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Fall convocation honours former governor general, civic advocate and values-based leadership expert

October 21, 2011

Royal Roads University today celebrates the achievements of a former governor general, the entrepreneur who founded the university's Todd Thomas Institute for Values-Based Leadership, a prominent local businessman and civic advocate and 771 new graduates.

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD and philanthropist Peter H. Thomas will receive honorary Doctorates of Laws while Honorary Captain (Navy) Cedric Steele, MSM, CD will be honoured with the Chancellor's Community Recognition Award.

The honorees are joined by 617 domestic and 154 off-shore students graduating from degree and certificate programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, the Faculty of Management and the Centre for Applied Leadership and Management. 

"This year's honorees exemplify leadership, entrepreneurship and community involvement. They are an inspiration to the university community," said Royal Roads president Allan Cahoon. "We are privileged to have them join us on stage today as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates and wish them continued success. They are committed to making a difference in their lives and in their communities, and will join more than 16,000 of our esteemed alumni." 

Clarkson is in Victoria to receive her honorary degree three days after the release of her new book, Room for All of Us, in which she explores the immigrant experience through people who have helped transform Canada. The former governor general has been a champion of immigration and founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Clarkson is receiving an honorary degree for her noteworthy contributions to the arts, public service and nation building. 

Thomas is a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and values-based leadership expert, whose mission is to share his wealth of knowledge on the subject. In 2008, he founded the Todd Thomas Institute for Values-Based Leadership at Royal Roads, now known as the Institute for Values-Based Leadership. Thomas's latest business venture is Thomas Franchise Solutions, which provides mentorship and financing to new business visionaries. Thomas is receiving an honorary degree for his outstanding commitment to values, ethics and entrepreneurship.

Steele is well known in Victoria for his volunteer work and support of the navy. He sits on numerous boards and committees across the city and is a founding member of the Royal Roads University Fellows Council. Last year, Steele received the Meritorious Service Medal for his involvement with the navy. For his contribution to building partnerships in business, community and Canada's navy, Steele is being honoured with the Chancellor's Community Recognition Award.

The student winners of the Governor General's Gold Medal, awarded for the best thesis or graduate project, and the Governor General's Silver Medal, awarded to the student who achieved the highest academic standing in a bachelor's program, will be announced at convocation.  

The convocation ceremonies are being held at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. The morning ceremony, during which Clarkson and Steele will be honoured, starts at 9:30 a.m. The afternoon ceremony, during which Thomas will receive his honorary degree, begins at 1:30 p.m.

Royal Roads University was established by the province of British Columbia in 1995 to deliver quality applied and professional programs to advance professionals in the workplace. The university blends online and on-campus learning with current, real-world relevance for doctorate, graduate and undergraduate degrees, certificates, diplomas, executive and custom education.

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For media queries, contact:

Communications Officer, Doug Ozeroff

doug.1ozeroff@royalroads.ca  250-391-2526, cell 250-812-5065