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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.


Paule Beaugrand-Champagne

President of the Québec Press Council
Honorary Doctorate in Communications

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For our Faculty, Paule Beaugrand-Champagne embodies excellence, professional ethics, and commitment to our nation’s most fundamental values. Over her media career in Québec and throughout Canada, Ms. Beaugrand-Champagne has been a pioneer whose talent and intelligence have been a source of inspiration to the young women and men in our classes preparing to enter the fields of journalism and communications.

Guillaume Pinson
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences

Paule Beaugrand-Champagne was born in 1943 and began her career in the 1960s, rising through the ranks to lead major media organizations. In the 1970s, she was editor-in-chief of the daily Le Jour, then joined the senior news management team at La Presse, making her the first woman to hold a leadership position in a daily paper newsroom. In 1986 she became associate editor of Le Devoir and managing editor of Le Devoir économique. During the 1990s, she was associate editor of L’actualité then editor-in-chief of Le Journal de Montréal.

Ms. Beaugrand-Champagne is also very involved in TV broadcasting. In the early 2000s, she was editor-in-chief of Radio-Canada’s Téléjournal, then CEO of Télé-Québec, where she promoted public television. She was also editor of the magazine L’actualité from 2005 to 2008. In 2014, she was appointed president of the Québec Press Council. She is the first woman to hold this position.

Ms. Beaugrand-Champagne’s career is a model for the next generation. Her role in the influx of women into journalism and the news cannot be understated, as other women followed the path she blazed and carried on her commitment to quality reporting. As young men and women learn the demanding profession of reporting the news in a constantly changing world, they can emulate Paule Beaugrand-Champagne and her stellar career.

“I am very touched that Université Laval thought of me for this honour. I loved my work as a journalist. I really believed in the essential role the press plays in society—and I still do. I hope the journalism graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences will feel the same satisfaction in exercising their new profession.”

Paule Beaugrand-Champagne

Brigitte Coutu

CEO of RICARDO Media Inc.
Honorary Doctorate in Nutrition

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The Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences is proud to honour Brigitte Coutu, an accomplished businesswoman with a degree in nutrition. Her leadership, vision, scientific rigour, and business acumen have made her an inspiring model of entrepreneurial success and a huge contributor to healthy eating habits.

Jean-Claude Dufour
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences

A graduate of Université de Montréal with a degree in nutrition, Brigitte Coutu entered the business world in 2002, founding RICARDO Media with her spouse, Ricardo Larrivée.

From the first, she brought keen business sense and management skills, professional dedication, and respect for science to the venture. She is the mastermind who turns Ricardo’s big ideas into big successes. Ms. Coutu’s hard work and uncompromising standards have carried the RICARDO brand to great heights.

Today Brigitte Coutu is CEO of RICARDO Media Inc. She leads a team of more than 150 employees working in the company’s many areas of business, including magazines, books, TV production, a website, kitchen accessories, table linen collections, shops, restaurants, and a line of gourmet products. She oversees the rigorous recipe testing process and the production of learning materials for all the company’s distribution platforms, two key components of the firm’s success with consumers.

Ms. Coutu has built her business around the importance of cooking and eating together. In this way she shares the values of the Université Laval School of Nutrition, which aims to promote and pass on knowledge that encourages people to adopt healthy eating habits, try new foods, savour their time at the table, and learn the preventive benefits of a healthy diet. Her work to further this vision of nutrition has had an extraordinary impact across Canada.

“Nutrition has provided a compass for my life in a way I never could have imagined. The three years I spent at university and my multiple internships to earn my nutritionist degree had a huge influence on the businesswoman I have become.

“I’m no longer a nutritionist but I’m just as excited about nutrition as ever. It’s part of my life. Plus I get to drive the narrative at my firm as we work to inform, educate, and answer questions from millions of consumers on our various digital and print platforms.

“You can’t build a company centred around family and food by yourself. This extraordinary honour from Université Laval really goes to all the members of my team. My staff pour their hearts into promoting health and good food, and I would like to thank them. I never dreamed I would receive such a fine honour. I would like to thank Université Laval. It fills me with pride and inspires me to continue to pursue the mission we’ve made for ourselves at RICARDO Media: to promote the importance of cooking and eating together.”

