Laurier to present honorary degrees and Order of Wilfrid Laurier

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Laurier will be handing out honorary degrees at fall convocation to Ira Gluskin and Judy Da Silva, as well as an Order of Wilfrid Laurier University to the Grand Valley Educational Society who has made an impact from the grassroots level on the Brantford Campus.

Gluskin will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree at the ceremony on Oct. 26 at 1pm at Lazaridis Hall on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

“Ira Gluskin is a leader in business and philanthropy. He is recognized internationally for co-founding Gluskin Sheff and Associates, which became one of the largest non-bank private client wealth management firms in Canada. He is well-known for his commitment to charity and community involvement and he and his wife have donated more than $50 million over the past 20 years to hospitals; social outreach and religious fellowship; and arts and culture,” said Laurier president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy in an email statement.

“This includes contributions to the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics in the Finance area. His business acumen and philanthropy have previously been recognized through awarding of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his community and to Canada. It is indeed an honour for Laurier to award him with an honorary degree for his extraordinary accomplishments.”

Da Silva will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the convocation ceremony on Oct. 25 at 9:30am also at Lazaridis Hall.

“Judy Da Silva is a prolific activist, community leader and catalyst for change. A respected elder, Judy is an international award-winning advocate for Indigenous rights, environmental justice and women’s and children’s rights. Judy is a shining example of how one person can affect change in the world, and whose lifelong work aligns with Laurier’s values of environmental sustainability, water protection and human rights,” MacLatchy continued in an email statement.

“As Chair of the Honorary Degree Nomination committee, I am so happy that Laurier has the opportunity to recognize and celebrate these two remarkable leaders of Canadian society.” The Grand Valley Educational Society’s order from the university will be given to them on Oct. 29 at 2:30pm in the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford.

“It is really a way to recognize outstanding contributions an individual has made both locally, globally, nationally, it’s extraordinary leaders in our community, we do generally look at how the individuals not only exemplify that leadership but how do they align with the values of Laurier,” said Anna Kornobis, university secretary.

“It’s a part of convocation, the recipient is awarded the degree at convocation and they’re also our guest speaker, so they do an address to convocation, they are honoured and they are part of the ceremony. They became a central part of our ceremony and giving the address is really nice.”

Nominations happen twice a year, with the deadline for spring convocation being Nov. 15, while the deadline for next fall’s convocation is Feb. 15.

“When we look at the recipients, we also look at those who will reflect the full diversity of Canadian society and everything that Laurier exemplifies and the qualities that we stand for, it goes to our committee and they complete a nomination form and the letter has to be signed by two nominators, we have extensive discussion,” Kornobis said.

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