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USask to celebrate distinguished honorary degree recipients

November 4, 2021

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (USask) will honour two individuals who have made major contributions to their communities and the country, with special tributes during this year’s virtual Fall Convocation online celebration.

USask President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Stoicheff said he is honoured to announce that the university will recognize Dr. David Mulder (MD) and Dr. Wilfred Keller (PhD) for their extraordinary career achievements as part of Fall Convocation celebrations on Wednesday November 10.

“Both of these remarkable individuals have made significant contributions in their fields throughout their extraordinary careers and we are proud to pay tribute to them and recognize their lifetime achievements,” said Stoicheff. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate two of our province’s own who went on to make a major impact on the national stage. We are grateful to have this opportunity to express our gratitude and to bestow the University of Saskatchewan’s highest honour during this year’s Fall Convocation celebration.”

Wilfred Keller (Honorary Doctor of Science)

One of Canada’s most renowned crop development scientists, Keller has enjoyed a career spanning almost 50 years as a pioneering agriculture researcher and visionary leader. Born in Melville, Sask., Keller earned a Bachelor of Science (1969) and PhD (1972) majoring in crop science at USask, before moving on to become a global leader in agricultural biotechnology research, management and promotion.

Keller has worked with the major research players in the industry, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to the National Research Council, to Genome Prairie, and most recently serving until 2020 as president and CEO of Ag-West Bio Inc. Keller has been honoured with multiple major awards, including induction into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2018, the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2017, and earning the Saskatchewan Order of Merit – the province’s highest honour – in 2015.

David Mulder (Honorary Doctor of Laws)

One of the most highly respected surgeons of his generation, Mulder is renowned as a pioneer in trauma surgery in Quebec and has also served as the team physician for the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens for more than 50 years. Born in Eston, Sask., Mulder graduated with a medical degree from USask in 1962 and a year later began his training in general surgery at Montreal General Hospital. He has also worked with the McGill University Sports Medicine Centre since 1994.

Mulder went on to serve as the chief surgeon at Montreal General Hospital from 1977 to 1998, as well as the director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at McGill University. Mulder has received a number of major awards and tributes, including being made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997, and earning the James H. Graham Award of Merit from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Mulder and Keller will be honoured on the graduation celebration and video website, which will be accessible through the USask convocation page:

Honorary degrees are the highest honour USask can award, acknowledging the worthy and unique contributions recipients have made to their community and to the world. The university recognizes individuals who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in research, scholarly and artistic works; performed exceptional public service; contributed greatly through their professional or philanthropic activity; and demonstrated extraordinary athletic prowess. To view past recipients, visit:

For more information, contact:
Victoria Dinh
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

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