media release

SFU announces 2018 Honorary Degree Recipients

March 20, 2018

Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3035/778.782.5151,   


An internationally renowned primatologist and animal rights activist, a Haida fashion designer, and an internationally acclaimed paediatrician and advocate for children’s health are among nine distinguished individuals to receive honorary degrees from Simon Fraser University in 2018.

During the spring convocation ceremonies June 12-15, SFU will confer honorary degrees on:

Michael Francis, a chartered accountant, innovator and leader who has devoted much of his life to community engagement. A chair emeritus of SFU’s Board of Governors, he has made immense contributions to business, education and the arts in B.C. and Canada.

Dorothy Grant, a Haida fashion designer, has combined her artistic and business acumen to create a new era of contemporary fashion design that evokes self-respect and pride for First Nations culture.

Ashok Khosla, an internationally renowned pioneer in environmental sustainability, develops conceptual frameworks and global systems for promoting a sustainable future that has had profound impacts in India and around the globe.

Crystal Pite, an internationally renowned Canadian choreographer. Pite’s creations, sought by companies such as the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet, are renowned for being masterfully crafted and profoundly human.

Madeleine Thien, who is a Canadian author, has won Canada’s top literary awards. This includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction, for her novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing. It was also shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Stanley Zlotkin, a paediatrician, professor and internationally acclaimed advocate for children's health. He has developed a micronutrient powder that is helping to improve the health of millions of infants and children in the developing world.

At the fall convocation ceremonies, October 4-5, the recipients will be:

Jane Goodall, a celebrated primatologist, ethologist, environmentalist, animal rights activist and UN Messenger of Peace. She is best known for her lifelong, pioneering study of chimpanzee behaviour in Africa and her work to prevent their extinction.

Alison Gopnik, an internationally recognized leader in the study of cognitive science. Her research exploring children’s learning and development has revealed surprising discoveries about children’s sophisticated learning abilities.

Mariana Mazzucato, a professor at University College London where she directs the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is author of the highly acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State and the forthcoming book The Value of Everything. She is a Special Advisor to the European Commission on mission oriented innovation and was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' in The New Republic magazine.*

*Note: Mariana Mazzucato was originally scheduled to receive an honorary degree in 2017 but was unable to attend the ceremony.

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