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Honorary doctorates

This high honour recognizes individuals who do remarkable and exemplary things in the University’s fields of endeavour. Recipients may come from within academia and outside it in Québec, across Canada, or elsewhere in the world.


Jennie Carignan

Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration

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Jennie Carignan became the first woman in the history of the Canadian Armed Forces to command a combat unit. A brigadier-general and commander of the 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force (East), this pioneering woman has over 10,000 soldiers under her command and is the highest ranking officer in the province of Québec.

Jennie Carignan enrolled in 1986 and has since served in numerous command positions, having risen formidably through the ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces. She has served in a number of overseas deployments over the course of her career, including in Bosnia Herzegovina, the Golan Heights, and Kandahar (Afghanistan). In recognition of her military service, Carignan was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Governor General's Order of Military Merit. She was also named one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network in 2011 and received La Fondation de l'Université Laval's prestigious Gloire de l'Escolle medal in 2016.

Brigadier General Carignan is known for her perseverance, resilience, and love of the arts, especially dance. She consistently demonstrates an exceptional ability to resolve complex conflicts, employing a management style characterized by strong interpersonal relationships and a keen understanding of the human element. In addition to her graduate level management studies at Université Laval, Carignan holds a bachelor of engineering degree in fuels and materials from the Royal Military College of Canada. She is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced Military Studies, where she earned a master of military art and science degree.

Jennie Carignan is married and a mother of four.

Henri Dorion

Honorary Doctorate in Geographic Sciences

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Henri Dorion has led a prolific career in the field of geography, including being named president of Commission d’étude sur l’intégrité du territoire du Québec. During his last term as president of Commission de toponymie du Québec, he served as editor of an illustrated dictionary entitled Noms et lieux du Québec which earned him international recognition. He has served as director of research and collections at Musée de la civilisation and as Québec’s assistant deputy minister of international relations. In furthering Québec’s interests abroad he has served as Québec’s delegate general to Mexico and its non resident delegate to Russia and the Ukraine.

All throughout his career, Dorion has published numerous articles and remained active as a researcher and professor in the fields of toponymy, the geopolitics of borders—particularly those of Québec—and Slavic studies. In his work at Université Laval from 1964 to 2011, he was known as a proactive university administrator, an innovative researcher, and a devoted professor who inspired several generations of students.

Henri Dorion has earned numerous awards for his work, including the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Vincent Massey Medal and the Léon Gérin Award, Québec’s highest distinction in the field of humanities and social studies. His research on land and borders in Québec and Eastern Europe and his contribution to Québec’s stellar reputation in the field of toponymy have helped put Université Laval and Québec geographic sciences on the map.

Jocelyne Sheila Feine

Professor at McGill Faculty of Dentistry
Honorary Doctorate in Dental Medicine

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Professor Jocelyne Feine has led a prolific career in dental medicine, guided by the conviction that research must be aligned with the needs of the population. She has also helped train many students who have gone on to become leaders in teaching and research in Canada and around the world. Dr. Feine holds a PhD in dental surgery (D.D.S.) from the University of Texas and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Université de Montréal's Faculty of Dental Medicine, where she went on to become an associate professor. She was then promoted to professor with McGill University's Faculty of Dentistry. 

A leader in clinical trials aimed at improving oral health and quality of life for edentulous populations, Dr. Feine's prosthodontic research has been prominent in recent therapeutic advances for mandibular implant overdentures. Through the international impact of her research, this treatment has become more accessible to edentuous patients seeking improved chewing ability. Professor Feine is also known for her work on the assessment and perception of chronic pain, particularly pain caused by temporomandibular disorders, and the efficacy of therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, she has carried out groundbreaking research on how people with Downs syndrome perceive pain. 

From that work and as Editor-in-Chief of the JDR Clinical and Translational Research journal, Professor Feine has contributed to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of oral health and the evolution of her profession at home and around the world. She is a role model for the next generation of physician scientists in dental medicine.

Catherine Larrère

Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy

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With a career that extends well beyond the borders of philosophy, Catherine Larrère is one of the francophone world’s preeminent academics. Demonstrating exemplary intellectual rigour, she has used her rational and reasonable voice to make compelling arguments on matters of ecology, the environment, political economy, and society. She has brought debates on political ecology, environmental ethics, the philosphy of technology, and animal rights to the forefront of francophone thought. The weight and impact of her work in these fields and her influence on younger generations are, in a word, remarkable.

In France, Catherine Larrère is also seen as a leading expert on 18th century political philosophy—particularly that of Montesquieu—and on environmental philosophy. Her philosophy on “making good use of nature” has been widely recognized as a creative new philosophical approach and a robust, universalist alternative to the idea of wilderness.

Through her many articles, chairs, and lectures at international symposiums, Professor Larrère has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of her field. While standing by her principles, she has played a significant role in the transformation of the academic, scientific, and intellectual world, proving that philosophy is still relevant and necessary.

By supporting innovative researchers, ideas, and projects, this authentic philosopher has invited us to explore new avenues of thought. Her perseverence and her talent for inciting change have inspired many generations of women.

Margaret Norrie McCain

Chair of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation
Honorary Doctorate in Psychology

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Margaret Norrie McCain holds a bachelor's degree in history with honours from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, and a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Toronto. In 1994 she became the first woman lieutenant governor of the province of New Brunswick. 

