No matter the medium, no matter the role, Adrienne Clarkson's remarkable career has been shaped by her constant championing of tolerance, acceptance and public responsibility.
Born in Hong Kong in 1939, Clarkson came to Canada as a refugee with her parents William and Ethel Poy in 1942. Fluent in English and French, she grew up in Ottawa and went on to earn a BA in English literature from the University of Toronto's Trinity College and later an MA.
Clarkson started telling Canada's stories through a rich career in broadcasting, journalism and the arts. She worked as a host, writer and producer of several programs, including Take Thirty, Adrienne at Large and The Fifth Estate. She has penned five books and contributed numerous articles to newspapers and magazines across the country. Clarkson has also directed several films, and sat on the juries for distinctions such as the Giller Prize for Fiction, the Man Asian Literacy Prize and the Banff Television Festival.
Her personable approach to the role of Canada's 26th governor general redefined the public's perception of the job and raised considerable profile for the nation's Armed Forces after she took the post in 1999. She worked hard to pay tribute to Canada's veterans and service members, and often visited troops in places such as Kosovo, the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan.
Honoured with 27 honorary doctorates, Clarkson is a senior fellow at Massey College, and an honorary fellow at the Royal Society of Canada, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Trinity College, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
The Blood Tribe of Alberta adopted her as an honourary chief and Clarkson is proud to retain her new title "Grandmother of Many Nations."
For her noteworthy contributions to the arts, public service and nation building, Royal Roads University is proud to present Madame Adrienne Clarkson for the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.