Brigitte Coutu

Koen De Winter

Honorary Doctorate in Design

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Koen De Winter has inspired generations of young designers over the course of his career. While he has been decorated with awards from around the globe for his professional accomplishments, it is his great humanism that we are honouring today with this honorary degree.

Alain Rochon
Dean, Faculty of Planning, Architecture, Art and Design

Mr. Koen De Winter has received numerous national and international awards. In 2006 he won the prestigious Henry van de Velde Award, the top distinction in Belgian design, for his extraordinary career. In 2016 Québec’s design community honoured him with its Grand Prix du Design. Mr. De Winter also has the unique honour of representing Québec in the Museum of Modern Art’s design and architecture collection in New York. He has designed and developed more than 400 products of the greatest variety, many of them presenting a number of challenges. From exploring new applications for innovative plastics developed by Shell to creating a low-cost prosthetic foot and designing variety of objects for the kitchen, he is an industry star known for his versatility and expertise in materials and production techniques. He is a very popular speaker, he has penned numerous articles in industry journals, and his work has been covered by international periodicals. Mr. De Winter has shared his knowledge and passion with his design students for over 18 years. He is past president of ADIQ (Association des designers industriels du Québec), and sits or has sat on the boards of various organizations, including SODEC and Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec, where he is a member emeritus.

“This honour is much more than I deserve, but I am pleased to accept it on behalf of all those who, far from the media spotlight, recognize urgent needs, solve problems, create jobs, help develop our profession, and generously share what they have learned and its challenges with today’s rising generation of eager designers. On behalf of those colleagues, I am most of all grateful.”

Koen De Winter

André Kabasele Mukenge

Rector, Université Notre-Dame du Kasayi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Honorary Doctorate in Theology

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As Rector of a university that is still quite new, André Kabasele has paired a teaching career with an extraordinary commitment to university education in a country where education is not always a government priority. He believes strongly than even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Gilles Routhier
Dean, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

André Kabasele Mukenge serves as a priest in the Archdiocese of Kananga and is already well known for the outstanding quality of his scientific work in the universities of Europe and Africa, where he is often invited. He is also widely published in both German and French. Mr. Kabasele is an eminent representative of emerging African theology who stands out for the originality of his thinking, the quantity and quality of his writings, and the international recognition he has received.

His active engagement, first as dean of the Faculty of Theology in Kinshasa at a time when his country was in the throes of a grave social and political crisis, then as rector of a young university in a region ravaged by violence, is a testament to his deep conviction that education is essential to the emancipation and liberation of communities and people. Professor Kabasele has always connected his scientific work to his social and cultural environment, never separating his theological practice from the needs of society and fruitful dialogue between the Christian tradition and African culture. While rooted in his African homeland, his research is fertilized by his contacts abroad, in particular with Europe.

André Kabasele’s university career has combined teaching, research, and governance of a faculty and a university. He is an active participant in national and international networks and a member of scientific and scholarly journal committees. His remarkable teaching career is paired with an extraordinary commitment to university education in a country where education is not always a government priority. He carries the unshakeable conviction that even a journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step. That is what gives him hope.

“After the pleasant surprise of the announcement, I felt peace and comfort to know I had been heard and understood. For an intellectual, that feeling is worth far more than any honour or simple pride. It is the satisfaction of an objective achieved, a task accomplished.”

André Kabasele Mukenge

Robert Samuel Langer

Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Honorary Doctorate in Pharmacy

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As a pioneer in tissue engineering and pharmaceutical technologies, Dr. Langer has made important scientific breakthroughs that have had a direct and positive impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of people. He is a man both respected for his productivity and boundless creativity and greatly admired for his remarkably personal touch and humility.

Jean Lefebvre
Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy

Dr. Robert S. Langer heads one of the biggest biotechnology laboratories in the world, located at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An inventor and entrepreneur, he has developed various technologies in regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical sciences that have helped treat millions of people around the world. His discoveries are behind many drugs currently on the market that improve the quality of life of patients with cancer, diabetes, and certain orphan diseases. 