Over the course of her career, Ms. McCain has worked with different organizations that promote education and culture at both the provincial and national levels. She is particularly known for her work in supporting child development and combating family violence. Ms. McCain is a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation, a New Brunswick organization dedicated to eliminating family violence through outreach and research. She has participated in a number of fundraising campaigns to fight family violence. 

Ms. McCain is the current chair of the board of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, whose mission is to promote effective early childhood education programs in Canada. She spearheaded the Early Years Study, a series of documents and reports produced over the past 15 years to track the advancement of early childhood knowledge and services for children and their parents across Canada. 

Through her support and research, Margaret Norrie McCain has made significant contributions to developmental psychology. Her keen intellect and commitment make her a compelling speaker in the field of early childhood development. She is an effective advocate of scientific research in psychology and understands the importance of political action.

Janice Morse

Distinguished professor – College of Nursing – University of Utah
Honorary Doctorate in Nursing Sciences

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An experienced nurse, professor, and researcher, Janice Morse has made outstanding theoretical and methodological contributions to our understanding of various phenomena central to nursing sciences. 

She holds doctorate degrees in nursing and anthropology and is currently a distinguished professor and presidential endowed chair at the University of Utah's College of Nursing. She is also a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the University of Utah's Academy of Health Science Educators. Her research has lead to the development of a scale for assessing a patient's risk of fall, among other measurement tools, and has expanded our theoretical knowledge of comfort, hope, touch, endurance, emotional suffering, human care, compathy, and nurse–patient interactions. Professor Morse has advanced a vision of nursing care—the illness constellation model—based on the notion of wellness. It is a theory of comfort, but also of suffering and the reconceptualization of self. Her research shows how patient–nurse relationships and nursing techniques keep patients alive, ensure their well being, and bring them comfort.

Janice Morse is the founder of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, helped create three journals on qualitative research methods, and was a lead author for a series of textbooks on qualitative methods published by Sage Publications. This inspiring woman's erudition, her remarkable contribution to nursing sciences, and her leadership have made her a shining example over the course of her career. Her work has had a significant impact on training, practice, and research in the field of nursing.

Louise Otis

Civil and Commercial Mediator and Arbitrator
Honorary Doctorate in Law

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Louise Otis is a passionate and visionary mediator, arbitrator, and judge whose work has had a remarkable international impact. Among her many achievements, she created one of the first integrated judicial mediation programs, now a global reference in the field. She also helped create the facilitator program for criminal proceedings used in Québec.

Louise Otis began her career as a lawyer in 1975, practicing labour law and administrative law until she was appointed to the bench of the Superior Court of Québec in 1990. Three years later she was named to the bench of the Court of Appeal of Québec, where she served until 2009. During her time on the bench she delivered over 3,000 rulings in civil, commercial, administrative, and criminal cases. Currently an arbitrator and mediator in civil and commercial law, she also serves as president of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and president of the administrative tribunal of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).

Throughout her career Louise Otis has also helped institute judicial reforms in various countries and revise the internal administrative justice systems of major international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. An adjunct professor with McGill University's Faculty of Law and a distinguished fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, Louise Otis takes part in symposiums and international missions on a regular basis. She has received numerous honours in recognition of her contributions and initiatives in the field of law. In 2016, she was made a Grande Officière of the Ordre national du Québec (G.O.Q.) after being named an Officier of the Ordre du Canada (O.C.) in 2015.

Driven by the conviction that humans prefer agreement to conflict, Louise Otis has pioneered the use of mediation in dispute resolution. Her international stature, extraordinary generosity, and commitment to promoting the law and making justice more accessible have made her an inspiration for today's youth, particularly young women.

Bernard Voyer

Explorer and Speaker
Honorary University Doctorate

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Born in Rimouski, Québec, Bernard Voyer is a veteran explorer and celebrated speaker with over 30 years of expeditions and exploits under his belt, including four crossings of Baffin Island, the world's first crossing of Ellesmere Island, the first Canadian ski expedition to the North Magnetic Pole, and the first Canadian crossing of Greenland, over a distance of 650 km. Having traversed the Antarctic unassisted to reach the South Pole, he went on to scale the highest summits of all the continent, ascending to the top of Everest on May 5, 1999.

By teaming up with scientists for the majority of his expeditions, Bernard Voyer has broken new technological and scientific ground in the fields of composite material use, satellite technology, geology, glaciology, biology, and nutrition. A captivating speaker with a talent for popularizing science, Voyer has given hundreds of lectures in Canada and abroad to share his passion and experiences, inspire others, and encourage young people to pursue their dreams.

Voyer has been a co-chair of the Ordre de Montréal since 2016. He is also an ambassador for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a member of the Polar Medal Advisory Comittee, and the Honorary Nepalese Consul in Montreal. He is very active with a number of organizations that support young people, including Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, and Forces AVENIR.

Bernard Voyer has received numerous awards in recognition of his exceptional journey, his work with youth, and his dedication to education and environmental protection. He is a model of determination, courage, and the will to defy one's limits whose contribution to society and quest for great challenges have made him a source of inspiration to many.

Honorary doctorates for years prior to 2018 are currently available in French only.