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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees recognize individuals who have accomplished extraordinary achievements and remarkable service. These individuals have demonstrated a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more field; provided outstanding service to the greater society through non-academic achievements and/or public service; or made noteworthy contributions in areas relevant to the mission of the university and/or local community.

Awarded for outstanding achievement in social science in the broadest sense, or significant community contributions at the local, national or international levels.

Honorary Degree Recipient

The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa


In recognition of her remarkable work as a role model and champion of inclusion and diversity, and for her dedication to public service and educating Canadians about national issues that reflect our values of integrity and respect, the university proudly confers upon the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Madame Clarkson arrived in Canada from Hong Kong with her family in 1942 and made the incredible journey from penniless child refugee to accomplished broadcaster, journalist, and distinguished public servant in a multi-faceted lifetime.  

As Canada’s 26th Governor General (from 1999 to 2005), she demonstrated her passion for Canada’s North by establishing the Governor General’s Northern Medal, for outstanding contributions to the understanding and development of the North.

Upon leaving the viceregal office, with her husband John Ralston Saul, she co-founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) which helps new citizens feel involved and included in Canadian life. In addition to its special citizenship ceremonies, the ICC gives new citizens an opportunity to access and enjoy over 1,700 cultural institutions across the country, free for one year, under its Canoo program.

At age 26, she began her CBC broadcast career, headlining the program Take 30. Then in 1975, she was part of a team that launched CBC’s public affairs show The Fifth Estate, before going on to host and produce CBC’s first cultural program, Adrienne Clarkson Presents.

In the 1980s, she was Board Chair of the Canadian Museum of History, helping create a Canadian War Museum and negotiate the return of sacred objects to Indigenous Peoples.

In March 2007, Madame Clarkson became Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the first Canadian to be Colonel-in-Chief of a Canadian regiment. As Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces when she was Governor General, she developed a close tie with the Armed Forces and enjoys the connection with this small but proud and effective force today through her Regiment.

The University of Toronto’s Massey College established the Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service Award in her honour. She also founded the Clarkson Cup (Canada’s championship trophy for women’s hockey).

Madame Clarkson is among Canada’s most decorated citizens, receiving such accolades as France’s Grand Cross of the Order of Pleiades, and Germany’s Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit. Her many honorary fellowships include the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Her official titles include membership in the King’s Privy Council for Canada, Companion of the Order of Canada, Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, and the Canadian Forces Decoration.

A bestselling author, she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and after three years at the Sorbonne, she acquired a diploma in the French language. She has previously received 32 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and abroad. 

Mr. John Ralston Saul

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Mr. John Ralston Saul.jpg

In recognition of his award-winning contributions to Canadian literature, his philosophies on social justice, interdisciplinary study, freedom of expression, and championing of Indigenous rights, the university proudly confers upon Mr. John Ralston Saul the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Widely acclaimed as one of Canada’s leading thinkers, Mr. Saul is an award-winning essayist and novelist. His 14 works have been translated into 28 languages in 37 countries. His philosophical worksVoltaire’s BastardsThe Doubter’s CompanionThe Unconscious Civilization and On Equilibrium—have impacted political thought across the world.

Mr. Saul has written extensively about Canada. In A Fair Country and The Comeback he argues that modern Canada is profoundly shaped by Indigenous ideas. He is also the general editor of the ‘Extraordinary Canadians’ biographical series to which he contributed his own biography of the two founders of Canadian democracy: Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. In fact, the year 2023 marks Canada’s 175th anniversary of continuous democracy, dating back to when LaFontaine and Baldwin won responsible government from the British government in 1848.

In the mid-1970s, Mr. Saul was the assistant to the first Chair of Petro-Canada, helping establish the national oil company. He is Co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, President Emeritus of PEN International, Founder and Honorary Chair of Français pour l’avenir/French for the Future, and sits on the International Advisory Board for the Common Action Forum.

Over the years, Mr. Saul has lectured extensively around the world. He is a Companion in the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario as well as an Officer in Germany’s Order of Merit and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. His many literary awards include Chile’s Pablo Neruda Medal, South Korea’s Manhae Grand Prize for Literature, Italy’s Premio Lettarario Internazionale and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

Mr. Saul earned his bachelor’s degree at McGill University and PhD at King’s College, University of London. He holds 21 honorary degrees from universities across the globe.