Acadia University announces four honorary degree recipients to be celebrated during its 2024 Convocation ceremonies

Wolfville, NS – On May 16th and 17th, graduates of Acadia University’s four faculties – Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology – will be welcomed into Convocation and receive their hard-earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. Acadia will also confer four honorary degrees on individuals who have distinguished themselves in the arts, sciences, and public service. This year’s honorees are:

The Reverend Dr. J. Peter Holmes – Doctor of Divinity (’06, ’24)
The Reverend Dr. J. Peter Holmes has served as the Minister of the historic Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto for over 25 years. As a leader of the largest Baptist Church in the area, he encourages diversity in his congregation and partnerships with the wider community.

Leonard Paul – Doctor of Humanities (’91, ’24)
Leonard Paul’s watercolour career spans four decades of wilderness travels. A recipient of the Governor General Medal and a proud member of the Mi'kmaq First Nation, Leonard Paul has seen his artwork represented in numerous prominent collections and featured in more than 35 exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Dr. John Smol – Doctor of Science (’24)
Dr. John Smol is a leading environmental scientist and founder of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) at Queen’s University. Dr. Smol is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, and most recently, a recipient of the Massey Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for outstanding career achievement.

Dr. El Jones – Doctor of Letters (’24)
Dr. El Jones is an author, poet, journalist, educator, and advocate whose strengths converge in her spoken word performances. The two-time National Slam champion has been the Poet Laureate of Halifax, a resident of the International Writing Program at University of Iowa, and a poet in residence at University of Toronto Scarborough.

“Acadia’s Class of 2024 has every reason to feel proud,” says Dr. Jeff Hennessy, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “I am continually impressed with the enthusiasm, creativity, ingenuity, and heart of our students. In my short time as President, it’s been an absolute honour to get a glimpse into what these grads can achieve.”

“Our graduates will be joined on stage by impressive and inspiring honorary degree recipients who demonstrate what happens when you share your talents to create a better world,” says Hennessy. “They embody the optimism and promise that we hope all members of our community carry with them at Acadia and beyond. It’s a great pleasure to formally welcome these honorary degree recipients into the Acadia family.”

For more information on Convocation 2024 at Acadia University, and to watch a livestream of the Baccalaureate and Convocation ceremonies, please visit Acadia's Convocation website.

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