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York U fall convocation begins October 12, three honorary degrees to be conferred

York U fall convocation begins October 12, three honorary degrees to be conferred

Home » Category Listing » York U fall convocation begins October 12, three honorary degrees to be conferred

York U fall convocation begins October 12, three honorary degrees to be conferred

TORONTO, October 12, 2022 Three exceptional individuals will be recognized with honorary degrees while thousands of accomplished students graduate during York University's fall convocation ceremonies, beginning today. The ceremonies also mark the last for York’s current Chancellor, the Hon. Gregory Sorbara, who has served with distinction since 2014.

Convocation ceremonies are set to take place at Sobey’s Stadium located at 1 Shoreham Drive on York University’s Keele campus. The Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA ceremony on Friday, October 21 will take place in the Executive Learning Centre, also located on the Keele campus.

While our honorary degree recipients are highly accomplished professionals in their respective professions, they each also embody an unwavering commitment to drive positive change in alignment with York University’s vision and values of excellence, progressiveness, sustainability, social justice, and diversity and inclusivity

“In a world that has become increasingly polarized, with complex challenges ranging from the climate crisis to a global health pandemic, universities have never been more important, creating a space to learn from each other and to share that knowledge for the benefit of all,” said Rhonda Lenton, president and vice-chancellor, York University.  “I look forward to seeing what those graduating today do to create positive change in their communities locally and globally.”

In order of the faculty ceremonies at which they will be honoured, the honorary degree recipients are:

Mark Tewksbury – Olympic champion, human rights activist, inclusion advocate

Doctor of Laws, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 10:30am – Ceremony details

Mark Tewksbury has achieved outstanding success in the professional field of sport as an Olympic champion, winning bronze, silver, and gold medals swimming for Canada. While incredible sporting achievements contributed to his early success, Tewksbury’s remarkable life post-Olympics has truly defined him.

In 1998, Tewksbury became Canada’s first sports hero to openly declare his homosexuality and helped start a national conversation. He is also an out-spoken advocate for inclusive and safe sport spaces for all.  In 2020, Tewksbury was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of one of Canada’s most prestigious honours.

Noah ’40’ Shebib – Grammy award winning producer, cultural leader, community advocate

Doctor of Laws, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 3:30pm – Ceremony details

Noah '40' Shebib is an actor, cultural leader, philanthropist, and the multiple Grammy Award-winning music producer behind the sound of Drake's innovative music. With Drake and Oliver El-Khatib, he co-founded October's Very Own (OVO), which has grown into an internationally recognized lifestyle brand.

Shebib has also worked to raise awareness and research for multiple sclerosis. Most recently, he co-founded The Justice Fund, an organization working in and with communities and other organizations to address the effects of trauma and cycles of conflict. 40 exemplifies the arts as the tools for creating positive change.

Sally Armstrong – journalist, author, human rights activist

Doctor of Laws, Thursday, Oct. 13, 10:30am – Ceremony details

Sally Armstrong is a four-time winner of the Amnesty International Canada Media Award and was the first journalist to bring the story of the women of Afghanistan to the world. She is relentless when it comes to exposing the abuse of women whether on a campus or a village in a war zone.

She is also author of several books, and a popular public speaker sharing her knowledge and experiences reporting from the front lines of conflict zones. In recognition of her work, Armstrong was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. She is a former member of the International Women’s Commission at the UN.


York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future. 

Media Contact:

Barbara Joy, Director Media Relations & External Communications, York University or 416-333-3374