Convocation Ceremony Webcast Link for June 9. You may want to bookmark: http://www.registrar.ualberta.ca/ro.cfm?id=1014
April 16, 2009 – Michael Davies-Venn, Media Associate
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada—His Highness the Aga Khan is among 12 people to be honoured by the University of Alberta for their enduring contributions to society. The Aga Khan will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree on June 9 during convocation ceremonies.
“I have tremendous respect for the Aga Khan’s commitment to rural development, economic self-sufficiency and improved health and education for some of the poorest people in our world. The vision of the University of Alberta is to inspire the human spirit, and I believe each of our 12 honorary degree recipients will be a source of inspiration for our students and our community,” said Linda Hughes, chancellor of the U of A.
The Aga Khan is committed to helping resolve economic and social issues worldwide through the Aga Khan Development Network of which he is founder and chair. One of the world’s largest private non-denominational development groups, the network also promotes cultural affairs and civil society programs. The Aga Khan Development Network has established hospitals, educational facilities and microfinance agencies among other similar groups in 30 countries.
Understood to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He was 20 when he became the Imam of the Ismailis in July 1957. Two years later, he graduated with honors from Harvard University with a degree in Islamic history.
Also receiving degrees will be former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour; sustainable development and natural conservation expert James Westvick Thorsell; respiratory physiologist Eliot A. Phillipson; clinical geneticist Michael Hayden; philanthropists Diane and Irving Kipnes; social scientist James G. March; literary scholar Juliet McMaster; Inuit political and environmental spokesperson Sheila Watt-Cloutier; literary scholar Ruby Wiebe and pioneering chemist, biotechnology and life-sciences consultant Yves Fouron.
For more information, contact:
Office of Public Affairs 780.492.2325