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Canada's finest role model to receive honorary degree

Posted by on June 08, 2015

Sheldon Kennedy offers hope, help and healing to those affected by abuse

The honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, is the University of Calgary’s highest academic honour, bestowed on individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition. 

 

Sheldon Kennedy, one of Canada's most vocal advocates for victims of child abuse, will have an honorary degree conferred upon him on June 8 at the afternoon convocation ceremony for the faculties of environmental design, graduate studies, kinesiology and social work.

A former NHL player, Sheldon Kennedy is best known for his courageous decision to come forward as a victim of sexual abuse. In 1998, Kennedy in-line skated across Canada to raise awareness of child abuse and donated all $1.2 million in proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross RespectED Violence and Abuse Prevention program.

Kennedy’s decision to go public with charges against his former junior hockey coach brought the issue of child sexual abuse to the social forefront. He has become an unofficial, international spokesperson for abuse survivors and has made personal appearances on Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5 and The Fifth Estate. Kennedy was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997 and his life story was made into an award-winning television movie, The Sheldon Kennedy Story, which aired in 1999.

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