Saturday, June 2, 2007

Honorary Doctorate for Robert J. Sawyer

On Saturday, June 2, 2007, Robert J. Sawyer received an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa) from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario; Sawyer also gave the convocation address to graduating arts students that day. The doctorate was given in recognition of Sawyer's international success as a science-fiction writer.

Laurentian, a bilingual English-and-French institution, is the leading university in northern Ontario. During the same series of convocations, other honorary doctorates were awarded, including to civil-rights leader Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine. Laurentian bestowed its first honorary doctorate of letters in 1970, to Canadian literary legend Farley Mowat.

Sawyer's Hugo Award-winning novel Hominids and its sequels Humans and Hybrids are set largely in the Sudbury area, including at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and at Laurentian University itself (which is known worldwide for Michael Persinger's research there using transcranial magnetic stimulation inducing religious experiences, research that figures prominently in Hybrids).

Sawyer was nominated for the doctorate by Michael Emond, a tenured professor in Laurentian's Psychology Department. Said Emond when making the nomination: "I could think of no better candidate that exemplifies the reasons why I am proud to be Canadian."

Receiving the honorary doctorate was the final stop on Sawyer's six-week book tour promoting the release of his seventeenth novel, Rollback (Tor, April 2007).

Laurentian University press release


Robert J. Sawyer receives his honorary doctorate from Laurentian president Judith Woodsworth, while Dr. Michael Emond, who nominated Rob for the doctorate, looks on.

Rob gives the convocation address; read the full text here.

Carolyn Clink, President Woodsworth, and Robert J. Sawyer at the reception after the convocation

A close-up of the diploma.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At June 02, 2007 6:25 PM , Blogger Joel Kelly said...

Awesome, congrats.

At June 02, 2007 8:08 PM , Blogger Lou Sytsma said...

Congrats Rob! Awesome speech!

At June 02, 2007 10:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many congratulations Dr. Sawyer. For anyone that missed the cermony it is still available on line by following the link in the Blog. Mr. Sawyer is presented with his doctorate about 28 minutes in.

At June 03, 2007 1:14 AM , Blogger David said...

My heartiest congratulations, Rob! I believe that you deserved to get the award. Best wishes, Doctor Rob!

David Scott

At June 03, 2007 1:15 AM , Anonymous Costi said...

Wow! Congratulations! I'm very, very happy for you!
Dr. Sawyer — doesn't sound bad at all!!!

At June 03, 2007 1:15 AM , Blogger David said...

Congratulations! You deserved the honor bestowed. Best wishes, Doctor Rob!

At June 03, 2007 6:40 PM , Blogger dliles said...

Congrats, Rob. You look great!! May you receive many more honors because of the great contribution you have made to SCIFI!!

Mansfield, OH, USA

At June 03, 2007 7:26 PM , Blogger Al said...

Aw, congrats already, I just wanna ask:


At June 03, 2007 9:42 PM , Blogger Mark Leslie said...

Congratulations, Doctor Sawyer! And what a wonderfully uplifting convocation address if I might add! :)

At June 04, 2007 4:36 PM , Blogger wftl said...

Well done, dude! Now you can stop playing doctor because you are one! Sorry, don't know where that came from [ insert appropriate smiley here ]. Congratulations, Rob!
-- Marcel Gagné

At June 05, 2007 3:23 AM , Anonymous Sharon Williams said...

Congratulations for a well-deserved honour!

Thank-you for your generosity in sharing the short story. One of the things I truly enjoy about your writing is that your stories always come full-circle.
Your books have important underlying themes with the final ironic humourous twist that stays in the back of this reader's mind when analagous situations appear in real life.

Keep on flying high,
Sharon (previous correspondent)

At June 05, 2007 8:46 AM , Blogger ken said...

Bravo, Rob!
Reveling in your youth
was shameless (47, indeed),
but what the hey? Rock on,
oh visionary one.
Ken McGoogan

At June 11, 2007 6:51 AM , Blogger Lai said...

Excellent news, Rob! Congratulations.

Take care,


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