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Outstanding graduates and remarkable Canadians among recipients of honorary degrees

140th annual Spring Convocation of the University of Manitoba on May 3 and 23, and June 4 to 10, 2019

April 11, 2019 — 

Each year, the University of Manitoba bestows honorary degrees upon individuals who have achieved acclaim for their advancement of culture, communications, education, administration, scholarship, leadership, philanthropy, mentorship, or business.

During the 140th annual Spring Convocation of the University of Manitoba on May 3 and 23, and June 4 to 10, 2019, the following noteworthy individuals will be awarded honorary degrees:


Paul Desmarais Jr. O.C., O.Q.
Doctor of Laws
June 4, 2019, 3:00 pm

Paul Desmarais Jr.

Preeminent Canadian businessman Paul Desmarais Jr. has led Power Corporation of Canada into the 21st Century and built a corporate culture envied around the world. Mr. Desmarais is chairman and CEO of one of our country’s most successful corporations, with annual revenues of $30 billion. He spearheads the building of healthier, more vibrant communities through his significant philanthropic work, both personally and through Power Corporation of Canada. At the University of Manitoba, he led Power Corporation of Canada’s support of the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre and Research Investment Fund and the Institute for Leadership Development. Mr. Desmarais has received numerous accolades for his work and has been named Insigne d’Officier de l’Ordre de la Couronne in Belgium in 1994, Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France in 2012.


Carolyn S. Duhamel
Doctor of Laws
June 10, 2019, 2:00 pm (Université de Saint-Boniface)

Carolyn Duhamel

Throughout her nearly five-decade career, Carolyn Duhamel has greatly contributed to the advancement of education in Manitoba. Ms. Duhamel has distinguished herself through her highly successful 15-year tenure as executive director of the Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA), during which time she skilfully led the reform and implementation of a new governance model that continues to be recognized as a highly effective practice. Prior to her work with the MSBA, Ms. Duhamel was executive director of the Manitoba Council for Leadership in Education, where she worked in collaboration with partners in the educational field to implement a professional development program for education professionals. Bilingual herself, Ms. Duhamel has always been committed to promoting bilingual and multicultural education. She is an agent of change whose ability is matched only by her determination to ensure that education in Manitoba is of the highest quality.


Janice Y. Lederman
Doctor of Laws
June 6, 2019, 3:00 pm

Jan Lederman

Janice Lederman [BA/74, LLB/77] has had a distinguished career as a business lawyer and influential advisor to emerging entrepreneurs in Winnipeg. She is co-founder and president of Valhalla Private Capital Inc., one of Western Canada’s most active venture capital firms. In recent years, as co-founder and president of Innovate Manitoba, she helped more than 400 researchers and companies—many originating from the University of Manitoba—turn their ideas into profitable businesses, creating prosperity for our province and nation. A natural leader, Ms. Lederman has presided over the Manitoba New Democratic Party, Assiniboine Credit Union, and the United Way of Winnipeg, among other organizations. At her alma mater, Ms. Lederman helped establish a start-up legal clinic, introduced a program on philanthropy, and chaired the Board of Governors. Her honours include a Distinguished Alumni Award and the Andre Mailhot Award, the United Way of Canada’s most prestigious honour.


Naomi Z. Levine
Doctor of Laws
June 7, 2019, 9:30 am

Naomi Levine

Naomi Levine [MA/70, LLB/76] has championed human rights for more than 40 years. In 1979, Ms. Levine helped draft an influential report urging the Canadian Human Rights Foundation to improve its relationship with Manitoba’s Indigenous peoples. Governments, institutions, and organizations have sought her expertise on legal and ethical matters, particularly workplace disputes and sexual harassment. As president of the Canadian Association against Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, Ms. Levine became a prominent national voice in campus controversies across the country. She was host of the popular CBC-Radio column Levine’s Law, and is a past president of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s board of governors, vice-chair of Legal Aid Manitoba, and vice-president of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council. She also helped develop executive programs at the University of Manitoba, including the I.H. Asper School of Business. Ms. Levine and her husband Arthur Mauro are major philanthropists supporting human rights education at our university and beyond. In 2003, Ms. Levine was named YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction.


