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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

Ontario Tech University to confer nearly 2,500 degrees and eight honorary doctorates at 2023 Convocation

Ceremonies will take place June 7 to 9 on Polonsky Commons

Graduating students with Hunter the Ridgeback on Polonsky Commons

From Wednesday, June 7 to Friday, June 9, Ontario Tech University will celebrate the achievements and milestones of its class of 2023 along with eight honorary degree recipients.

Six ceremonies will take place over the three days. At Convocation 2023, the university will confer approximately 2,500 degrees during, faculty-specific ceremonies held at its north Oshawa campus location, outdoors on Polonsky Commons. Among this year’s degree recipients will be the first graduates of the university’s Women for STEM program cohort.

Ontario Tech held its first all-faculty Convocation in 2007. With this year’s ceremonies, the university’s alumni base will surpass 29,000.

The university will present honorary degrees to:

  • The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, who served as Canada’s 26th Governor General, for her remarkable work as a role model and champion of inclusion and diversity, and for her dedication to public service and educating Canadians about national issues that reflect our values of integrity and respect.
  • Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and CEO of Indspire, an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, for his lifetime of work in advancing Indigenous health and education, his national efforts to promote Indigenous reconciliation and healing, and his leadership legacy across Canada’s post-secondary sector.
  • Ms. Christine Elliott, Health Law Counsel at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Toronto, and former Deputy Premier of Ontario and Ontario Minister of Health, for her outstanding legacy of public service, volunteerism, advocacy for inclusion and acceptance, and contributions toward improving the lives of thousands of people in Durham Region.
  • Mr. Sheldon Levy, President and Vice-Chancellor of University Canada West, previous President and Vice-Chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University, and former Ontario Tech University Vice-President, Finance and Strategy, in recognition of his more than 30 years as a leader in Canada’s higher education sector: a champion of institutional innovation, student entrepreneurship, and of Canadian leadership in the global digital economy.
  • Mr. John Ralston Saul, award-winning essayist, novelist and widely acclaimed as one of Canada’s leading thinkers, for his contributions to Canadian literature, his philosophies on social justice, interdisciplinary study, freedom of expression, and championing of Indigenous rights.
  • Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health and the University Health Network, the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Sinai Health, and the Director of Health Policy Research at the National Institute on Ageing at Toronto Metropolitan University, for his tireless work as an advocate for older persons, and his contributions to the development and implementation of new health and social care models, standards and policies to support our ageing population at the provincial, national and international levels.
  • Ms. Christina Sorbara, Vice-President of Corporate Knowledge, Sorbara Group of Companies, for her renowned leadership in the real estate development industry, community volunteerism, philanthropic endeavours that have contributed greatly to the growth of Durham Region and beyond, and her success as a national team athlete.
  • Mr. Edward Sorbara, Principal of the Sorbara Group of Companies, for his outstanding accomplishments in business, his commitment to building a culture of philanthropy and a lifetime of charitable and volunteer service, attributes which align with Ontario Tech’s key values of integrity, inclusion, intellectual resilience and innovation.

Ontario Tech would also like to acknowledge Mr. John Tavares, Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and whose junior hockey jersey number was retired by the Oshawa Generals, for his outstanding work as a Canadian athlete, his dedication as a role model to aspiring young athletes, and for inspiring the next generation to build a better world for themselves and their generation.

Mr. Tavares was conferred as a 2022 Ontario Tech honorary degree recipient, but unable to attend last year’s Convocation ceremonies. He was formally presented with his parchment on March 12, 2023 at Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre, while attending an Oshawa Generals game.

Additional Convocation information

  • The Ontario Tech Convocation website has the full ceremony schedule and further details.
  • All ceremonies can be viewed live online on the Convocation ceremonies live feeds website.
  • Ontario Tech also confirms it will stage its first-ever Fall Convocation in October 2023 for Summer-semester graduates from all six faculties. Further details will be released in the coming months.

Media contact

Patricia Pickett
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.809.1675 (mobile)