MRU’s process for choosing honourary degrees
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
Recently, Mount Royal University celebrated Fall 2018 Convocation with students graduating from a variety of programs. At every convocation the university hands out ‘honorary degrees’ to public figures and important people in the community.
According to MRU’s guidelines for selecting honorary degrees, “By legislation, Mount Royal University is allowed to award any honorary credential that it currently offers. Consequently, at the current time, Mount Royal’s honorary degrees will be limited to credentials at the baccalaureate and certificate level.”
When going through the process of selecting an individual, the university highlights their reasoning for selection. The individuals are selected by The Mount Royal Honorary Appointments Committee.
The committee goes through potential candidates and selects someone that has been recognized for their accomplishments on a national level. The candidate must have also used their position or work for the “betterment of society.” As well, they must “have some relationship to Mount Royal University.” This relationship can be an alumni recognition or in “the form of a relationship or association directly or indirectly though the individual’s achievements and the mission or life of the University.”
The selection happens through an “in-camera” session. The guideline says, “Results of the in-camera session are confidential. Minutes of the session are not included in the circulated minutes. These minutes are kept in the Honorary Appointments Committee file.”
An individual who is selected and approved to receive an honorary degree will be “be contacted by the President of the university, as Chair of the Honorary Appointments Committee, following the approval of the Board of Governors.”
Then, the Board of Governors also reserves the right to “revoke any honorary degree conferred by Mount Royal University.”
The guidelines set out for honorary degrees were approved by the Board of Governors in 2010.
Several notable individuals to receive honorary degrees are:
– Peter Mansbridge (1996) Chief Correspondent of CBC Television News (Honorary Bachelor of Applied Communications in Journalism)
– Mr. Peter Lougheed (2010) Former Alberta Premier (Honorary Bachelor of Applied Policy Studies)
– David Bissett (2012) Founder of Bissett Investment Management & Philanthropist (Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration)
– Chief Rick Hanson (2013) Calgary Police Service (Honorary Bachelor of Arts – Justice Studies)
– Gregg Saretzky (2013) President & CEO, Westjet (Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration)
– Bret Hart (2018) retired WWE Wrestler (Honorary Bachelor of Health and Physical Education – Physical Literacy)
– Paul Brandt (2018) Country Musician (Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration in General Management)
MRU has given an honorary degree every year from 1995 to current.