By McGill Reporter Staff
Both are McGill alumni with worldwide reputations who will return home to receive honorary degrees as part of Spring Convocation 2011, and both are men of varied careers and interests. One is a media mogul and a successful real-estate developer. The other has been a hard-bitten patrol cop, an undefeated attorney and the most decorated member of Star Fleet.
The former is Mortimer Zuckerman and the latter is William Shatner.
An Emmy-winning TV actor, who has also worked on stage and screen, Shatner will receive an honorary degree during Convocation ceremonies for the Faculty of Arts on June 2.
Graduating from McGill in 1952, with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, the Montreal native has made a stellar contribution to the arts. He is also an accomplished director, a best-selling author and dedicated philanthropist and environmentalist, whose compassion, creativity and irrepressible sense of humour are an integral part of his life and work.
While a student here, Shatner was president of McGill’s Radio Workshop and was active in campus theatre productions as a member of the Player’s Club. In 1949, he produced and directed McGill’s annual Red and White Review. In the course of a remarkable career, he has appeared at the Stratford Festival, has had several long runs on Broadway, and has starred in more than 30 films. He is, of course, most famous for three roles: Star Trek’s iconic James T. Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise in the original television series and in movies; veteran police sergeant T. J. Hooker in series of the same name; and attorney Denny Crane both on The Practice and on Boston Legal.
Shatner has won many awards, including two Emmys and a Golden Globe, and the Banff World Television Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame. He recently received Canada’s most prestigious honour in the performing arts when he was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation.
Although, he may not be as instantly recognizable as his fellow Hon Doc recipient, Zuckerman is no less accomplished.
A McGill alumnus who grew up in Outremont, Zuckerman is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Properties, which he co-founded. He also is chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News.
In addition to making a mark in real estate and media, Zuckerman has earned respect as a philanthropist dedicated to causes including higher education, cancer research and improving the condition of the young. Bloomberg Businessweek named him one of The Top 50 American Givers.
Zuckerman was awarded the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the government of France for his contributions to literature, culture and the arts. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Guild Hall and the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architecture in New York.
Zuckerman will be awarded an honorary degree at the Desautels Faculty of Management’s Spring Convocation ceremony on June 1.