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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Two-thousand grads and four honorary doctorates to highlight Ontario Tech University’s 2019 Convocation

Celebrating Convocation at the Tribute Communities Centre in downtown Oshawa (June 2018).
Celebrating Convocation at the Tribute Communities Centre in downtown Oshawa (June 2018).

Family and friends will cheer on more than 2,000 new graduates as Ontario Tech University recognizes and celebrates the Class of 2019 during four ceremonies on Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7.

Recently reappointed Chancellor Noreen Taylor will preside over the festivities at Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre to congratulate bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree recipients as they cross the stage. This will be the second Convocation for Ontario Tech University President Dr. Steven Murphy.

With this year’s Convocation, the university’s alumni base will surpass 19,000.

Each year at Convocation, the university proudly confers honorary degrees to recognize outstanding individuals who inspire others and embody the university’s vision and mission. Recipients will have made an outstanding intellectual and/or scholarly contribution in their chosen field of academic eminence, or provided outstanding service and/or contributions to greater society through non-academic achievements and/or public service.

This year the university will present four honorary degrees to (biographies hyperlinked):

  • Mr. Al Libfeld, President and Co-Founder of Tribute Communities, for his distinguished career in homebuilding, long history of business success and innovation, commitment to volunteerism and philanthropic contributions to the communities of Durham Region.
  • Ms. Kate Beirness, TSN on-air personality, for her outstanding work as a Canadian television sportscaster, her dedication as a role model to inspire the next generation of female leaders, and her ongoing support in promoting her alma mater the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
  • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, for her distinguished career and leadership in Canada’s judiciary, her championing of equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights, and for her unwavering support of reconciliation with First Nations.
  • Ms. Annette Verschuren, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc., for her entrepreneurial leadership in Canada’s business sector, her commitment to reducing barriers that hamper women in the workforce, and for her championing of corporate social responsibility, community investment and volunteerism.

All ceremonies can be viewed live online at

2019 Convocation schedule

Thursday, June 6 – 9:30 a.m.

  • Energy Systems and Nuclear Science
  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to Mr. Al Libfeld

Thursday, June 6 – 2 p.m.

  • Business and Information Technology
  • Science
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to Ms. Kate Beirness

Friday, June 7 – 9:30 a.m.

  • Education
  • Social Science and Humanities
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin

Friday, June 7 – 2 p.m.

  • Health Sciences
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to Ms. Annette Verschuren

Faculty receptions take place at the 61 Charles Street Building following each ceremony.

Tribute Communities Centre
99 Athol Street East
Oshawa, Ontario

Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
905.721.8668 ext. 6709
289.928.3653 (mobile)