Honorary doctorates are awarded for substantial contributions made by the recipient to the University of Ottawa, to their profession, to science, or to society at large. An honorary doctorate acknowledges that the recipient deserves to be recognized for their unsurpassed abilities due to life's learning and experiences.
University crest.

Past honorary doctorate recipients

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Nominations for honorary doctorates are submitted to the Honorary Degrees Committee. The committee is a standing advisory committee of the Senate. 

Recipients of an honorary doctorate receive a citation, an imposition, and the conferment of a diploma. 

The citation is the public declaration of the reasons that led the candidate to be presented to the Chancellor for the degree. This declaration is read by a member of Senate. 

The doctoral insignia, which is called a "patte", is worn on the left shoulder, over the academic hood. It is of red silk and ermine surmounted by the University coat-of-arms embroidered in metallic thread. The placing of it for the first time is called the Imposition. Thereafter it remains the property of the recipient of the honorary doctorate. 

The honorary doctorate is conferred to the recipient at Convocation by the Chancellor of the University with the following pronouncement: 

"As Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, by authority of the powers vested in me, I do hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of the University, with the title, honour and privileges that are proper to it." 

The recipient is then handed their diploma. 


Due to privacy rules, the personal contact information for honorary doctorates is not shared. In addition, the University does not keep up-to-date personal contact information for honorary doctorates. As such, we cannot forward any correspondence received which is addressed to them.