Shelagh H.S. Rogers, O.C.
Doctor of Letters
June 5, 2019, 2:30 pm

Shelagh Rogers

Nationally celebrated radio host Shelagh Rogers has devoted almost 40 years to collecting and recounting the stories of Canadians from coast to coast. In recent years, as host of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, and as chancellor of the University of Victoria, Ms. Rogers has directed her legendary energy to promoting mental health, adult literacy, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Her trademark hearty laugh belied a decades-long struggle with depression, which motivated her to fight publicly against the stigma of mental illness. In recognition of her success in promoting Canadian culture throughout her lengthy career, and her numerous volunteer efforts, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Ms. Rogers also holds five honorary doctorates and was an honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, among her many accolades.


Shahina Siddiqui
Doctor of Laws
June 4, 2019, 9:30 am

Shahina Siddiqui

Shahina Siddiqui is the founder and executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association based in Winnipeg, a freelance writer, spiritual counsellor, and public speaker, and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College University of Karachi. Ms. Siddiqui’s community involvement is extensive. She served the community as a member of the RCMP Commissioner’s National Advisory Committee on Diversity as well as the RCMP Commanding Officers’ Diversity Committee of D Division in Manitoba. She has also served with several NGOs and community organizations in Winnipeg, sits on the National Advisory Board for the Canadian Association for Muslims with Disabilities, the board of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, the City of Winnipeg anti-racism Committee, Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, and the Manitoba Coalition for Human Equality. Ms. Siddiqui also served as community relations coordinator and did media outreach for the Manitoba Islamic Association from 1998 to 2003 and was a member of the advisory committee for United against Racism. A regular media commentator, both locally and nationally, she is often invited to present at national conferences on racism, policing, civil liberties, gender, Islam, human rights, and ethnocultural issues.


Robert Silver, O.M.
Doctor of Laws
May 23, 2019, 10:00 am (Rady Faculty of Health Sciences)

Robert Silver

For more than 30 years Mr. Robert Silver [BSc/70] has been a cornerstone in Manitoba business development and finance, and has made an extraordinary impact in our community. As president and co-owner of Western Glove Works Ltd. he has helped grow the company’s revenues upwards of $190 million. An extension of this manufacturing and merchandising giant, Silver Jeans Co., now sells products in more than 30 countries around the world. Mr. Silver is co-owner of the Warehouse One and Urban Barn retail chains. He is also co-owner of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Brandon Sun, CanStar Weeklies and Derksen Printers in Steinbach. Mr. Silver has shared his expertise on several boards, including CentrePort Canada, the Business Council of Manitoba and the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund. He spearheaded the redevelopment of the Millennium Library, helped lead the Grow Winnipeg initiative of the Jewish Federation and was a past chairman of Destination Winnipeg and the United Way of Winnipeg. As co-chairman of We Day Winnipeg, he inspires the next generation to create positive change. His position as Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg also affords him the opportunity to empower young people, removing barriers for student populations under-represented on campus.


Winston D. Wuttunee
Doctor of Letters
June 6, 2019, 9:30 am

Winston Wuttunee

A well-known name in the Canadian music industry since 1973, Indigenous entertainer Winston Wuttunee has wowed audiences across North America as well as Europe and Australia as a singer, keynote speaker, and comedian. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Mr. Wuttunee is fluent in Cree, English, and French, with a working knowledge of German. His formative years as a musician were spent in the Canadian Guards Regimental Band as a clarinettist, which allowed him to broaden his musical repertoire to include rock and roll, blues, country and western, pop, and classical music. Mr. Wuttunee has appeared on national television and radio, and in three films. He has many CDs and recordings, many of which have been major successes in Canadian music. In 2002, he became a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour bestowed upon him by the Annual Aboriginal Music Awards. In 2012 Mr. Wuttunee was nominated and received an Indspire Award (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards) for his work preserving the culture and promotion of Indigenous heritage and spirituality in Indigenous communities.



Learn more about Spring Convocation 2019 here.
Each session of Convocation will be streamed online.
Follow convocation ceremonies and events on #umanitoba2019 on Twitter and Instagram to see more.

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