Hughes is the 20th recipient of the prestigious accolade, conceived at Loyola College in 1961 to pay tribute to outstanding Canadians.
Hughes said she was honoured and humbled to accept the award.
The ceremony was organized by Advancement and Alumni Relations to recognize Hughes for her public service and nationwide drive to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
Hughes, who is on a cross-Canada bike tour for Bell’s Let’s Talk mental health campaign, invoked her late father’s advice to channel her personal successes and help others.
“From the bottom of my heart this means the world to me,” Hughes said. “It would have meant the world to my dad.”