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Message from SLC President pays tribute to Gord Downie


The following message was sent to the St. Lawrence College community from Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017:

St. Lawrence College joins the Kingston community and the international arts community in paying tribute to Gord Downie, a Kingston musician, philanthropist and Indigenous activist who, along with the other four members of The Tragically Hip, was awarded an SLC Honourary Diploma in 1999.

To honour Gord’s memory, flags on Kingston campus will fly at half-mast.

The Honourary Diploma is the highest honour St. Lawrence College bestows on members of the public. It is an opportunity for the Board of Governors to recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals or groups whose accomplishments are of such excellence, inspiration and leadership that they serve as an example for the graduates of our College.

This was certainly the case for Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip. The Fall 1999 edition of the St. Lawrence alumni magazine highlighted The Hip’s award: “A rock band might seem to some to be an unusual choice to receive such an award, but in fact The Tragically Hip emulate just those values we associate with an honorary diploma at St. Lawrence.”

In the band’s early days, The Tragically Hip were frequent performers at St. Lawrence College, giving our students and grads the opportunity to see greatness in the making. The group has made important contributions to the arts community around the world and Gord was highly respected for his insights as well as his many talents. His passing last night leaves an immense void in our local community.



Glenn Vollebregt
President and CEO
St. Lawrence College

Twitter Icon @gvollebregt