Honorary Degree Recipients

Special Convocation with
Dr. Roberta Bondar

On July 21, 2017, Dr. Roberta Bondar joined Cape Breton University as the newest Honorary Degree recipient. The ceremony was held at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site underneath the shadow of the replica of the Silver Dart and featured performances by the renowned Canadian choral group, the Elmer Isler Singers. 

Every year, by awarding honorary degrees, CBU acknowledges amazing individuals who work tirelessly to positively impact the world around them. Not only are the honorary degrees a powerful way of welcoming new individuals to the Cape Breton University family and to say thank you—they serve as an inspiration for current students to strive for greatness!

CBU has been awarding honorary degrees since 1989, and during that time, we’ve welcomed some pretty incredible people into the alumni family!


William Downe

Lydia Adams


Deborah Gillis

Grosvenor Blair

Dave MacIsaac

Dr. Roberta Bondar (Special Convocation)

Eunice Harker

Mary Rebecca Julian

Dr. Hussain Al Jasmi – CIC Eygpt

Yehia ElFakhrany – CIC Eygpt


Ashley D. MacIsaac

Martin Chernin

The Honorable Frank Iacobucci

Dr. Paulette Tremblay

Charlie Joe Dennis (Posthumous)

Heba El Sewedy – CIC Eygpt

Omar Khairat – CIC Eygpt


Eleanor Catherine Bernard

John L. Bragg

Eileen Marie Pottie Forrester

The Barra MacNeils

David F. Sobey

Donald R. Sobey

Niazy Abdallah Sallam – CIC Eygpt


July 2015 (Special Convocation)

Mabel Bell (Posthumous)


Anne Frances D’Intino
Colin MacDonald


Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
Howard Wetston
Andrew D. Lynk
Gordon Francis Sampson


Vishy Karri
Wanda Eloise Robson
Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod
Lowell Murray
James D. Irving
Lloyd MacDonald
Teresa MacNeil


Al MacNeil
Joella Lynn Foulds
Joseph A. Schwarcz


Brian Llewellyn Evans
Margaret T. Gillis
Linden Joseph MacIntyre
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin
Chief Terry Paul
Ronald Daniel Stewart
Clotilda Adessa Coward Douglas Yakimchuk

May 2013

Andrew Lynk, Sydney, NS (Letters)
Gordon Francis Sampson, Nashville, TE, and Big Pond, NS (Letters)

October 2012

Vishy Karri, Safat, Kuwait (Letters)
Wanda Eloise Robson, North Sydney, NS (Letters)

October 2012 (Special Convocation)

Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod, Baddeck, NS (Letters)

May 2012

Lowell Murray, Margaree, NS (Letters)

October 2011

James D. Irving, Saint John, NB (Letters)
Lloyd MacDonald, Ironville, NS (Laws)
Teresa Sarah MacNeil, Johnstown, NS (Letters)

July 2011 (Special Convocation)

Allister (Al) MacNeil, Calgary, AB and Big Pond, NS (Laws)

May 2011

Joella Lynne Foulds, Boularderie, NS (Letters)
Joseph A. Schwarcz, Montreal, QC (Letters)

October 2010

Margaret T. Gillis, S.C., New Waterford, NS (Laws)
Linden Joseph MacIntyre, Toronto, ON (Letters)
Ronald Daniel Stewart, Halifax, NS (Laws)

October 2010 (Special Convocation)

The Right Honourable Beverley M. McLachlin, P.C., Ottawa, ON (Laws)
June 2010 (Special Convocation)
Chief Terrance J. Paul, Membertou, NS (Laws)

May 2010

Brian Llewellyn Evans, Calgary, AB (Letters)
Clotilda Adessa Coward Douglas Yakimchuk, Sydney, NS (Laws)

October 2009

Patrick J. Bates, Sydney, NS (Laws)
Murdena M. and Albert D. Marshall, Eskasoni, NS (Letters)
A Anne McLellan, Edmonton, AB (Laws)

May 2009

Professor Robert J. Cormack, Inverness, Scotland (Letters)
Nelson Eddie Davis, Glace Bay, NS (Laws)
Mary Catherine (Kay) MacDonald, New Waterford, NS (Letters)

October 2008

Purdy Crawford, Toronto, ON (Laws)
Vincent James MacLean, East Bay, NS (Letters)
John Rankin MacSween, Ironville, NS (Letters)

May 2008

Beatrice Patricia LeBlanc, Sydney, NS (Laws)
Dr. Kenneth Mann, Halifax, NS (Letters)

November 2007

Silver Donald Cameron, Halifax and D’Escousse, NS (Letters)
Dr. Mohan Kaul, London, England (Letters)
Kevin Gordon Lynch, Ottawa, ON (Laws)
Claire M. Morris, Ottawa, ON (Laws)

May 2007

Lillian Eva (Quan) Dyck, Ottawa, ON (Letters)
John Thomas McLennan, Mahone Bay, NS (Laws)

Fall 2006

Magdy Elkady, Cairo, Egypt (Laws)
Mary Ellen GooGoo, Membertou, NS (Letters)
Janice Gross Stein, Toronto, ON (Letters)
Joseph Norman James Nearing, Vancouver, BC (Letters)
George Unsworth, Sydney, NS (Laws)

