Honorary Degrees

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.

Name: Gordon "Gordie" Howe
Convocation date: June 3, 2010
Discipline / contribution: professional sports ; philanthropy
Citation / biographical information:

Arguably the best at his profession in the entire world, Gordon "Gordie" Howe played more National Hockey League games than any other player in history. For twenty seasons he finished in the top five among scorers and he was awarded the Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer) six times, the Hart Trophy (most valuable player) six times, was part of four Stanley Cup teams, and named to the NHL All-Star team twenty-three times. He played in the NHL until he was fifty-two years old. Internationally recognized and respected as “Mr. Hockey,” he has also been named to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame as well as been recognized with an NHL Lifetime Achievement Award and the Order of Canada.

Gordie Howe has shown continually his ability to rise above adversity to achieve success. He overcame the odds of being from an economically disadvantaged family, from having a limited formal education, and from being physically weak to become a dominant figure in a sport that requires superior physical ability and mental strength.

Beyond his prowess on the ice, Gordie Howe is an international philanthropist. He and his late wife Colleen established the Howe Foundation which raises money for registration fees and equipment to enable children from across North America to play hockey. As a player he was known for always being generous with his time to sign autographs or offer advice to young players. In recent years, he has supported numerous charitable projects ranging from building a new university rink in New England to participating in summer Kidsport events in his hometown of Saskatoon. Gordie also works with BayCrest Hospital that started the Gordon and Colleen Howe Foundation which funds dementia research, and Life Style Hearing to promote better hearing across Canada.

Gordie Howe is a role model for generations of Canadians who have seen how he took raw talent and limited opportunities and transformed them into success through his dedication, tenacity, and hard work.
Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Degree presented by: President Peter MacKinnon

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