October 29, 2012


Former Auditor-General Sheila Fraser, HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, to receive honorary doctorates at Fall Convocation


Hamilton, Ont. October 29, 2012Sheila Fraser, who held the Canadian government accountable and fought to protect the public interest as Auditor-General, is to receive an honorary degree from McMaster University during Fall Convocation ceremonies.


Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, will also receive the honour for her humanitarian work on an international level. Born in Ottawa after her family took refuge during the Second World War, she was named after the marguerite flower, which was worn as a symbol of resistance to Nazi Germany.


Her Royal Highness returned to the Netherlands in 1945 and has spent her life dedicated to humanitarian work, taking an active interest in health and culture while giving voice to the victims of disasters, diseases and armed conflict. 


She was vice president of the Dutch Red Cross, chaired the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and is a member of the Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


Currently, she is honorary chair of the Global Health Advisory Board of Maastricht and McMaster Universities.



Shelia Fraser, who retired in 2011 after fulfilling a ten-year mandate, was the country’s first female auditor general of Canada.


She has taken on thorny issues such as gun control and federal spending but is probably best known for igniting the sponsorship scandal in 2002 and 2004. Fraser made headlines across the country when her report confirmed serious problems in the Liberal government’s sponsorship program over a four-year period beginning in 1997.


Fraser will address graduands from the Faculties of Business, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts & Science Program during the morning ceremony.


Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will address graduands in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Science during the afternoon ceremony. 


Both Convocations are to take place in the Great Hall at Hamilton Place on Friday, November 16. The morning ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. while the afternoon ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m.



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 26,000, and more than 150,000 alumni in 128 countries.





For more information, please contact:


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869



Wade Hemsworth

Public Relations Manager                                                      

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988