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: W. Brett Wilson
Convocation date: June 3, 2015
Citation / biographical information:

With a penchant for investing in people rather than projects, W. Brett Wilson is proof that it’s possible to succeed in business without losing your principles. His stories about success, mistakes and finding balance leave his audiences inspired to achieve even the loftiest of personal goals.

Brett obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Calgary. Brett was a co-founder of FirstEnergy Capital Corp. (Canada’s leading energy focused investment bank) and has developed extensive holdings in real estate, agriculture, sports and entertainment. A popular television personality, he spent three years on CBC’s hit reality TV show, Dragons’ Den, where he established himself as the all-time lead deal-making “dragon.”

A noted philanthropist, Brett has sought to inspire, engage and lead the business community and those with wealth into seeing corporate social responsibility as an opportunity rather than an obligation. To this end, he has organized dozens of events and raised/donated tens of millions of dollars for a wide range of charitable organizations. Brett is also the founder of the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan and the Wilson Centre for Domestic Abuse Studies at the Calgary Counselling Centre.

Brett has received wide recognition for his business and philanthropic leadership. He has been recognized as “Alberta Business Person of the Year,” as “Calgary’s Person of the Year,” and as a Nation Builder by The Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

In 2010, Brett received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Royal Roads University. In 2011, he was awarded the Order of Canada and subsequently received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2012.

Brett’s best-selling semi-autobiography, Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes, was published in November 2012 and still occasionally makes the Best Seller list in Canada.

Brett thoroughly enjoys speaking to a live audience, spreading his message about work / life balance, making mistakes and his three essences of empowerment – studying marketing, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Degree presented by: Dean Daphne Taras

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