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Honorary Degree Recipients

The University of Regina Act gives Senate the power to grant honorary degrees and Senate and Executive of Council joint authority to approve candidates. The Chancellor confers honorary degrees as recommended by the President who makes selections from the approved candidate list.

Spring 2022 Honourary Degree Recipients




COLETTE BOURGONJE, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Colette Bourgonje is a Canadian Paralympic athlete
of Métis heritage. One of Saskatchewan’s most decorated athletes, Colette does not shy away from competition. She attended many Para Sport competitions around the world competing in both summer and winter sports during her athletic career. Representing Canada in seven winter Paralympic Games in sit skiing and three summer Paralympic Games as a wheelchair racer, she has brought home medals of all three colours – gold, silver and bronze. Colette was not deterred from her ambition for athletics when she was in a life changing car accident in her final year of high school. She went on to be the first graduate from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Physical Education who used a wheelchair, and she worked as an elementary school teacher for many years in Saskatoon. In 2017, Colette Bourgonje School was opened in the growing Saskatoon Rosewood neighbourhood. Today, Colette resides on a farm near Prince Albert and continues to work as a substitute teacher and coaches cross country skiing. Ms. Bourgonje was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2019, the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2019, and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. She never wavers when it comes to the importance of involvement in sports and physical activity, and continues to seek out and support young paraathletes in pursuit of their athletic dreams.


BRIGITTE BAPTISTE, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Whether Brigitte Baptiste is speaking on environmental issues and biodiversity, representing the transgender voice for the rights of sexuality and other minorities, or combining the two, she is a role
model at the forefront of her profession. Brigitte’s passion for the preservation of land, conservation and the protection of endangered species in her home of Bogotá, Colombia has received attention from national and international governments, and Brigitte has become one of the world’s most influential environmental experts. She has brought a confident self to a country where she braved conservatism regarding sexual identity, transitioning in the 1990s at a time when the LGBTQ2S+ community was far less visible. Brigitte continues to be sought out for her views on emerging concepts such as “queer ecology” and “green capitalism”. Among her many achievements, Brigitte is a recipient of the Prince Claus Fund Award in 2018, the Fulbright Excellence Prize in 2018, the Exemplar Colombian Citizen Award in Environment in 2019, and was awarded a PhD Honoris Causa in Environmental Management from Unipaz (Instituto Universitario de la Paz) in Colombia in 2016. She served as Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, a world-renowned research center on biological resources from 2011 to 2019 and is currently the Chancellor of the University EAN, Colombia, a business school being transformed into a sustainability school under her guidance.



 DR. SAQIB SHAHAB, Doctor of Science, honoris causa

Wide open spaces, a prairie relaxed pace, and clear blue skies greeted Dr. Saqib Shahab upon his arrival from Pakistan to Saskatchewan in 2001. Now a well-known figure as our provincial Chief Medical Health Officer, he has grown to love the warmth of Saskatchewan people and has made good use of his knit sweater vests and cardigans to brave the prairie cold. Graduating top of his class from Rawalpindi Medical College, he completed his internal medicine training in the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow in Public Health and Preventive Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, having completed his training at the University of Alberta, and received a Masters of Public Health from John Hopkins University. As one of Canada’s longest serving chief medical health officers, Dr. Shahab leads with calm and confidence, and has been an exceptional leader in Saskatchewan’s public health response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Past Honorary Degree Recipients (Alphabetically) File (445KB)
Past Honorary Degree Recipients (Chronologically) File (454KB)