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Esther Suen, Ovide Mercredi, and Gregg Hansen

Esther Suen, Ovide Mercredi, and Gregg Hanson are recipients of honorary degrees at the 2018 Fall Convocation

Leaders in business, philanthropy, and Indigenous rights to receive honorary degrees

51st Fall Convocation

September 24, 2018 — 

Held twice per year, Convocation ceremonies at the University of Manitoba recognize new graduates as well as bestow honorary degrees upon individuals who have achieved pre-eminence in the advancement of culture, communications, education, administration, scholarship, leadership, philanthropy, mentorship and business.

At the university’s upcoming 51st Fall Convocation ceremonies, held Oct. 16-18, the following remarkable individuals—all of them U of M alumni—will be awarded honorary degrees:


Esther Suen − BComm(Hons)(Manitoba), Honorary Fellow(Hong Kong)

This U of M graduate transformed her family’s business into one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-end electrical appliances. Esther Suen is vice-chair and managing director of Hong Kong-based Simatelex Manufactory Company Ltd., which produces more than 20 million products a year for some of the world’s biggest brands—from Keurig to Cuisinart. Through the company’s charitable foundation, she supports a wide range of causes in higher education, medical research, emergency relief and the arts.

Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 3:30 PM
Investors Group Athletic Centre (IGAC), Fort Garry Campus


Ovide Mercredi − OM, LLB(Manitoba), LLD (Bishop’s, St. Mary’s, Lethbridge), DLitt(Athabasca)

A former Manitoba regional chief and national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, Ovide Mercredi grew up immersed in the values of his Cree culture and continues to chart a path towards reconciliation. He played pivotal roles during the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, and the Oka Crisis. As a U of M law student, he launched the first Indigenous students’ association in Canada, and successfully lobbied for a Native studies department and the first pow wow on campus.

Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 3:30 PM
Investors Group Athletic Centre (IGAC), Fort Garry Campus


Gregg Hanson − CM, BComm(Hons)(Manitoba)

Gregg Hanson is a business leader with a well-deserved reputation for strengthening Manitoba communities. This former president and CEO of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance grew the company into the largest mutual insurance firm in Canada. As a tireless volunteer, he has brought his expertise to many organizations that enrich his community, from the United Way to the Winnipeg Foundation. At the University of Manitoba—his alma mater—he is a member of the President’s Front and Centre campaign team.

Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 3:30 PM
Investors Group Athletic Centre (IGAC), Fort Garry Campus


Each session of Convocation will be streamed online. Follow #umanitoba2018 on Twitter and Instagram to see more.

Honorary Degrees are awarded twice annually, at spring and fall convocations. Find out more about how to nominate a deserving individual.


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