Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence

News & Events

Contact Us:

email: WLU
(519) 884-1970

Headlines (News Releases)


Louise Fréchette and Heather Reisman among Laurier honorary degree recipients

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

May 5/09| For Immediate Release


Jennifer Casey, University Secretary
519-884-0710 ext. 2037 or


Kevin Crowley, Associate Director, News and Editorial Services
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – A former top United Nations official, a former federal cabinet minister, the CEO of Canada’s largest book retailer and a photojournalist will receive honorary degrees at Laurier’s spring convocation ceremonies. Laurier will graduate more than 1,900 students at its Waterloo convocation ceremonies June 3-5, and approximately 360 students at the university’s Brantford campus June 10.

The honorary degree recipients are:

Louise Fréchette is a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo. She was the first person to serve as deputy-secretary-general of the United Nations, a role she held from 1998-2006 under then secretary-general Kofi Annan. Fréchette also served as Canada’s ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay, ambassador to the United Nations and as Canada’s associate deputy minister of finance. She was Canada’s first female deputy minister of national defense. Fréchette is an officer of the Order of Canada. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ convocation June 3 at 2 p.m. at the Laurier Athletic Complex in Waterloo.

David Anderson, a lawyer and politician, served in former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s cabinet as minister of national revenue, minister of transport, minister of fisheries and oceans and environment minister. He is known for conservation measures to protect fish stocks and for securing Canadian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Anderson also served in British Columbia provincial politics. He has received a number of environmental awards. As a university student, Anderson won silver medals for rowing in the 1960 Olympic Games and the Pan American Games. Anderson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree June 4 at the Faculty of Science convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex in Waterloo. Anderson will address both the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies.

Heather Reisman is founder and CEO of Indigo Books & Music Inc., the largest book retailer in Canada, which she launched in 1996 and merged with Chapters in 2001. Prior to Indigo, Reisman co-founded change-management firm Paradigm Consulting, then became president of Cott Corporation. Reisman is a director of Mount Sinai Hospital and a board member of Onex Corporation, J. Crew Group Inc. and Right to Play. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the convocation ceremony for General Arts and the School of Business and Economics, June 5 at 10 a.m. at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Audrey Ronning Topping is an author and photojournalist who specializes in Asian affairs. She was the first western journalist to report from China during the Cultural Revolution. Her work has been published in many major magazines, including The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic Magazine, as well as in leading newspapers. Ronning Topping has written six books and five TV documentaries. Her photographic exhibits have appeared in New York, China and Toronto. Topping will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the June 10 convocation, 10 a.m. at The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford.


View all WLU news
View all Laurier news