judge and B.C. attorney general, has led five high-profile commissions on policing and is a groundbreaking leader in B.C.’s South Asian community. He has made significant contributions to law, community safety and justice for society’s most vulnerable.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on the Honourable Dr. Oppal on Monday, June 21, 2021 at the Virtual Convocation ceremony. 

For more information, contact Ceremonies and Events at invite@sfu.ca