Mount Allison has a long tradition of offering honorary degrees at Convocation to individuals who reflect the vision and values of our community.
Honorary degrees are awarded to those who are nationally or internationally recognized in their fields, those who have demonstrated service to Mount Allison or the wider community, or prominent public persons.
Five distinguished Canadians will receive honorary degrees during the 2018 Convocation ceremonies:
- Sandra Crabtree — President of the Crabtree Foundation
- Arlen Dumas — Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
- Waneek Horn-Miller — athlete, advocate, and ambassador
- Bharat Masrani — Group President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group
- The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin — Canada's longest-serving chief justice
Sandra Crabtree’s connections to Mount Allison University run deep. Her father, the late Harold Roy Crabtree, was Mount Allison’s second University Chancellor from 1968-1977 and received an honorary degree in 1963. Crabtree herself graduated from Mount Allison with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Education as did several of her family members.
As President of the Crabtree Foundation, Sandra Crabtree leads and provides the philanthropic direction of the Foundation. Established by her grandfather Harold Crabtree in 1951, the Crabtree Foundation supports a number of organizations in several areas.
Since 1958, Mount Allison has been the recipient of one of the largest amounts granted to an organization by the Crabtree Foundation, contributing to a number of projects including: The Crabtree Building; the Meighen Centre; Crabtree Aqualab; Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts; the Campbell-Verduyn Fund; as well as many consequential initiatives in Canadian Studies.
Crabtree has also demonstrated her concern for New Brunswick rivers and fish stock through the Foundation’s support of several conservation organizations and research facilities.
Arlen Dumas is the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, an organization representing 63 First Nations in Manitoba. He has served nearly a decade as Chief of his home community —Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) in Pukatawagan. Dumas was raised by his grandfather on the trap-line where he was taught the culture, traditions, and practices of Missinnippi Nehethowak — the Cree people. It is his strong grounding in his language and ceremony that has helped him become the leader he is today. He also spent four years at Mount Allison as a political science and Canadian studies student, where he focused on leadership.
Dumas was first elected to Council of MCCN in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008. From there his community elected him as Chief in 2008 after which he was re-elected for four more consecutive terms. During his tenure as Chief, he made significant advancements for his community in the areas of health, housing, governance, and economic development.
Seeing his strong leadership and his commitment to working together in unity for the benefit of all First Nations, he was supported by his colleagues to sit as Grand Chief and Vice Grand Chief of the Swampy Cree Tribal Council, as well as Vice Grand Chief and Executive on Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) representing northern First Nations.
Waneek Horn-Miller is a Mohawk bear clan woman from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal. She is a survivor, an athlete, an advocate, and an ambassador.
Horn-Miller is well known for her extraordinary role in the 1990 OKA crisis, which was one of the most famous Aboriginal land claims battles in recent history. Her mother was one of the over 50 native rights activists arrested in this battle over the construction of a golf course and condominiums on disputed land. On the day that the stand-off was negotiated, the 14-year old Horn-Miller was stabbed close to the heart by a soldier while she was carrying her four-year old sister.
Encouraged by her mother to use the best of her ability, and living in an apartment across from the YMCA, she became a proficient swimmer and a provincial swimming champ at 13. She was motivated by watching fellow Mohawk community member Alwyn Morris win a gold in kayaking at the ‘84 Olympics — raising an eagle feather as he received the gold medal.
Horn-Miller went on to a career in water polo, winning gold at the Winnipeg Pan-Am games in 1999 and co-captaining Canada’s water-polo team at the Sydney Olympics. She was a torchbearer for Canada’s Winter Olympics in 2006. She retired as an athlete in 2008 but was Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. She was recently named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport by the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women in Sport.
Horn-Miller hosts her own health and wellness show on the APTN network — Working it out Together, is the coordinator of the First People’s House at McGill University, tours the country and the world as an expert motivational speaker, and is a passionate advocate for sports, fitness and wellness.
She is currently the brand ambassador for the aboriginal footwear company Manitobah Mukluk; the Director of the Storyboot project, a program that supports traditional artists by selling their art work; and is a Director of the Storyboot Schools, where the art of mukluks and moccasin making is passed on to the next generation. Most recently, she was appointed by Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kirsty Duncan to a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport.
Bharat Masrani has served as Group President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group since 2014. He is also a member of the TD Bank Group Board of Directors.
Masrani has more than 30 years of experience in banking, beginning his career with TD Bank Group in 1987 as a commercial lending trainee. He has held increasingly senior positions over the years.
In 2003, he was appointed vice-chair and chief risk officer of TD Bank Group. In 2006, he became the President of TD Banknorth, and in 2007, President and CEO. The next year he was named group head U.S. personal and commercial banking and President and CEO of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. He also served as vice-president and head, corporate banking Canada. Prior to being appointed Group President and CEO, he served for more than a year as TD Bank Group’s Chief Operating Officer.
Born in Uganda and raised and educated in the UK, Masrani’s career has taken him around the world. He worked in Europe as senior vice-president and Chief Executive Officer of TD Waterhouse Investor Services and senior vice-president, corporate finance and co-head in Europe, as well as vice-president and country head for India, where he set up TD’s first office in that country.
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin is the longest-serving Chief Justice of Canada as well as the first woman in Canada to hold this position. She was appointed Chief Justice of Canada in 2000 and retired in December 2017. Her tenure spanned the service of four governors general and four prime ministers.
Her outstanding judicial career began in April 1981 when she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. Later that year she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In 1985 she was elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal and was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1988. Just seven months later, in April 1989, she was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the beginning of 28 years of service in that court.
As chief justice, McLachlin pushed boundaries and transformed the high court into a modern institution. She led the court during a time of unprecedented legal and social change, helping to interpret the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which was relatively new when she began her work on the Supreme Court.
Her legacy includes seminal judgements on the country’s constitutional framework, charter rights like free speech and security of the person, and Indigenous law. During her tenure the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized assisted dying and prostitution, expanded Indigenous rights, and rebalanced how police and the legal system treat those accused of crimes. Her work has reached into every part of Canada’s legal system.
In addition to her judicial duties at the Supreme Court, she chaired the Canadian Judicial Council, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada, and the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. She is the author of numerous articles and publications and her debut mystery novel, Full Disclosure, was released this spring. She was recently appointed to Hong Kong's highest court — one of the first non-permanent judges in the special administrative region.
Past honorary degree recipients