Royal Roads University to bestow honorary law degrees

The school is honouring three people for the passion and purpose they bring to their work during its Fall Convocation ceremonies Nov. 15.

Royal Roads University is honouring three diverse individuals for the passion and purpose they bring to their work, during its Fall Convocation ceremonies Nov. 15.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for her outstanding leadership and service to children and youth in Canada, notably to indigenous children and their families. The first indigenous person to sit on the judicial bench for the province of Saskatchewan, Turpel-Lafond placed a strong focus on better serving the needs of young people in the justice system. She served as B.C.’s first Representative for Children and Youth for five terms before announcing her decision to leave that position at the end of November.

Poet David Whyte established a reputation for bringing his ideas and verse into the business world as a way of increasing creativity and adaptability in the work place. An associate fellow at the Said Business School at Oxford University and author of eight books, Whyte will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his poetry and thoughtful commentary illustrating what he calls “conversational leadership.”

Eric Charman will receive the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award for championing arts in the Capital Region. Charman has dedicated his life to supporting arts through fundraising and events raising arts awareness.

He continued that work during and after his career in financial services and real estate, raising millions of dollars for the Victoria Art Gallery, Victoria Symphony, Kaleidoscope Theatre and Pacific Opera Victoria, among many others.

Recognizing outstanding individuals from a variety of professions and experiences by bestowing the highest honours on them is a responsibility Royal Roads takes very seriously, said RRU president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon.

“They are held up to our graduates as role models to emulate in their own careers and professions and in the contributions they make to their communities,” he noted.

This fall’s convocation at the Royal Theatre recognizes the achievements of 800 graduates who have earned degrees, certificates or diplomas in the Faculty of Management and the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. The graduates will join the ranks of more than 24,000 RRU alumni in more than 60 countries.