McGill confers honorary degrees on longest-serving speaker of the House, Nobel laureate and business leader


Peter Milliken, Ronald Chwang and Phillip A. Sharp recognized at convocation ceremonies

Peter Milliken, Ronald Chwang and Phillip A. Sharp recognized at convocation ceremonies

McGill University conferred degrees yesterday evening upon some 800 students from its School of Continuing Studies and awarded an honorary degree to Peter Milliken, the longest-serving speaker of the House in Canadian history. In today’s ceremonies, McGill conferred degrees upon nearly 1,000 students graduating in Health Sciences and Engineering and bestowed honorary doctorates upon Ronald Chwang and Phillip A. Sharp, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their fields.

Peter Milliken, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

On Jan. 29, 2001, Peter Milliken was elected the 34th speaker of the House of Commons. He served through both Liberal and Conservative governments for over 10 years, making him the longest-serving speaker in Canadian history. As speaker, he cast many important tie-breaking votes and issued landmark decisions.

Ronald Chwang, Doctor of Science, honoris causa

A successful venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Dr. Ronald Chwang graduated from McGill with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Today, he is chairman and president of iD Ventures America, where he manages venture capital investments in technology start-ups. His successes include many products that we are familiar with today, such as “Roomba”, the robotic floor cleaner by iRobot; “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band”, the popular music games developed by Harmonix Music; and ArtX, which designed the semiconductor chips for the highly successful Nintendo Game Cube console. 

Phillip A. Sharp, Doctor of Science, honoris causa

Dr. Philip Sharp shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His impact in the field of molecular biology helped advance the understanding of the genetic causes of cancer and other diseases. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing.  His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. Dr. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

McGill’s Convocation ceremonies can be followed live at:

For more information about Convocation:

More news from McGill University:

Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
McGill University
cynthia.lee [at]
Office Phone: