U of C con­fers de­gree

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - SAMMY HUDES [email protected]­ Twit­ Sam­myHudes

The Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary awarded the Aga Khan an hon­orary doc­tor of laws de­gree Wed­nes­day, be­stow­ing the spir­i­tual leader of the Shia Is­maili Mus­lim com­mu­nity the uni­ver­sity’s high­est aca­demic hon­our.

The Aga Khan, the 49th hered­i­tary Imam of the world’s Shia Is­maili Mus­lims, was praised for his con­tri­bu­tions to in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment, com­mit­ment to in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity.

Uni­ver­sity pres­i­dent Eliz­a­beth Can­non said the Aga Khan “stands as a liv­ing leg­end.”

“This is a re­ally spe­cial day. You can feel the ex­cite­ment, you can re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the work that he has done and how much it in­ter­sects with what’s im­por­tant here at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary,” Can­non said. “He is some­body who’s re­ally reached be­yond his own faith, bring­ing other faiths to­gether and re­ally bet­ter­ing hu­man­ity in so many ways.”

The Aga Khan was in Ed­mon­ton on Tues­day to cel­e­brate the open­ing of a $25-mil­lion gar­den he gifted to the Uni­ver­sity of Al­berta. Named the Aga Khan Gar­den, it sprawls more than 4.8 hectares — about the size of 31 NHL rinks.

“We drew on his prox­im­ity to Cal­gary and we’re lucky that he was able to be here,” Can­non said. “We’re just de­lighted that ev­ery­thing lined up beau­ti­fully.”

Ear­lier in the day, the uni­ver­sity signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Aga Khan Uni­ver­sity, which has cam­puses in Pak­istan, Kenya, Tan­za­nia, Uganda and the U.K., to fur­ther col­lab­o­rate through the dis­ci­plines of ed­u­ca­tion, nurs­ing, medicine and arts.

Can­non said U of C has part­nered with the Aga Khan Uni­ver­sity and the Aga Khan De­vel­op­ment Net­work, which em­ploys 80,000 peo­ple through a global net­work of de­vel­op­ment agen­cies ac­tive in about 30 de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, for decades.

The Aga Khan De­vel­op­ment Net­work in­vests close to $1 bil­lion each year for non-profit so­cial and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties to ad­dress the needs of vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions.

Uni­ver­sity chan­cel­lor Deb­o­rah Yedlin called the Aga Khan “a sup­porter and ad­vo­cate for so­cial and hu­man rights around the globe.”

“His lead­er­ship truly serves as an ex­am­ple of how we can all work to­gether to sup­port so­cial and hu­man de­vel­op­ment both at home and around the world,” she said.


The Aga Khan re­ceived his hon­orary de­gree, Doc­tor of Laws, from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary Wed­nes­day, with chan­cel­lor Deb­o­rah Yedlin call­ing him “a sup­porter and ad­vo­cate for so­cial and hu­man rights.”


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