Acadia will honour distinguished individuals from the arts and public service during Convocation

Ranks of Acadia alumni swell by more than 800 with Convocation 2023 

An aerial view of the procession of graduating students entering University Hall

On May 14 and 15, 2023, more than 800 graduates from Acadia University’s four faculties – Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology – will receive their diplomas and certificates, joining Acadia’s more than 40,000 alumni worldwide. In addition, Acadia will confer six honorary degrees on individuals who have distinguished themselves in the arts and public service. This year’s honorees are:

Gerald Gloade – Doctor of Humanities (’23)
Gerald Gloade is the Program Development Officer for the Mi'kmawey Debert Project. An artist, educator, storyteller, naturalist, Elder and visionary, his efforts have been integral to expanding cultural understanding and contributing to healing in Mi'kma'ki. From Millbrook First Nation, Gloade was raised by his grandmother, who imparted to Gloade the ways of the land, the history of people and communities, the skills to fish and weave, and the legends of Kluskap, whose seat at Cape Blomidon dominates the landscape of the Wolfville campus.  

Michaëlle Jean – Doctor of Civil Laws (’23)  
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD, is the Chancellor of United College, formerly St. Paul’s University College, in Waterloo, Ontario, but is more well known to most Canadians as our 27th Governor General, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Canada from 2005 to 2010. Her vice-regal motto was “Breaking Down Solitudes,” a fitting theme for her life as an academic, journalist, leader and public servant.

Peter MacKay – Doctor of Civil Laws (’87, ’23)
Throughout his political and private sector careers, the Honourable Peter MacKay (’87) has worked extensively in the fields of justice and human rights, defence and security. A founder of the Halifax International Security Forum, he has been recognized by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS), the Foreign Policy Association, and the Afghan and Belgian Governments. He continues to work, write and speak on justice and security topics in Canada and internationally.  

Beverley McLachlin – Doctor of Civil Laws (’23)
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, PC, CC, CStJ, is a Canadian jurist and author who served as the 17th Chief Justice of Canada from 2000 to 2017, the first woman to hold that position and the longest serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. In her role as Chief Justice, she also simultaneously served as a Deputy of the Governor General of Canada.  

David Mensah – Doctor of Divinity (’84, ’23)
Dr. David Mensah (’84) is the Executive Director of a pair of non-profits that unite Canadians and Ghanaians to support sustainable community development in Northern Ghana. Born in a rural area of Northern Ghana, Dr. Mensah had a difficult and hungry childhood. After his father’s death, the little boy suffered in the care of an abusive relative and became part of a street gang. A chance encounter in the streets led him to Christianity as a teenager, changing the course of his life. In partnership with other young leaders, he helped found the Northern Empowerment Association (NEA) to care for spiritual, economic and health needs in their region.

David W. States – Doctor of Humanities (’23)
David W. States is an esteemed historian, genealogist, scholar and dedicated public servant who has made vast contributions to scholarly and popular understanding of African Canadian history. His thorough study of historic Black families and their communities in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley is crucial to a comprehensive understanding of the African Nova Scotian experience.  

“I am so proud of Acadia’s graduates,” says Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “They have inspired me and many others through their resilience, ingenuity, and compassion for others. By being part of our campus and community, they have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to help the world rise to the challenges before it. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.   

“I would also like to applaud this year’s honorary degree recipients, whose remarkable achievements illustrate a depth of humanity and commitment to the betterment of society that is representative and inspirational. They nurture, support, and promote in every aspect of their endeavour the best in all of us and exemplify the highest standards of personal resolve, compassion, and caring. They have captured the essence of the Acadia spirit and bring great honour, prestige, and distinction to the University and the Acadia family.”

For more information on Convocation 2023 at Acadia University, and to watch a live-stream of its Baccalaureate and Convocation ceremonies, please visit the Convocation website.   

Go back

 Media Centre  Communications Office

Media Contact

Robyn McBain
Director, Marketing and Communications 902-585-1705