He was the youngest researcher elected to three recognized U.S. scientific academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kyoto Prize (2014), considered the most prestigious scientific distinction in fields where Nobel Prizes are not awarded. His work has led to over 1,400 scientific publications and 1,300 patents. 

Dr. Langer is also known for his ability to promote his discoveries through entrepreneurship and business creation. He is an exceptional mentor, having contributed to the training of over 300 professors working around the world, including two from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval. Since the very beginning of his career, Dr. Langer has focused on improving people’s wellbeing through innovation and the development of new technologies. His creative genius and remarkable scientific productivity—as well as his extraordinary humility and affability—make him a truly inspiring success story.

“I am honoured to receive this doctorate from Université Laval. It means a lot to me, because two of my former postdoctoral fellows are now faculty members at the institution. In addition to being great people, they will certainly have exceptional careers.”

Robert Samuel Langer, ScD

Ricardo Larrivée

Chairman of the Board and Executive Chef of RICARDO Media Inc.
Honorary Doctorate in Nutrition

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Ricardo Larrivée’s passion and commitment to making good food accessible to all make him a model of leadership for students and for society. He has helped improve the public’s health by teaching young people and families new cooking skills, sharing quality information, and reaching an ever-growing audience. We are proud to celebrate his remarkable career with this high honour.

Jean-Claude Dufour
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Chef, author, TV personality, and entrepreneur—Ricardo is all of this and more. As the only chef recognized in both English and French across Canada and abroad, he is the face of a brand that shows families what the art of living well looks like today. In pursuing his mission to promote the importance of cooking and eating together, he has helped improve Canadians’ eating habits. 

Ricardo is a visionary, a communicator, and an expert at making things easy for people. In his hands, family cooking is not only simple but enjoyable, incorporating principles of sustainable development and the art of entertaining. 

Working in perfect synergy with his business partner and spouse, Brigitte Coutu, Ricardo makes everything understandable in both English and French across a variety of platforms, from books to TV to magazines to the Web. He offers recipes, cooking how-tos, and information on food choices, nutrition, food chemistry and safety, urban agriculture, buying local, and more. And he calls in experts on each topic to ensure the information is accurate. 

His impact is clear. He has attracted a loyal audience whose numbers have continued to grow since 2002. In addition to his unique role in the media, Ricardo has been actively involved in a number of innovative social initiatives to further culinary education and help young people find their success. 

Ambitious, socially engaged, creative, and an unparalleled communicator, Ricardo Larrivée is a model of entrepreneurship, creativity, and excellence. His extraordinary influence extends right around the world.

“I had the privilege of marrying a nutritionist, which introduced me to the wonderful science of nutrition and made it a way of life. For 20 years now I have been working to explain as best I can the importance of cooking and make it easy for everyone. 
“Proper diet is the foundation of good health. It keeps you healthy and can make you healthier. 

“Eating well is not just a matter of calories and vitamins. The daily actions of sharing a meal and being receptive to others are also essential. We change the world every day around the table. 

“This recognition is an honour that inspires me to continue developing balanced family cuisine that anyone can enjoy. With the help of a talented, inquisitive team that thrives on challenges, we will continue to promote healthy habits and good food backed by science. 

“I hope we as a society can learn to make eating not just another source of stress and work in our busy lives, but a special moment that we are fortunate to be able to share.”

Ricardo Larrivée

Peter Libby

Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Honorary Doctorate in Medicine

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The Faculty of Medicine is proud to see Université Laval award its highest honour to the illustrious cardiologist Dr. Peter Libby. His research has made an outstanding contribution to improving cardiovascular health. Dr. Libby continues to teach at the university level while generously sharing his knowledge with organizations and authorities around the world. Dr. Libby is a model of social responsibility. His commitment to sustainable health is a source of inspiration to many.