October 2006 (Special Convocation, Judique)

Hugh A. Buddy MacMaster, Judique, NS (Letters)

May 2006

Chief Edgar Alexander MacLeod, Sydney, NS (Laws)
Mr. John Malcom, Sydney, NS (Laws)
Dr. Susan Richardson, Athens, Georgia, USA (Letters)

August 2005

Stephen Henry Lewis, Toronto, ON (Laws)

May 2005

The Honourable Myra A. Freeman, Halifax, NS (Laws)
Dr. Dimitri Kanevsky, Ossining, NY (Laws)
Mr. Hugh Tweedie, Sydney, NS (Laws)

May 2004

Dr. John Tyler Bonner, Princeton, NJ (Letters)
Mr. Arthur Frances Fitzgerald, St. Louis, MO (Laws)

April 2004 (Presidents Installation)

Sister Dorothy Moore, Sydney, NS (Laws)
The Honourable Mr. Justice George Yates, ON (Laws)

May 2003

Father Paul Abbass, Frenchvale, NS (Laws)
Hon. Flora MacDonald, Ottawa, ON (Laws)
Irwin Simon, NY (Laws)
Jack Yazer, Sydney, NS (Laws)

May 2002

General Roméo Dallaire, ON (Laws)
Arthur DeFehr, MB (Laws)
Ron Joyce, AB (Laws)
Tom Kent, ON (Laws) (deceased)
Johnny Miles, ON (Laws) (deceased 2003)
Matt Minglewood, Glace Bay, NS (Letters)

May 2001

Hon. C. Denne Burchell, East Bay, NS (Laws) (deceased)
Shauna Doolan, Sydney, NS (Letters)
Hector Jacques, Halifax, NS (Laws)
Marion MacKinnon, Marion Bridge, NS (Laws) (deceased)
Sheelagh Whittaker, Austrialia (Laws)

May 2000

Matthew Fox – California (Letters)
John (Jack) Hartery – Port Hawkesbury, NS (Laws) (deceased 2001)
Marguerite MacDougall – Glace Bay NS (Letters) (deceased)
Helen Maksagak – Iqaluit, NU(Laws) (deceased)
Men of the Deeps Choir – Industrial CB, NS (Letters)
James O. St.Clair – Mull River, NS (Letters)

May 1999

Prof. George Bain – Ireland (Laws)
Ron Caplan – Sydney, NS (Letters)
John Crosbie – Newfoundland (Laws)
Alex Denny – Eskasoni, NS (Laws) (deceased)
Arthur Bruce McDonald – Ontario (Laws)
Norris Nathanson – Sydney, NS (Laws)
Hilary Weston – Ontario (Laws)

May 1998

John Allan Cameron – Ontario (Letters) (Deceased, 2006)
John & Jeanne Eyking – Boularderie, NS (Laws)
Mavis Gallant – France (Letters)
Joan Harriss – Sydney, NS (Letters) – (deceased May 2001)
Lynton Ronald Wilson – Ontario (Laws)

September 1997 (Special)

Mr. David C. Dingwall – Ottawa/Sydney, NS (Laws)
Mr. Joseph Shannon – Port Hawkesbury, NS (Laws)

May 1997

Mr. Leon Dubinsky – Englishtown, NS (Letters)
Ms. Rita Joe – Eskasoni, NS (Letters) (Deceased, March 2007)
Mr. Allan J. MacEachen – Ottawa/Inverness (Laws)
Mr. Allister MacGillivray – Marion Bridge, NS (Letters)
Mr. Scott Macmillan – Halifax, NS (Letters)
Mr. William R. McNeil, II – Ontario (Letters) (deceased 2003?)

May 1996

Mr. Reuben Abramowsky – Montreal, Quebec (Letters)
Mrs. Mae Cameron – Sydney, NS (Letters) (deceased 2005)
Mr. Archie Neil Chisholm – Margaree, NS(Letters ) – (deceased 1997)
Mr. Farley Mowat – Ontario/River Bourgeois, NS  (Letters)
Dr. Joseph Roach – New Waterford, NS (Laws) (deceased 2005)

May 1995

Dr. Winnie Chafe – Glace Bay, NS (Letters)
Mr. William H. Marsh – New Waterford, NS (Laws)
Mr. Lawrence Paul, Sr. – Membertou, NS (Laws) (deceased)
Mr. Daniel Petrie –  California/Glace Bay, NS (Letters) (deceased 2004)


Ms. Rita MacNeil – Big Pond, NS
Mr. Frank Stronach – Ontario (Laws)
Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani – Glace Bay, NS


Dr. Daniel S. Nathanson – New Waterford, NS (deceased 1997)
Dr. John C. O’Donnell – Antigonish, NS



Dr. Alistair MacLeod – Ontario
Sister Rita Clare – Sydney, NS


Dr. Donald Fergusson – Halifax, NS (deceased)
Dr. George Springate – Quebec
Dr. Marion Mathieson – Sydney, NS (deceased)


Dr. Richard Goldbloom – Halifax, NS
Dr. George MacEachern – Sydney, NS (deceased)
Dr. M.A. MacLellan – Sydney, NS (deceased)