Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Gail Asper, president of The Asper Foundation, in recognition of her humanitarian work, advocacy for human rights, and leading volunteer service to the community.
Asper was honoured during the first day of spring Convocation. About 4,380 students will be receiving their degrees over four days of ceremonies.
“Be a lifter, not a leaner,” said Asper. “Don’t expect others to make improvements to the world. Lend a hand and strengthen a person or an organization and by lifting them, you get stronger too. We all know that the way to get physically stronger is to lift more and in fact, lifting doesn’t weaken you, it strengthens you. It’s the same with community involvement.”
Asper practised law for a number of years in Halifax before joining Canwest Global Communications Corp. in 1989 as general counsel, corporate secretary and a director.
She has served on the boards of numerous non-profit groups, including the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and United Way, and is currently board chair of the National Arts Centre Foundation, a board member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and a governor of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
She worked for 14 years to develop the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which opened in Winnipeg in 2014. She has received numerous awards for community service, including the Governor General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, the Order of Manitoba and Officer of the Order of Canada.
“A distinguished lawyer, having practiced across our nation, Gail has been a role model not only for women, but for all who aspire to careers in law and corporate governance,” said Oliver Javanpour, Carleton board member and chief executive officer of Cyrus Echo.
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