TWU bestows honorary doctorates upon Deborah Grey and Marvin Kehler at 47th Annual Commencement

Deborah Grey and Dr. Marvin P. Kehler will be receiving an honorary doctorate from TWU during the grad ceremonies April 24th and 25th. (Photo by Danny Hsiao)

Cherry blossoms, sunshine and budding flowers signal the end of yet another academic year to most Trinity Western University students. But these signs of spring also signal the end of an undergraduate career of 443 fourth-year students who will receive their undergraduate degrees at TWU's 47th annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday April 25th 2009. The total number of individuals receiving degrees will reach 445 as Dr. Marvin P. Kehler and Deborah Grey join graduands to receive honorary doctorates from TWU at this year's commencement ceremony.

The practice of awarding honorary doctorates dates back to the middle ages when a university would forgo the usual degree requirements in certain exceptional cases. The tradition has extended into modern practice, and it is customary for universities to confer honorary doctorates upon individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their field of study or to society in general. Honorary doctorates are typically awarded at commencement ceremonies where the speech given by the recipient is a highlight of the event.

At Trinity Western, the selection process begins with President Dr. Jonathan Raymond who recommends a selection of candidates to the Board of Governors. The board then deliberates over these suggestions and makes the final decision regarding who will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

The degree of Doctor of Philanthropy (honoris causa) will be presented to the candidate Dr. Marvin Kehler by Provost Dr. Dennis Jameson and will be conferred by President Dr. Jonathan Raymond at the 9:30am ceremony for the Schools of Business, Education and General Studies. Following the reception of his honorary doctorate, Kehler will address the graduands with a commencement speech entitled "Secrets of Success."

MarvinDr. Marvin P. Kehler was born in Altona, Manitoba, but relocated to British Colombia at the age of 14 where he now resides with his wife Katherine Kehler. Over the years, Marvin has been actively involved in the business arena, including the positions of President or Director in the industrial, developmental and agricultural sectors. When Kehler reached his financial goals at the age of 32, he became involved in Christian ministries, while continuing his business ventures.

Since 1972, Kehler has shifted the majority of his attention to serving Christian ministries. His most notable achievements include holding the position of President of Campus Crusade for Christ Canada for 28 years and the Executive Director position of Campus Crusade for Christ Western Europe for 5 years. He has also served as the President of Global Aid Network (GAIN), a humanitarian aid organization, for 8 years. Kehler worked with Impact XXI for 4 years on Secrets of Success television programs which were translated into 11 languages and shown on prime time networks internationally.

Kehler continues to use his leadership abilities today, serving on the Board of Directors for International Russian Radio and TV (IRRTV) and the Great Commission Foundation as well as co-directing the website Thoughts About God with his wife Katherine. Recently, he has been publically lauded for his tremendous leadership abilities and humanitarian efforts, being published in both British Columbia and the United States of America's Who's Who and receiving an honorary Doctor of Ministry from Briercrest Bible Institute.

At the 6:30pm ceremony for the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Jameson will present the candidate Deborah Grey with the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), which will then be conferred by President Raymond. Grey's address to the graduating class is called "A Ship in a Harbor is Safe."

Deborah Grey began her university career at TWU, and, following her graduation, went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts and Education from the University of Alberta. After graduation, she embarked on a teaching career in rural Northern Alberta. Her teaching career came to a halt when she accepted a dare to run for federal office and won a by-election in Beaver River, Alberta on March 13, 1989. She then became the Reform Party's first-ever Member of Parliament and sat as its sole M.P. for over four years being dubbed "The First Lady of Reform."

Among Grey's many accomplishments has been her time serving as Caucus Chairman, Deputy Leader, and Leader of the Opposition, as well as her trademark communication style that combines clarity, passion, and humor. In December 2007, Grey was appointed to the Officer of the Order of Canada for her distinguished record of public service and for her advocacy on behalf of youth and education, as a foster parent, teacher, parliamentarian and public speaker. In addition to Grey's history-making political career, she has also been cast as a master communicator and public speaker, demonstrating keen media presence and parliamentary debating skills that have earned her national respect over her 15 years of public service.

President Raymond comments, "We are pleased to be able to honour the achievements and contributions made by both Deborah Grey and Dr. Marvin Kehler to society with the conferring of honorary doctorates from Trinity Western University. In their respective ways, they have both led lives of exemplary Christian service and leadership and are inspiring role-models for this year's graduates as they prepare to enter the workforce and influence the world in various ways."

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 41undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 17 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


Last Updated: 2009-04-27
Author: Laura Ralph