Julien Poitras
Dean, Faculty of Medicine

Peter Libby is one of the world’s most influential cardiologists. He has had a distinguished research career as a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. His work has, among other things, shed light on the mechanisms involved in myocardial infarction and significantly influenced the management and prevention of cardiovascular accidents. He has also been a pioneer in demonstrating the involvement of inflammation in the etiology of cardiovascular disease. As a clinician, Peter Libby is committed to his patients and plays a key role in training cardiology residents at the renowned Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

With a spectacular track record of scientific publications, including an h-index of 206 and over 180,000 external citations according to Google Scholar, Dr. Libby is one of the most cited researchers in the world in any discipline. In addition to his distinguished career as a researcher, which has garnered him many prestigious international awards, he was the head of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s for 16 years, a role in which he helped train leaders in the field from around the world. He is an editor of Braunwald’s Heart Disease, a renowned reference work in the field of cardiology. 

In 2005, despite his many commitments, Dr. Libby generously agreed to join the steering committee for the Université Laval International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk. Dr. Libby is without a doubt one of the leading international figures in cardiology, and his knowledge is invaluable in tangibly improving the public’s cardiovascular health.

“It is a great honour for me to receive an honorary doctorate from Université Laval. Some people have been questioning the value of international relationships and cooperation between countries. But this recognition, the fruit of many years of collaboration with my colleagues in Québec and Canada, illustrates how important it is to look beyond our national borders to work together to advance science and improve health.”

Peter Libby

Pauline Marois

Politician and Premier of Québec (2012–2014)
Honorary Doctorate in Social Work

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Ms. Marois has left an indelible mark on Québec society with her great humanity, determination, and leadership. Her contributions as a social worker, administrator, and politician are innumerable. The Faculty of Social Sciences is very proud to welcome this distinction conferred on her.

François Gélineau
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Pauline Marois studied social work at Université Laval and completed an MBA at HEC Montréal. A community activist, she led a local community services centre then worked to create a service to respond to social emergencies. She moved on to hold various positions in minister’s offices before her first election as an MNA in 1981. At the age of 33 she became a minister in the government of René Lévesque. 

Premiers Jacques Parizeau, Lucien Bouchard, and Bernard Landry appointed her to one important position after another, including Minister of Finance, Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Minister of Health and Social Services, and Minister of Education. She was the third woman to hold the position of Deputy Premier of Québec and would become the first female Premier of Québec. She spent more than 30 years on Québec’s political scene and headed the Parti Québécois from 2007 to 2014. Having led nine provincial ministries, Ms. Marois has held the most ministerial positions of anyone in Québec. 

Pauline Marois also created Québec’s early childhood centres, helped found the Outaouais Association coopérative d’économie familiale (ACEF), led the effort to secularize French- and English-language Catholic and Protestant parochial schools, and introduced full-day kindergarten. 

Ms. Marois broke the glass ceiling, demonstrating resilience and strength throughout her career as a social worker, administrator, and politician.

“I appreciate this personal recognition, and I accept it with a special thought to all those who step up and get involved in the social and political spheres. These women and men work hard and with heart to build a more just, more humane society.”

Pauline Marois

Claude Panaccio

Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy at UQAM
Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy

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A lover of clear, precise language, an enemy of useless jargon, and an ardent defender of conceptual rigour, Claude Panaccio is a researcher and teacher admired by philosophers and philosophy historians alike.

Victor Thibaudeau
Dean, Faculty of Philosophy

Québec’s own Claude Panaccio has led an illustrious 40-year career as a philosopher specializing in nominalism and its most famous medieval proponent, William of Ockham. His exemplary teaching combines a rigorous, systematic study of the history of (primarily medieval) philosophy with substantial contributions to important debates in contemporary philosophy touching on philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, logic, and ontology in particular. 

Alongside his scientific endeavours, Claude Panaccio has served the philosophical community throughout his life and been active in Société de Philosophie du Québec—which he helped found—and the Canadian Philosophical Association. He was also coeditor of the leading philosophical review Dialogue for twelve years. His research has earned him national and international awards and the admiration of a least two generations of scholars. Claude Panaccio is inarguably among the ten most influential experts in medieval philosophy in the world. His prominence has helped establish Québec as one of the leading centres of research and education in the field of medieval philosophy.

“This doctorate is a great honour for me. With it, Université Laval proves once again its longstanding support for research in ancient and medieval philosophy, and I am extremely grateful.”

Claude Panaccio

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