Honorary Degrees and Convocations Committee

Terms of Reference


The Honorary Degrees and Convocations Committee (“Committee”) is a Standing Committee of Senate. Its mandate is to recommend to Senate outstanding individuals for the conferral of McGill honorary degrees, the highest honour that the University can bestow. It shall also advise on convocations matters as required.

Individuals nominated for honorary degrees have lifetime records of outstanding scholarly, scientific or artistic achievement, or of exceptional contributions to the public good through professional or philanthropic activity, that make them worthy candidates and position them to contribute to McGill’s reputation and distinction both at home and internationally.

The Committee shall meet in closed session and all matters related to individuals nominated for honorary degrees shall be treated in strict confidence by the Committee.


The Committee shall:

  1. Solicit, receive and review nominations for the conferral of honorary degrees from the Faculties, from individual members of the McGill community, from members of Senate, from the McGill Alumni Association and from members of the broader community;
  2. Select candidates for the conferral of honorary degrees and submit them to Senate for approval;
  3. Recommend the particular honorary degree that should be awarded to each candidate submitted to Senate for approval;
  4. Recommend to Senate the revocation of an honorary degree in situations where maintaining the honorary degree would be prejudicial to the University’s reputation and/or found to be in contradiction to the University’s mission or values.
  5. Receive, review and recommend to Senate for approval nominations from the Principal’s Advisory Committee for the conferral of the McGill University Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement (The McGill Medal);
  6. Receive, review and recommend to Senate for approval nominations from the Adjudication Committee for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Learning for the conferral of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Learning;
  7. Approve, on behalf of Senate, dates for convocation ceremonies;
  8. Advise Senate and the appropriate administrative unit of the University as required, on convocation matters;
  9. Develop guidelines, as necessary, for the purpose of operationalizing its mandate;
  10. Meet at least twice a year (in closed session).


The Committee shall be composed of 14 members, as follows:

  • Chancellor (Chair of the Committee), ex officio
  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor, ex officio
  • Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), ex officio
  • Chair of the Board or delegate, ex officio
  • A University Co-Marshal, ex officio
  • President of the McGill Alumni Association, ex officio
  • Six representatives of Senate, to be nominated by the Senate Nominating Committee and appointed by Senate to reflect the breadth of the University
  • One graduate student
  • One undergraduate student

The Secretary-General shall serve as Secretary and governance advisor to the Committee.

The University Registrar and Executive Director, Enrolment Services, or delegate, shall serve as a resource person.

Source: Senate Minute 102, January 27, 1960
Senate Minute 11, September 30, 1987
Amendment: Senate Minute 118, May 3, 1995
Senate Minute 8, May 24, 2000
Senate Minute IIB4.2, May 20, 2009
Senate Minute IIB2.2, September 22, 2020


The Honorary Degrees and Convocations Committee, when considering nominations, uses the following criteria:

PDF icon Guidelines for the Senate Honorary Degrees and Convocations Committee

Membership (2022-2023)

Chancellor, Chair:

  • Mr. John McCall MacBain

Principal and Vice-Chancellor:

  • Professor Christopher Manfredi (interim)

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic):

  • Professor Christopher Manfredi

Chair of the Board, or delegate:

  • Ms. Maryse Bertrand

A University Co-Marshal:

  • Professor Edith Zorychta

President of the Alumni Association:

  • Joey Odman

Six representatives of Senate:

  • Professor Nigel Roulet (Geography, SCIENCE) – 2023
  • Professor Petra Rohrbach (Parasitology, AES) – 2023
  • Ms. Genevieve Gore (LIBRARIES) – 2023
  • Professor Loydie Majewska (Pediatrics, MEDICINE) – 2024
  • Professor Barbara Hales (Pharmacology and Therapeutics, MEDICINE) - 2025
  • Professor David Covo (Architecture, ENGINEERING) - 2025

One Undergraduate Student:

  • TBD

One Graduate Student:

  • TBD


  • Ms. Edyta Rogowska (Secretary-General)

Resource Person:

  • Ms. Heidi Emami, Associate Registrar, Management of Academic Records, Exams & Convocation, Enrolment Services





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