2023 Honorary Degree Recipients

Spring 2023 Honorary Degree Recipients

JoAnn Callender

JoAnn Callender has worked for decades to exhibit music of The Bahamas around the world. A renowned soprano soloist, she is also well regarded as a champion of Black excellence in the performing arts and for her long career as a writer, producer and director of stage productions that have been brought to international audiences. She is a Bahamian cultural ambassador and is dedicated to preserving a legacy of Bahamian music for future generations.

Doctor of Letters, to be presented 30-May-2023 4:00 pm


Morna Edmundson

Morna Edmundson is the Artistic Director of the world-renowned Elektra Women’s Choir and EnChor Choir of Vancouver. As a choral conductor, administrator and builder, she has set a standard of excellence within her choirs that has been widely acknowledged in both performance and competition. Her professional reputation has propelled her into leadership positions on national and international choral governing bodies, while her generous mentorship, innovative programming and creative community engagement activities provide an inspirational legacy for the entire artistic community.

Doctor of Letters, to be presented 25-May-2023 4:00 pm


Roy Forbes

A mainstay at festivals and on concert stages for the past five decades, Roy Forbes maintains a wide-ranging career as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, producer and broadcaster. Born in Dawson Creek, he moved to Vancouver in 1971 and soon became a fixture on Canada’s music scene. His songs evoke a strong sense of Canadian place and experience, and his career has been celebrated with many awards, including an honorary degree from Northern Lights College and his induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. Still active in all facets of his career, his most recent album, Edge Of Blue, was released to critical acclaim in 2020.

Doctor of Letters, to be presented 31-May-2023 1:30 pm


ii naa sii pii taa kii Beatrice Little Mustache

Beatrice Little Mustache (Ii naak sii pii taa kii) has served for over 38 years in various positions in the field of child and adult welfare at all levels of government – band, municipal, provincial and federal. At various times she served as a Social Allowance Worker and an Adult Care Coordinator with Piikani Nation Family Services, Provincial Child Welfare and the First Nations Health Consortium, all in the service of her Piikani First Nation community and the Treaty Seven First Nation communities of Alberta. She has long served as a Peigan Board of Education trustee, including 13 years as board chair.

Doctor of Laws, to be presented 26-May-2023 1:30 pm


David Morley, C.M.

David Morley has dedicated his professional life to humanitarian work, international development and children’s rights. Most recently, as President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, he has successfully mobilized a growing number of Canadians to invest in the education and well-being of children in need around the world. He has also been the Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, has taught at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and is currently Co-Chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Doctor of Laws, to be presented 25-May-2023 11:00 am


Snxakila Clyde Tallio

A member of the Nuxalk First Nation, Snxakila Clyde Michael Tallio, completed years of traditional training with 15 Nuxalk elders to be initiated as an Alkw (a ceremonial speaker and knowledge keeper). A fluent Nuxalk speaker, Snxakila has dedicated the past 20 years to the revitalization of Nuxalk culture, language, and ceremonies. His work has made a lasting impact on Nuxalk education, stewardship, and governance and he has worked with museums, governments, and academic institutions from around the world. At present, Snxakila is the Cultural Director of the Nuxalk Nation, where he is managing the development of the Nation’s first Big House in over 100 years.

Doctor of Letters, to be presented 24-May-2023 1:30 pm


Fall 2023 Honorary Degree Recipients


Thomas Ming Swi Chang, O.C.

As an undergraduate student at McGill University, Thomas Chang accomplished the remarkable feat of creating the world’s first artificial cell, sparking a new and dynamic field of research and development. After completing his MDCM and PhD at McGill, he remained to become a Professor of Physiology, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering and director of the Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre. His work on the medical uses of artificial cells brought him to international prominence, including three nominations for a Nobel Prize and his installation as an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Setsuko Thurlow, C.M.

A survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing, Setsuko Thurlow’s commitment to anti-nuclear advocacy began in 1954 when she voiced her opposition to tests of even more powerful hydrogen bombs by the U.S. in the Marshall Islands. Highlights of her long career include testifying widely before world leaders on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. She also served as a social worker in a number of Toronto-based agencies and led the establishment of the Japanese Family Services of Metropolitan Toronto.


UBC Okanagan Spring Convocation Honorary Degree Recipients

For a list of this year’s recipients, click here.