York to confer three honorary degrees during Fall Convocation

Convocation sign on Aviva Centre

York University will award honorary degrees at Fall Convocation to three exemplary changemakers who will each receive an honorary doctor of laws.

Graduates will cross the stage at eight convocation ceremonies on Oct. 12, 13, 14 and 21.

Below are the honorary degree recipients in order of the Faculty ceremonies at which they will be honoured:

Mark Tewksbury. Image: COC Team Canada
Mark Tewksbury. Image: COC Team Canada

Mark Tewksbury, Olympic icon and human rights advocate
Faculty of Health
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 10:30 a.m.

Mark Tewksbury first came to prominence as the star athlete who burst out of the water at the Barcelona Olympics; an Olympic Champion with gold, silver and bronze medals, seven world records and a cover appearance on TIME magazine.​

Over the years, Tewksbury has become a personal mentor to many LGBTQ+ athletes. He was the guest speaker at Canada’s historic first Pride in Montreal. Tewksbury has used his voice to courageously stand against corruption at the highest levels of sport.

In 2020, Tewksbury was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of one of Canada’s most prestigious honours.

Noah James Shebib (40), music producer and Grammy Award winner
School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design; Glendon; Faculty of Health II; Osgoode Hall Law School
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 3:30 p.m.

Noah James Shebib. Image: Andrew Louis, CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons
Noah James Shebib. Image: Andrew Louis, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Drake’s music isn’t complex, but it is complicated. Steeped in warm, deep, dense beds, it’s closer in spirit to R&B than almost any hip-hop ever recorded. The primary architect of that sound, Noah James Shebib, better known as “40,” has worked closely with Drake, creating an unusual partnership.

As a Canadian record producer, songwriter, record executive and former child actor from Toronto, Shebib is best known for his musical collaborations with Canadian rapper Drake and has produced all of his albums. Shebib’s style of production, which is often downtempo and ambient, has become heavily associated with Drake’s music. 

Shebib and Drake are two of the three co-founders of the October’s Very Own (OVO) Sound label. Shebib has won two Grammy Awards out of 18 nominations he has received and has also produced for artists including Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Action Bronson and Jamie Foxx. 

In addition to his artistry in music, 40 is also a spokesperson with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his 20s. Ever since, he has contributed his voice and celebrity to the hope that through awareness and improving connections and knowledge about multiple sclerosis that “we can end the disease.”

Most recently, he co-founded The Justice Fund, an organization working in and with communities and other organizations to address the effects of trauma and cycles of conflict. 40 exemplifies the arts as the tools for creating positive change.

Sally Armstrong, award-winning author, journalist and human rights activist
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies I
Thursday, Oct. 13, 10:30 a.m.

Sally Armstrong, image courtesy Sally Armstrong
Sally Armstrong

Sally Armstrong is sometimes called “the war correspondent for the world’s women.” She’s also known as “La Talibanista.” She’s a journalist who covers zones of conflict. Her beat is to find out what happens to women and girls.

Armstrong has reported from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and more. She has written stories, books and documentaries about women, who otherwise would have been the ignored casualties of conflict or the overlooked heroes of making peace.

An award-winning author, journalist and human rights activist, she was the 2019 Massey Lecturer. Armstrong was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. She is a former member of the International Women’s Commission at the United Nations.

Ceremonies on Oct. 12, 13 and 14 will take place at the Sobey’s Stadium, 1 Shoreham Dr., Keele Campus. The Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA ceremony on Oct. 21 will take place in the Fireside Lounge, Executive Learning Centre, on the Keele Campus.

For details, visit the Fall Convocation webpage.