Message from 20th Chancellor Ralph Young

An image of Clara Hughes

Olympian Clara Hughes received an Honorary Degree from University of Alberta in 2014. She is pictured here with Chancellor Ralph Young.  Image courtesy of U of A photographer Richard Siemens.

The University of Alberta has been presenting honorary degrees to inspirational, influential, and visionary figures since its founding in 1908. These degrees have been presented in recognition of outstanding achievements in learning, discovery, and citizenship to such notable figures as Alexander Cameron Rutherford (1908), Mother Theresa (1982), and Lieutenant-General (Retired) Roméo A. Dallaire (2016). You can link to the Senate website for a chronological listing of honorary degree recipients since the founding of the university in 1908 here

During the term of Chancellor Tevie Miller, in 1987, librarians in Bruce Peel Special Collections began working with the Senate office to help us to celebrate each honorary degree by selecting a rare book that honours the recipient's accomplishments. Thanks to contributions from the Senate Library Endowment Fund, honorary degree books have been purchased in recognition of the outstanding achievements of such notable figures as Bruce Peel (1991), Alistair MacLeod (2002), and Clara Hughes (2014). These special books have greatly enhanced the library's research collections, and I am told that they are some of the most frequently requested items in Special Collections. During my term as Chancellor, I have always very much enjoyed being able to show these special items to honorary degree recipients.

This online exhibition celebrates a very special thirty year partnership between the Senate office and Bruce Peel Special Collections by celebrating both the honorary degree recipients and the special rare books selected to celebrate them. Congratulations to the teams at both the Senate office and at Bruce Peel Special Collections who have worked together on this wonderful program over the past thirty years.

                                                                         Ralph Young

Message from 20th Chancellor Ralph Young