Booker Prize winning author Margaret Atwood has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.
The award-winning writer was one of four prominent Canadians from the fields of literature, politics, law and business to be honoured by the University at a ceremony in Toronto on Friday. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin; former Chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, General John De Chastelain; and investment banker Garret Herman also received honorary degrees.
The ceremony was part of a series of events being held to coincide with the University of Edinburgh’s General Council Meeting in Toronto. The events have allowed graduates and friends from across Canada to reconnect with and celebrate their links to Edinburgh. Other events have included a debate titled ‘Lessons for and from Canada’, which focused on the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum.
A formal Memorandum of Understanding between the Universities of Edinburgh and Toronto has also been signed. Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University of Edinburgh has very strong ties with Canada, and I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate these not only by holding the General Council meeting in Toronto, but also by recognising the work of these honorary graduates.”
The University of Edinburgh is currently home to 450 Canadian students studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Notable graduates include Nova Scotian physician and Canadian parliamentarian William Johnston Almon; Sir Charles Tupper, the sixth Prime Minister of Canada; and Andrew Fernando Holmes, one of the founders of the Montreal Medical Institution.
The General Council Meeting has underlined Edinburgh’s commitment to North America, which will be further strengthened in October when the University opens an office in New York.