November 12, 2009


Comedian Dave Thomas among honorary degree recipients at Fall convocation 

Hamilton, Ont. November 12, 2009A distinguished list of three Canadians, including one of McMaster University’s most famous alumnus—comedian Dave Thomas—will receive honorary degrees during Fall convocation ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 20 in the Great Hall of Hamilton Place.

Degrees will be awarded to the graduating classes of the DeGroote School of Business, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Arts and Science Program, during the morning ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m.

Thomas will receive a Doctor of Letters and will speak to the graduands during the ceremony. He graduated from McMaster University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature.   

Thomas first achieved fame as a founding member of SCTV, where he created one of his best known and enduring characters, Doug McKenzie.  Thomas also appeared in many major motion picture comedies, including Beethoven’s 5th and Coneheads and appeared on the network comedy Grace Under Fire for five seasons. He reprised the role of Doug McKenzie in the animated series Bob & Doug, which premiered earlier this year.

The conferring of degrees to the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Health Sciences will take place the same day at 2:30 p.m.

During the afternoon ceremony, Thomas Kierans, vice president and chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, will receive a Doctor of Laws, and Frank Graham, distinguished university professor (emeritus) of biology and pathology & molecular medicine at McMaster, will receive a Doctor of Science.

Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their contributions in such areas as public service, education and scholarship, creative and performing arts, and for their work within the McMaster community.

McMaster University’s guidelines for the awarding of honorary degrees are available at

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.




For more information please contact:


Jane Christmas

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27988

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext 22869