President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons receives honorary degree

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: June 4, 2019 1:25 p.m.

Dr. Vianne Timmons, University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Vianne Timmons, University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Photo: U of R Photography

Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina, today received an honorary degree from the University of Calgary - the highest academic distinction the institution bestows upon individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition. A U of C alumna and Officer of the Order of Canada, Dr. Timmons was recognized as a strong advocate for women in leadership, Indigenous post-secondary education, and persons with disabilities. Her work to actively make higher education more accessible, supportive and inclusive for all students was highlighted.

“I have so many fond memories of time spent at U of C. It was formative and played a key role in my life. I am honoured to be recognized by my alma mater in this way,” Timmons says.

Graduating from the U of C in 1993 with a PhD in Educational Psychology, Timmons specialized in rehabilitation for children with intellectual disabilities.

“A lot has happened in the 26 years since I graduated,” she shared at today’s convocation ceremony for graduands from the Werklund School of Education, the Faculty of Environmental Design, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

“I have worked at three other universities, become president of one of them, lived in several provinces, worked in India, raised a family, and followed my passion for inclusive education and family literacy. My hope is that I have lived my life so as to have had a positive impact on the many people I’ve met along the way.”

Honorary degree recipients are individuals who are nationally or internationally recognized within their fields or those who have demonstrated services to the community, significantly affecting the University and/or the region.

The U of C alumna and Officer of the Order of Canada was recognized as a strong advocate for women in leadership, Indigenous post-secondary education, and persons with disabilities. Her work to actively make higher education more accessible, supportive and inclusive for all students was highlighted.

In her closing remarks, Timmons encouraged graduands to, “show kindness and respect to others; demonstrate compassion for the vulnerable; be generous with your time; love your friends and family unconditionally; and, be grateful for all you have. Do your part – however small or ordinary it may seem on surface – to leave the world a better place than my generation has left it for you.”

She left them with a quote from Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement and her personal hero: “Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.”

The University of Calgary is a publicly funded research-intensive university founded in 1966, with 14 faculties offering more than 250 academic programs, more than 50 research institutes and centres, and more than 30,000 students.

In 2017, Dr. Timmons received an honorary degree from Mount Allison University for her work in advocacy and empowerment of women leaders; internationalization; and disabilities and inclusion.

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President Vianne Timmons receives an honorary degree