Shatner to be awarded honorary degree


Emmy-winning actor, McGill graduate has made stellar contribution to the arts


McGill University will mark the achievements of one of its most celebrated alumni, Emmy-winning actor William Shatner, with the awarding of an honorary degree at Spring Convocation ceremonies on June 2.

Shatner, who graduated from McGill in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, has made a stellar contribution to the arts, on stage, television and film. He is also an accomplished director, a best-selling author and dedicated philanthropist and environmentalist, whose compassion, creativity and irrepressible sense of humour are an integral part of his life and work.

A native of Montreal, Shatner was president of McGill’s Radio Workshop and was active in campus theatre productions as a member of the Player’s Club. In 1949, he produced and directed McGill’s annual Red and White Review. In the course of a remarkable career, he has appeared at the Stratford Festival, has had several long runs on Broadway, and has starred in more than 30 films. He is, of course, most famous for three roles:  Star Trek’s James T. Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise in the original television series and in movies; veteran police sergeant T. J. Hooker in series of the same name; and attorney Denny Crane both on The Practice and on Boston Legal.

Shatner has won many awards, including two Emmys and a Golden Globe, and the Banff World Television Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame andCanada’s Walk of Fame.  He recently received Canada’s most prestigious honour in the performing arts when he was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation.

The honorary degree will be presented during Convocation ceremonies for the Faculty of Arts, at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 2 on the lower field of McGill’s downtown campus.

Owing to the anticipated media attention in this event, media registration in advance will be mandatory and still camera positions will be limited.

A video pool will be organized. Further information about pre- and post-event media access will be released shortly.

Contact Information

Doug Sweet
Director, McGill Media Relations
doug.sweet [at]
Office Phone: