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Three outstanding individuals to receive honorary degrees at spring convocation ceremonies

17 May 2023
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Mark McMorris

Mark McMorris is one of the most decorated athletes in snowboarding history, holding three Olympic medals, 22 X Games medals, and four U.S. Open Championship wins.  A decade after winning his first X Games McMorris has emerged as a leader in the sports world. He is a trailblazer on social media and has partnered with many top brands to help create a more inclusive sport for all. 

McMorris and his brother Craig launched the McMorris Foundation in 2012 with the goal of inspiring disadvantaged children to find their passion through sport. The McMorris Foundation has raised more than $350,000 and helped to provide over 3,500 Canadian kids with athletic opportunities.

The resilience he has shown in coming back from repeated injuries demonstrates that there are no limits for what he is willing to do to achieve his goals.

Mark McMorris on the Beijing Olympic podium holding his bronze medal and bouquet of flowers.

Over the course of his career, Mark McMorris has won three Olympic bronze medals, 22 X Games medals and has amassed four US Open Championship wins. Photo credit: Mark McMorris

Growing up in pancake-flat Saskatchewan, McMorris never expected to make an impact on the sporting world, let alone becoming one of snowboarding’s biggest stars. McMorris is feeling the same way about receiving a University of Regina honorary degree.

“Honestly, I never thought I would receive anything like this,” he says. “Being recognized with an honorary degree from the University of Regina is a huge honour.”

McMorris will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws honoris causa (LLD) on June 14.

Gloria Mehlmann

Access to a good education is a theme that runs through Gloria Mehlmann’s life. She says her choice to pursue teaching was one of the best decisions of her professional life. She taught at four schools in the Regina Public Schools system from 1962 to 1983, and was later seconded to serve as the director of Research and Development with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, now First Nations University of Canada.

As the director of Aboriginal Education for the provincial Department of Education from 1994 to 2004, she oversaw the integration of Indigenous perspectives and content into the K-12 curriculum.

She also served as a member and chair of the Regina Public Library board and was the provincial library trustees association representative to the University of Regina Senate. A gifted writer, Mehlmann penned Gifted to Learn, a memoir of her teaching career and Adam’s Tree, a firsthand account of the impacts of Indian Act policies and residential schooling.

A woman poses in a chair in a sunny living room
Gloria Mehlmann is receiving an honorary degree for her contributions to education, literature, and community development. Photo credit: Lillie Louise Major

In 2005 Mehlmann received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in recognition of her contributions to education, libraries and community development.

She describes her honorary degree as an incredible honour. “I’m not sure what I will say to the graduates at the ceremony, but it will be about my love of learning, and it will be from my heart.”

Mehlmann will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters honoris causa (DLitt) on June 15.

Live stream the U of R spring convocation by going to the University’s Facebook page.

Gary Drummond

Total surprise was Gary Drummond’s reaction when he first learned he would be the recipient of a University of Regina honorary degree. As one of the most successful business people in the province’s history there is no denying his qualifications. 

Drummond was one of the founding partners of Direct Energy in the late 1980s and since that time he has successfully lead businesses in real estate, farming, ethanol production, brew pubs and tap houses, a string of oil and gas companies, an electricity and natural gas marketing company, a smart meter supplier, a security firm, and an upscale hotel in Kelowna.

A man smiles and poses for the camera at a large desk
Business entrepreneur Gary Drummond is receiving an honorary degree for his business achievements and his contributions to sport. Photo credit: U of R Photography

Drummond credits the success that he’s had to what he learned as a student at the U of R, particularly in terms of focusing, prioritizing and building long-term relationships. A post-secondary education does not guarantee health or happiness, he says, but it is a foundational building block to a creative and successful career, and, generally, a better life.

“It is much more difficult without a post-secondary education to achieve that level of success, and so I feel that the grads receiving their degrees from the U of R are very fortunate, and will have opportunities open up to them, as they did for me,” says Drummond. “Having a university in a community certainly opens up paths for individuals, and contributes to the overall well-being of the community.”

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Gary Drummond will be unavailable to accept his honorary degree from the University of Regina at its June 16 Spring Convocation ceremony.

The U of R hopes to bestow the honorary degree on Mr. Drummond at our Fall Convocation ceremony on October 20, 2023.

About the University of Regina

Set in the heart of the Canadian prairies we are a comprehensive, mid-sized university where the opportunities are as limitless as the horizon. Our campuses are on Treaty 4 and 6 - the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities to build a more inclusive future for all. Our three federated colleges, 10 faculties, 25 academic departments, and 18 research centres foster innovative research with practical and theoretical applications. We are committed to cultivating the potential of our 16,000 students and supporting their health and well-being. We take learning beyond the classroom through work and volunteer experiences to develop career-ready graduates.

Let’s go far, together.