Our Honorary Doctorate Recipients

St. Mark’s College is proud to be associated with our many distinguished honorary doctorate recipients (Doctor of Sacred Letters). Like our founder and visionary leader, Father Henry Carr, these individuals are visionaries of their time and have made, or are making, significant contributions to the Church and society.

Honorary doctorates may be awarded in Theology (i.e. Doctor of Sacred Letters honoris causa) as per An Act to Incorporate St. Mark’s College, 1956, sec. 15. With the award distributed at Spring Convocation, honorary doctorate recipients are invited to speak to students as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

The honorary doctorate degree is the highest honour within the power of St. Mark’s College, and the selection of candidates for such a degree is to reflect the College’s highest aspirations and ideals.

Recent recipients include:

Dr. Angus Reid, a prominent and extraordinary Catholic entrepreneur, who was recognized for his impact on public opinion research and for his extraordinary contributions to the advancement of Catholic education and the Church

Dr. Paul Burns, Professor Emeritus and an academic leader whose commitment to his students and to the lifelong pursuit of learning has made him an inspiration to all

Dianne Doyle, President and CEO of Providence Health Care, one of Canada’s largest Catholic Health Care organizations, who was recognized for her championing of Catholic health care, leadership in the governance of non-profits and advocacy of the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society

Sister Nuala Patricia Kenny, SC, OC, BA, MD, FRCP(C), a pediatrician, ethicist, and educator, who was recognized for her continued work in helping both the Church and society tackle fundamental ethical questions

Dr. Felix Durity, former Head of Neurosurgery and current Professor Emeritus in UBC’s Department of Surgery, who was recognized for his commitment to humanitarian endeavours, including his enormous contributions to neurosurgery, particularly in developing countries

Dr. Moira McQueen, Director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, who was recognized for being a leading light in Catholic bioethics and moral decision-making

Sister Donna Geernaert, SC, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity–Halifax, who was recognized for her long-time leadership in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue

Honorable Steven Point, Provincial Court of British Columbia judge and former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who was recognized for his work as an inspirational Catholic and First Nations leader

Selection Criteria

Honorary doctorates will be awarded to those well recognized for distinguished and visionary leadership and achievements consistent with the St. Mark's College core values, mission, and goals. They will exemplify the highest personal and professional standards that serve as an inspiration and model for students, faculty, staff, and the broader Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia. The recipients may be eminent researchers, scholars, professionals, philanthropists, creative artists, community leaders or social activists of regional, national or global renown.


Nominations should be in writing and include supporting documentation. The nomination should include a rationale of how the nominee exemplifies the goals and values of the College.  The nominee must not be informed of the nomination. The Committee may seek additional information. Nomination deadline is October 31st

launchSubmit a Nomination

Nominations may be submitted by St. Mark's College employees, students, alumni, members of the Board of Governors, members of the Honorary Degree Selection Committee and general community members. Nominees must not be current members of the College's Board of Governors, current St. Mark's College employees, current students or anyone with direct political, legal, or budgetary authority over St. Mark's College.

Questions: Contact the Office of the Principal