A beloved sports broadcaster, a tireless advocate for minority language rights in Canada, and an award-winning poet will receive honorary degrees at the University of Alberta’s graduation ceremonies this November.
“Each of our honorary degree recipients is a unique Canadian voice who has made a positive impact in both local and national communities,” said U of A chancellor Douglas Stollery. “I look forward to hearing their perspectives as we welcome them to our fall convocation celebrations.”
Ron MacLean is a Canadian icon who has made enduring contributions to sport and culture as a broadcaster, author and mentor. His wit, poise and extensive knowledge as the host of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and a commentator at six Olympic Games have endeared him to generations of viewers. MacLean is a 10-time Gemini Award winner and two-time recipient of the George Gross Award for excellence in sports broadcasting. He has also written two books chronicling his life story and documenting Canadian hockey culture, and is co-chair and mentor at the Ve’ahtavta Street Academy in Toronto, which provides life skills development for adults struggling with homelessness. He was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2000, and Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2015.
Ron MacLean will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree November 19 at 3 p.m.
One of Canada’s pre-eminent advocates and defenders of minority linguistic and cultural rights, The Honourable Claudette Tardif has made considerable contributions to post-secondary education and public service. Born in Westlock, Alberta, she obtained a PhD at the U of A and returned to the university in 1977, initially as a professor at Faculté Saint-Jean, then as its dean from 1995 to 2003. She was acting vice-president of external relations when she was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005, and served until her retirement in 2018. She has also served on many boards and played a leading role on national and international committees related to education, culture, social issues and sport. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003 and the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, and was named to the French Legion of Honour in 2015.
Claudette Tardif will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree November 20 at 10 a.m.
One of Canada’s foremost contemporary poets, Alice Major has written 14 books of award-winning poetry and fiction, as well as a collection of essays. Born in Scotland, she grew up in Toronto and worked in British Columbia before coming to Edmonton in 1981, where she found her voice as a writer amid an emerging literary scene. She has continued to support that community ever since, serving as president of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the League of Canadian Poets, and as a founding board member and chair of the Edmonton Arts Council. She was named the City of Edmonton’s first poet laureate in 2005 and created the Edmonton Poetry Festival the following year. She was inducted into Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame in 2012 and was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award in 2017.
Alice Major will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree November 20 at 3 p.m.