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Former NHL hockey player wins gold medal for graduate thesis

October 15, 2012

Victoria – The winner of this year’s Governor General’s Gold Medal is a graduate who has shone in both athletic and academic fields.

Jim Kyte will receive his MBA degree and the gold medal, awarded for the best thesis or graduate project, at Royal Roads University’s fall convocation on Oct. 23.

For his project, Kyte studied the span of control of an academic chair at an Ontario post-secondary institution. He surveyed several institutions and then made recommendations on pay scales and reporting structures. His advisor said the project was of doctoral excellence.

Kyte broke barriers in his first career as an NHL defenceman. Kyte was the league’s first deaf player when he started his pro hockey career in 1982 as a first-round draft pick by the Winnipeg Jets. He went on to play with NHL teams in Pittsburgh, Calgary, Ottawa and San Jose.

A 1997 car accident ended Kyte’s hockey career. He overcame post-concussion syndrome, and later worked as a columnist for the

Ottawa Citizen and became a public speaker for the National Speakers Bureau. He developed the Sport Business Management graduate program at Algonquin College, in Ottawa, where he is now the academic chair of the School of Business.

Kyte has never let his challenges defeat him. "I had a lot of people tell me I couldn’t do things because of my hearing impairment," says Kyte,"But I had a good role model in my house (in my father) and he said, ‘You may have a handicap, but you don’t have a disability.’"

The convocation ceremony will be held Oct. 23 at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. in Victoria. The afternoon ceremony, when Jim Kyte will receive his medal, begins at 1:30 p.m.

For more information on Kyte, go to

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


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