Honorary Doctorates

2020 Recipients

More information about 2020 Honorees will be announced soon.

Recipients will have distinguished themselves in education, science, the arts, public service, or other areas, and have made significant life-long contributions to endeavours consistent with the mandate and purpose of Athabasca University. Honorary Doctorates may be awarded in the following categories:

  • Honorary Doctor of Science
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Honorary Doctor of Athabasca University

2019 Recipients

Honorary Doctor of Laws

Portrait of Rick Hansen

Rick Hansen, CC, OBC

On Friday, June 7, an honorary Doctor of Laws was conferred on Rick Hansen in recognition of his dedication to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all. The founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating a world without barriers for people with disabilities, he is best known as the Man in Motion, after undertaking an epic 26-month, 40,000 km journey around the world in his wheelchair to prove the potential of people with disabilities and raise funds for spinal cord injury research. Hansen is also a three-time world champion, nine-time Pan American Games gold medalist, and three-time Paralympic Games gold medalist in wheelchair racing.

Honorary Doctor of Athabasca University

Portrait of Professor Asha Kanwar

Professor Asha Kanwar

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, an honorary Doctor of Athabasca University was conferred on Professor Asha Kanwar in recognition of her global leadership in open and distance learning. Professor Kanwar has a prolific history in implementing open and distance learning globally, and has over 35 years of experience in teaching, research and administration. She currently serves as President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1987 to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

Past Recipients

Past Honorary Doctorate Recipients