On February 28, the University of Toronto’s Governing Council announced the list of 13 influential individuals who will receive honorary degrees and address the graduating class of 2019 during the university’s convocation ceremony. 

The honorary degree recipients were chosen for their exemplary contribution to society as scholars, artists, and business leaders.

“The individuals to be recognized this year with U of T’s highest honour represent excellence in a wide range of fields, and outstanding service to the university and society,” said Meric Gertler, president of U of T, during the Governing Council meeting. “They are role models for all of us, and their presence at convocation in particular will add a special source of inspiration for our graduating students.”

Among the honorary degree recipients is Carlo Fidani, who is intimately recognized by the Mississauga and UTM community.

Carlo Fidani is the chairman of the Orlando Corporation in Mississauga, the largest private real estate company in Canada. According to Forbes magazine, Fidani has a net worth of approximately US $2.3 billion. His philanthropy has been well-known, with his contributions to various organizations allowing for advancements in healthcare and medical research in Canada.

In the December of 2017, Fidani was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to medical research and service to Canada. Fidani was also inducted into the Mississauga Walk of Fame in 2016.

U of T’s Boundless Campaign also attributes Fidani’s generosity and inspiration to the Mississauga community for his $10 million donation to UTM and U of T’s Faculty of Medicine. The Academy welcomed students to the MD program in August 2011 and is the only U of T medical academy located outside of Toronto.

In partnership with UTM, the Faculty of Medicine and Trillium Health Partners, the Academy graduates approximately 54 MDs each year, helping to improve Ontario’s shortage of medical doctors and health specialists.

“It’s gratifying to be part of something that’s certain to have a direct impact on the community,” said Fidani in 2011 for U of T’s Boundless Campaign. “The Academy will contribute to the growth of local hospitals and encourage young medical student to work where they trained.”

Other U of T honorary degree recipients include Alan Bernstein for his contributions to HIV and cancer research, Setsuko Thurlow for her initiatives to abolish nuclear weapons, and Nathan Leipciger for his efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism.