Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Tom Jackson in recognition of his award-winning work as an actor, musician, philanthropist and university chancellor.
Jackson was honoured during Carleton’s Spring Convocation. Approximately 3,580 students are receiving their degrees during ceremonies this week.
“We have a 1,000 colours in this country and we are all fiercely independent,” said Jackson. “But I have worked with the Red Cross and I can tell you when there is a disaster in this country, that colour all goes away and we become a family.”
Jackson is a recording artist to some, celebrated actor and author to others. He is extraordinarily passionate about creating change.
A bass-baritone voice for food banks, the disenfranchised, the traumatized and now an ambassador for the Canadian Red Cross, he is Canada’s go-to “minstrel with a mission’’ and Renaissance man.
Jackson is known for organizing the Huron Carole, a touring Christmas-themed production which raises funds for Canadian food banks. He has been honoured with numerous accolades, including officer of the Order of Canada, Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Awards and nine honorary degrees. He served as chancellor of Trent University from 2009 to 2013 and is a proud bearer of the 2014 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
“It would be impossible for me to overstate Dr. Jackson’s impact on the world and on myself as a Métis person and an educator,” said Jennifer Adese, assistant professor in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. “More than a gifted musician, he is a true humanitarian and social activist. For decades he has served as an inspiration to young Indigenous people.”
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