John Stapleton receives honorary doctorate

Dr. John J. Stapleton, Principal of St. Mark's College and President of Corpus Christi College in Vancouver, received the honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters degree from Regis College, the Jesuit Faculty of Theology at the University of Toronto. The degree was conferred on Saturday, November 20, 2010, at Regis College's Thirty-Fourth Convocation.

Dr. Stapleton was also the presenter of the 2010 Chancellor's Lecture at Regis College. Dr. Stapleton's lecture was entitled "Canadian Catholic Higher Education and the New Evangelization," and was delivered on Friday, November 19 at 7:30pm in the St. Joseph Chapel at Regis College.

Dr. Stapleton is being recognized for his "contributions to society, culture and the church."

"I am profoundly grateful for this honour and for the opportunities that have been given to me to work with so many dedicated and able collaborators in the important apostolate of Catholic higher education," says Dr. Stapleton.

Dr. Stapleton has been the Principal and President of the Catholic Colleges in Vancouver since July 2009. Under Dr. Stapleton's leadership, the colleges have taken important steps in gaining accredited status for the delivery of their programs. St. Mark's College was awarded Associate Status in the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) in June 2010, and Corpus Christi College has applied to BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education to offer the Associate of Arts degree. Dr. Stapleton serves on the Board of Directors of Vancouver College and sits on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Senate.

Dr. Stapleton has extensive experience as a teacher, administrator, and community leader. Prior to his Vancouver appointment, he was a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He has served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at both Lakehead University and the University of Manitoba and as Rector of St. Paul’s, the Catholic college at the University of Manitoba. Programs established at St. Paul’s during his leadership include the BA in Catholic Studies and the PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies for the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice. He has also served as President of the Canadian Association of Deans of Education, Vice-President of the Canadian Education Association, and Vice-President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. He has held academic positions at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Western Ontario, prior to which he taught in high schools in Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, and at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, BC. Dr. Stapleton is the author of many academic papers and technical reports on educational leadership and Catholic education.

In 2006, Dr. Stapleton was appointed a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI. Other awards include an appointment as Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration.

Born and raised in Newfoundland & Labrador, Dr. Stapleton received a BSc degree from Iona College (New York); an MTS degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto.