2020 Olds College Honorary Degree Recipient Sheldon Kennedy

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Sheldon Kennedy awarded 2020 Olds College Honorary Degree

2020 Olds College Honorary Degree Recipient Sheldon KennedyOlds College is pleased to award the 2020 Olds College Honorary Degree to Sheldon Kennedy for his significant contributions to the prevention of bullying and abuse. 

Having had a successful ice hockey career winning the Memorial Cup, and playing for the Detroit Red Wings, the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames, Sheldon is widely recognized for his advocacy for child abuse after his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey League coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered while a teenager under his care.

Since then, Sheldon has dedicated his career to advocacy and co-founded the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre (formally known as the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre), which provides services to children and their families to assess, treat and seek justice for abused children. Sheldon also co-founded Respect Group, an organization that provides training to companies, sport organizations and schools. 

In 2018, Olds College engaged the Respect Group to help make the campus a more respectful place to work, learn and thrive for Olds College staff, faculty and students. The ‘Respect in the Workplace’ program is aimed at empowering people to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination through interactive, online training course.

“Sheldon has shown tremendous support of Olds College through the Respect Group organization,” said Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College. “His passion for creating safe, respectful environments for people to feel empowered reflects the values that we hold at Olds College, and makes Sheldon a wonderful recipient of the Olds College 2020 Honorary Degree.” 

Recently, Sheldon received the Order of Hockey by Hockey Canada, the WHL Governor General Award and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame with the awarding of the 2020/2021 Order of Sport. 

"To me, this award represents the fact that leaders and proactive organizations, like Olds College, are ready and willing to make positive change.” said Sheldon Kennedy. “If I have influenced good leadership through my advocacy efforts then I accept this award as honouring that collaborative work. Thank you so much."

Traditionally presented during the annual June convocation ceremony, the honorary degree will instead be presented during a two-day combined 2020/2021 convocation ceremony to take place in June 2021.