Skip to content

No honorary Laurentian doctorates to be issued this spring

University says ceremonies ‘streamlined to focus on celebrating our students and their accomplishments’ as it pauses honorary degrees for a second year
271019_KF_lu_convocation_14
Laurentian University president Robert Haché, then brand-new to his position, is seen here giving his inaugural address at LU’s fall convocation in the fall of 2019. (File)

Laurentian University has confirmed that for the second year in a row, no honorary doctorates will be conferred at its spring convocation ceremonies.

There were also no honorary doctorates conferred at the fall convocation ceremony last October.

"This year's convocation ceremonies have been streamlined to focus on celebrating our students and their accomplishments,” said a written statement issued by Laurentian’s communications department.

For more than a year, Laurentian has been undergoing insolvency restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (or CCAA), which has involved mass layoffs and program cuts.

The university is in the process of negotiating a plan of arrangement to pay out its creditors so it can finally exit the CCAA process.

Last spring, Laurentian told Sudbury.com it made the decision not to award honorary doctorates during the ongoing pandemic “that has forced all activities, including convocation, to be virtual while Laurentian navigates through its restructuring.”

Global mine reclamation expert Margarete Kalin-Seidenfaden, the only person to receive an LU honorary doctorate in 2020, is the most recent name on the list of Laurentian honorary doctorate recipients going back to 1961.

This year’s spring convocation ceremonies will be held in-person for the first time since 2019. A convocation ceremony for 2020 and 2021 alumni will be held Monday, May 30. Ceremonies for this year’s graduates will be held May 31 through June 3. 

A full listing of Laurentian convocation ceremonies is available online here.

Laurentian president Robert Haché spoke about plans for the convocation ceremonies in a written statement earlier this week.

Haché noted that with the recent completion of the winter semester, many students have completed their graduation requirements and are set to receive their degrees on stage in the upcoming convocation ceremonies. 

“During this time, we also are proud to celebrate those who graduated during the pandemic and were not able to attend an in-person convocation ceremony,” stated Haché. “We will hold a unique ceremony to recognize these graduates on May 30.”

All those attending convocation were reminded that Laurentian's “face coverings policy” remains in effect and masks will be required throughout the ceremony. For those who are unable to attend, the convocation will be live streamed.

Heidi Ulrichsen is the associate content editor at Sudbury.com. She also covers education and the arts scene.