Saint Mary’s recognizes two outstanding Canadians with honorary degrees


Fall Convocation

September 27-28

Saint Mary’s University will recognize the accomplishments of two outstanding Canadians with honorary degrees at this year’s fall convocation ceremony.

“Honorary degrees celebrate individuals whose accomplishments are an inspiration to our students and people who are exemplars for our entire community,” said Saint Mary’s President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray. “I am proud to bestow this honour to Gloria and John for their leadership, and the way in which they embody a key value of our institution, keeping community at the heart of all that we do.” 

The university is pleased to recognize the extraordinary achievements of:

  • Gloria Borden, a trailblazer and champion for the arts. One of 18 children raised in New Glasgow, from a young age Borden grew to cherish music, community, sports and boxing. All of these interests represent areas in which she would excel. Borden was the first Black hematology specialist in Canada and participated in research related to the field. Borden was also the first female boxing promoter in Canada and was inducted into the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame for her time as a student-athlete. In music, she has been involved in numerous productions and produced the acclaimed God’s Trombones and founded the Nova Scotia Mass Choir.

  • John A. Young, Q.C., a community builder and legal advocate. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Young’s interest in commerce and law led him to pursue post-secondary degrees in both those fields in Halifax and England. After a time spent working on Parliament Hill, he joined three other young lawyers starting a small law firm in Halifax. Young became an important part the firm’s growth from four lawyers to the fourth-largest firm in Atlantic Canada. Young has balanced the needs of a growing law firm with his commitment to community service and volunteerism throughout his career.

The honorary degree recipients will receive their degrees at convocation on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.