N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 25, 2005
Discipline / contribution: journalism
Citation / biographical information:
A native of Hearne, Saskatchewan, Mr. Fotheringham has been a columnist for the better part of his nearly half century in journalism. His first job was as a journalist at the Vancouver Sun, in 1954, after completion of a B.A. in English and Political Science, UBC. He later settled in on Fleet Street for two years with Reuters and Canada News but returned in 1959 to become an editorial writer and columnist for the Vancouver Sun. Before long he was making a name for himself not only in British Columbia but nationally when his column was syndicated across the country. He later worked as a columnist for Southam News, The Financial Post, The Globe and Mail and Sun Media. Well known to most Canadians, he occupied the prestigious “back page” of Maclean s for more than a quarter century creating the reverse-reading or “back page first” phenomenon. During the Reagan and Bush administrations, Southam News assigned “Dr. Foth”, then its national columnist based in Ottawa, to a five-year stint in Washington, D.C., which allowed his razor- sharp political observations to impact both sides of the border. Between 1972 and 2001, he authored eight books all following political themes with Malice in Blunderland his first best seller. In addition to his many appearances on radio and television news-based programs, he was a panelist for 10 years on Front Page Challenge. The recipient of many awards for his talents with the written word, Mr. Fotheringham was awarded the 1964 Southam Fellowship in Journalism, He was the 1980 recipient of the National Magazine Award for Humour and that year was also accorded the honour of becoming the first recipient of the National Newspaper Award for column writing. In 1999, he was inducted in the Canadian News Hall of Fame and in 2002, he received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for significant contribution to fellow Canadians. That year he was also presented with the prestigious Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the Jack Webster Foundation.Degree received: Doctor of Letters
Mr. Fotheringham’s contribution to Canadian life has been substantial to say the least. He has influenced the political process, the way we as Canadians view ourselves and he has insisted that we not take ourselves too seriously. His political commentary laced with humour helped awaken many Canadians to the political and democratic processes and helped all of us to look at things “outside the box,” a place where Mr. Fotheringham has always thrived.
In addition to all of his remarkable accomplishments, Mr. Fotheringham rarely misses an opportunity to promote Canada and Canadian values in far-flung locations around the world. He has also supported and lent his name to many worthy causes including the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Stephen Leacock Foundation which assists underprivileged children, and recently the Government House Heritage Property Centennial Project in Regina.
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