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 2022 honorary degree recipients

At Convocation Fall 2022, SFU will confer honorary degrees on Afua Cooper, Anne Giardini, Michelle Good and Rupert Raj.

Afua Cooper, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Afua Cooper is a lauded multidisciplinary scholar, author and artist. A leader in African-Canadian Studies, she is renowned for her examination of slavery, Black education, women studies and the African Diaspora; bringing international attention to issues of racism, inclusion and Black culture and advancing social justice and cultural awareness. 

The degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, will be conferred on Afua Cooper on Thursday, October 6 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Photo credit: Roger Mahler

Anne Giardini, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

SFU chancellor emeritus Anne Giardini is a celebrated business leader, lawyer and writer. The SFU alumnus is acclaimed for her groundbreaking leadership in the Canadian resource industry, contributions to numerous corporate boards and for championing the advancement of women, higher education and the arts. 

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, will be conferred on Anne Giardini on Friday, October 7 at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony.

Michelle Good, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Michelle Good is a Cree author, lawyer and advocate who shares the trauma and hardships faced by residential school survivors so that this history is not forgotten and the ongoing impact no longer be ignored. Her work is vital to the path of reconciliation and decolonization.

The degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, will be conferred on Michelle Good on Friday, October 7 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Rupert Raj, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Rupert Raj is a trailblazing trans activist, counsellor and author who has helped thousands of trans, intersex and Two-Spirit people in Canada and the U.S. through peer-support groups he co-founded, and his work as a political activist, gender consultant and psychotherapist.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, will be conferred on Rupert Raj on Thursday, October 6 at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony. He will be joining the ceremonies remotely. 

June 2022 honorary degree recipients

Penny Ballem, Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa

Dr. Penny Ballem is a recognized leader in health care and government and is a distinguished academic clinician. The former B.C. deputy minister of health has contributed significantly to reproductive and women’s health and is leading the delivery of more than 11 million COVID-19 vaccinations.

The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Penny Ballem on Thursday, June 9 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Dr. Ballem's citation
Dr. Ballem's convocation address (YouTube)

Cristina Mittermeier & Paul Nicklen, Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa

World-renowned conservationists and photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen are the duo behind SeaLegacy, a storytelling studio that uses stunning, visual storytelling to move people from apathy to action to help heal our ocean and save our planet.

The degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, was conferred on Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen on Thursday, June 9 at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony.

Dr. Mittermeier & Dr. Nicklen's citation
Dr. Mittermeier & Dr. Nicklen's convocation address (YouTube)

James Chi Ming Pau, Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa

Humanitarian Dr. James Chi Ming Pau, an SFU alumnus, has spent 47 years providing compassionate health services, improving the quality of life for seniors and people with addictions in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and helping build an inclusive society.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. James Chi Ming Pau on Tuesday, June 7 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Dr. Pau's citation
Dr. Pau's convocation address (YouTube)

Andrew Petter, Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa

SFU president emeritus Andrew Petter’s lifetime of service to the province and visionary leadership in academia, law and politics have had a transformative impact on post-secondary education, public policy and community betterment in B.C. and beyond.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Andrew Petter on Tuesday, June 7 at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony.

Dr. Petter's citation
Dr. Petter's convocation address (YouTube)

Robert Turner, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Robert Turner is a heritage consultant and an internationally recognized authority on B.C. and Northwestern transportation history. A fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, he is author or coauthor of 19 books on railway and maritime history.

The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Robert Turner on Friday, June 10 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Dr. Turner's citation
Dr. Turner's convocation address (YouTube)

Photo credit: Yukiko Onley

Alan Twigg, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Alan Twigg, a champion of our province’s literary world, has made a multitude of important contributions to literature in the province, writing 20 books and founding and publishing B.C. BookWorld newspaper for more than three decades.

The degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, was conferred on Alan Twigg on Wednesday, June 8 at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony.

Dr. Twigg's citation
Dr. Twigg's convocation address (YouTube)

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