2017 Fall Convocation Honorary Degree Speeches
During 2017 Fall Convocation, we celebrated the honours bestowed upon four trailblazing individuals. They, in turn, inspired our graduands with their achievements and their words. Honorary degrees for distinguished achievement were awarded to:
Micheal O’Siadhail – Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Micheal O’Siadhail, one of Ireland’s most prolific and widely read contemporary poets, inspires his readers to explore the human experience in profound and imaginative ways. The University of Manitoba was proud to award him an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
O’Siadhail said: “Out in the jazz of life, keep riffing on the generous dream your student days allowed you to dream, but remember the greatest dreams demand a subtle interplay of disciplines learned and freedom’s dared let-go. The solos that trust in listening well will shape in concert the music to come. Play meticulously, dream boldly.”
Miriam Toews – Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Miriam Toews, one of Manitoba’s most original and brave voices, whose novels explore topics society generally prefers to ignore, such as mental illness and suicide. The University of Manitoba was proud to honour her with an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
Toews humbly stated: “It’s a terrific and special honour to share this moment with the graduating class of 2017, especially as my parents, my sister and I are all alumni of the University of Manitoba.”
Elder Louis Peninshish (Bird) – Thursday, October 19, 2017
Elder Louis Peninshish (Bird), a master storyteller who dedicated his life to gathering, recording and learning by heart the stories of his Omushkego Cree people, in order to preserve his community’s wisdom and traditions for future generations. The University of Manitoba was proud to honour him with an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
Elder Louis Peninshish advised: “If you’re serious about reconciliation, you have to support projects like mine. Help our people learn their language, because it’ll revive our knowledge of the past and build our young people’s esteem. We need them to be proud of who they are.”
The Honourable Douglas D. Everett – Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Honourable Douglas D. Everett, an influential entrepreneur and politician who created one of Canada’s largest independent gas retailers and, as a member of Canada’s Senate, led the nation in important conversations on wage and price control, the inflation rate and our unemployment system. The University of Manitoba was proud to honour him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), on Thursday, October 19, 2017.
Everett said simply: “As graduates of this great and respected institution, you have shown that you know how to set a goal and achieve it. Your futures are shimmering with possibilities. Still, I wish for you more than successful careers. I hope that being a good citizen of your community matters to you as well.”