DUniv. 2013

Honorary Doctorate Recipient


University of Ottawa alumnus Michael Chambers (BComm ’70; LLB ’73) has contributed generously to sport in Ottawa, in Canada, and around the world. Always a “team player”, he is seen as someone who brings people together. 

Mr. Chambers’ sport career began as a young competitor at the Rideau Canoe Club in Ottawa, and for many years he served on the club’s Board. He quickly moved up the ranks to the national level, where he held many leadership positions with CanoeKayak Canada. In 2011, he was recognized by the Pan American Canoe Federation for his exceptional contribution to canoe kayak in the Americas and Caribbean.

Michael Chambers has held many positions in the Olympic Movement, both nationally and internationally, including: Canadian Team Chef de Mission for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games; President of the Canadian Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2010; member of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Sports Organization; the first and only Canadian member of the Executive Council of the 204-nation Association of National Olympic Committees; and membership in various International Olympic Committee working groups. 

Mr. Chambers vice-chaired Vancouver’s successful bid to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and then served on the VANOC board. He recently played a key role in the Toronto’s bid to secure the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, and now serves on the board of the TO2015 organizing committee.

He is a recipient of both the IOC Olympic Order and the Olympic Order of Canada, and in 2012, he was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. At the induction ceremony, he recalled an early lesson learned: “to win without your integrity intact is no win at all.” 

In addition to his involvement with sports, Mr. Chambers is a senior partner with the Ottawa law firm of Maclaren Corlett LLP. In 2008, he was inducted into the Common Law Honour Society of the University of Ottawa.

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