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Saint Mary’s University announces honorary degree recipients

They will receive their degrees later this May at SMU’s Spring Convocation
honorary degree-smu
Senator Dan Christmas (top left), Padraig O’Malley (top right), Al MacPhee (bottom left) and Lady Sandra Williams (bottom right) will receive their honorary degrees later this May at Saint Mary’s University’s Spring Convocation

Community building and philanthropy are being celebrated by Saint Mary’s University this May, as the university recognizes the achievements of four new honorary degree recipients.  

The university is pleased to recognize the extraordinary achievements of:

  • Senator Dan Christmas, a Mi’kmaw leader and Independent Senator for Nova Scotia. Mr. Christmas has served in numerous leadership positions in the Mi’kmaw Nation of Nova Scotia. His work has ranged across a variety of fields including aboriginal and treaty rights, justice, policing, education, health care, human rights, adult training, business development and the environment.  
  • Padraig O’Malley, an award-winning author and peacemaker. Mr. O’Malley is an expert on democratic transitions and divided societies, with special expertise on Northern Ireland, South Africa, Iraq, Israel and Palestine. He has earned a global reputation for breaking deadlocks by bringing together parties in intractable conflicts and opening the way to dialogue.
  • Al MacPhee, an auto industry mogul and philanthropist. Mr. MacPhee has been in the auto industry for decades and was recently recognized by Ford Motor Company for his tremendous efforts and contributions to his community. He and his wife Mary are very involved with the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning,  a not-for-profit charitable organization whose vision is to provide an alternative education model for youth in marginalized and disadvantaged circumstances.
  • Her Excellency Lady Sandra Williams BA’86, a charity founder and philanthropist. A Saint Mary’s alumna, Lady Williams is currently the president of the Antigua and Barbuda China Friendship Association. She is also the president and founder of The Halo Foundation, an umbrella charity established in December 2014 that addresses the needs of 32 charities under the patronage of the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda.

“Saint Mary’s is known for academic excellence in arts, business and science and for our commitment to community engagement which serves as a foundation for all that we do,” said Saint Mary’s president Robert Summerby-Murray. “We are proud to recognize the accomplishments of four exemplary people who share our Santamarian values, and grant them the highest honour that we can bestow, an honorary degree.”

The honorary degree recipients will receive their degrees later this May at Saint Mary’s University’s Spring Convocation 2019, which runs from May 15 to May 17.

More detailed bios for the recipients can be found at


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