Barb Ryan and Jon Ryan to receive University of Regina’s highest honour

Media Advisory Release Date: June 4, 2019 1:30 p.m.

On June 5, the first day of the University of Regina’s 2019 Spring Convocation, Barb Ryan and Jon Ryan will be presented with Honorary Doctor of Laws honoris causa (LLD,) the highest honour the University can grant. 

“It’s an honour, and it’s lovely to have your labour of love recognized in the community,” Barb Ryan says of receiving the honorary degree. “I tell my grandkids we are really lucky to live here, and I try to show them we have to share; we have to give back.” 

Ryan is receiving the honorary degree for her efforts to welcome refugees and immigrants including hosting two families from Africa and a refugee family of eight from Syria, helping them to settle in their new community. She has been recognized with the 2012 Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee Award, the 2016 Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the Canada 150 Award, and the Saskatchewan Volunteer Award. 

“It’s a great honour to be recognized with this honorary degree and to receive it at the same convocation that my mother (Barb Ryan) is getting one is pretty cool,” said Jon Ryan. 

Born and raised in Regina, Ryan played for the Sheldon-Williams Spartans and University of Regina Rams. His professional football career includes 10 years as punter with the Seattle Seahawks, and a Super Bowl championship in 2013. He signed with his hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders in spring 2019.

Ryan is a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and has given back to community through the Gear Up with Jon Ryan Foundation and the Bob Ryan Foundation, named after his father.

This is the first time a parent and child have received honorary degrees on the same day from the University of Regina.

Note: The Ryans will be available for interviews on June 5, at 1:00 p.m., prior to the start of convocation ceremonies at the Conexus Arts Centre.


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