Hockey Legend Al MacNeil to Receive Honorary Degree from Cape Breton University

Cape Breton native, Al MacNeil, has enjoyed a stellar hockey career, contributing to the sport as a player, coach and administrator, for more than 50 years. He has been recognized for his outstanding achievements and most notably, his name is etched on four major trophies – the Stanley Cup, Canada Cup, Memorial Cup and Calder Cup.

It is fitting, that as part of the Al MacNeil Builder of Champions Gala Event & Scholarship celebration, Cape Breton University will honour this great and humble man by presenting him with an honorary degree. MacNeil will receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, during a Special Convocation ceremony at CBU’s Boardmore Playhouse on Friday, July 8 at 3 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

“Throughout his career, Al MacNeil has excelled in all aspects of the game of hockey, and he has done so with humility and grace, making him an exceptional role model for our student-athletes,” says Dr. John Harker, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University. “He achieved success through hard-work, dedication and focus, while being respectful of others. Such are the qualities that we at CBU want our student-athletes to emulate. Al MacNeil’s accomplishments are admirable and we are proud to award him an honorary doctorate, making him a permanent member of our CBU community.”

MacNeil was born in Sydney, N.S. on September 27, 1935. Over the span of his career, he played in more than 500 NHL games. For close to 12 years, he successfully led hockey clubs at various competitive levels as a vital part of the coaching staff. Following this, he took his wealth of hockey knowledge to administrative roles, working with several organizations, as director of player development, assistant to the general manager and vice-president of hockey operations.

In addition to bestowing an honorary doctorate on MacNeil, on July 8, Cape Breton University will also host the Al MacNeil Builder of Champions Gala Event at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. The evening will celebrate this Cape Breton son, with all proceeds from the evening going towards the Al MacNeil Builder of Champions Scholarship, which is raising $2 million for awards in support of student-athletes. Confirmed guests for the Gala Evening include Al MacInnis, former Calgary Flames defenseman and current Vice-President, Hockey Operations with the St. Louis Blues; Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and Paul MacLean, Assistant Coach, Detroit Red Wings.

For more information on the event visit