Concordia University

Honorary Degree Recipients

Fall 2017 Convocation Ceremonies

Faculty of Arts and Science at 10 a.m.


A renowned explorer and mountaineer, Bernard Voyer has over 30 years of expeditions and adventures to his credit. He has stood at the North Pole, the South Pole and on the roof of the world, Mount Everest. Among other challenges, he completed his world Ttur by climbing the highest peak on every continent, making him the first North American explorer to achieve this exploit.

Bernard is a popular speaker who has given close to 1,000 inspirational presentations all around the world, to audiences totalling more than 300,000 to date.

He has received many tributes for his outstanding career, including the titles of officer of the Order of Canada, knight of the Ordre National du Québec and knight of the Legion of Honour in France, the meritorious service medal and the prestigious gold medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

In 2002, he was recognized by the Governor General of Canada as one of the 50 greatest Canadians of the past 50 years.

Bernard’s commitment to youth and to the environment remains a priority, as witnessed by his support for various foundations. In particular, as honorary lieutenant-colonel of the Rangers, he works closely with young people from Nunavik. He is a member of the advisory committee for the Canadian Polar Medal, as well as vice-chair of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, co-chair of the Order of Montreal and honorary consul for Nepal in Montreal.

John Molson School of Business, 3 p.m.


Isabelle Hudon was named Canada’s Ambassador to France – the first woman ever to have this diplomatic role – on September 29, 2017.

Before joining the Government of Canada, Hudon was executive chair of Sun Life Financial Quebec and senior vice-president, Client Solutions, for Sun Life Financial Canada.

Hudon was Sun Life Financial’s Quebec president from August 2010 to October 2014. Her strong business experience, boundless energy and deep community involvement helped her forge connections among many organizations. She was president and chief executive officer of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal from 2004 to 2008. Before joining Sun Life Financial, Hudon was president of Marketel.

For her contributions to Quebec and Canada, Hudon has received numerous awards. She earned the Medal of the National Assembly in 2016 for her commitment to the cause of women’s ambition. She has been named to the list of the most influential women in Canada (Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100) several times and received the Réalisations award from the Réseau des femmes d'affaires du Québec in 2014. Hudon was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for raising awareness of the importance of culture in Canada.

Isabelle Hudon is very active in the business community and until recently, she was sitting on the boards of a number of organizations, including Hydro-Québec, Holt Renfrew Canada, the Mount Royal Club and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Hudon was a member of a federal government advisory council that promotes participation of women on corporate boards. She founded L’Effet A, a movement to help women achieve their professional goals. 

Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at 7:30 p.m.


Kon Leong is the founder and chief executive officer of California-based ZL Technologies, Inc. Established in 1999, the company provides massive-scale data management software and services to the large enterprise market. Serving customers such as Toyota, Wells Fargo, Allstate and Sony, his organization works together with global players such as NTT, PwC, Wipro, Google and IBM.

He developed an international perspective early when his parents emigrated from China and he was raised in India, before immigrating to Canada, and then to the United States. He studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in 1975 and completed his undergraduate degree in business and computer science at Concordia in 1979. He also earned an MBA with Distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. He speaks five languages and holds patents in networking technologies.

Leong’s career started in IT and then branched into investment banking on Wall Street for nearly a decade before returning to his technology roots. He was a manager of technology venture investments at General Motors, and then a first vice-president of mergers and acquisitions at Deutsche Bank. He moved back to technology, co-founding GigaLabs, a maker of high-speed switches, before co-founding ZL Technologies in 1999.

Leong has guest-lectured at many universities on high-tech entrepreneurship, including the University of Pennsylvania; University of California, Berkeley; Santa Clara University; and numerous others. His articles and views have also been published at many trade and news publications such as Forbes, the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review. He has given a graduate seminar at Concordia’s District 3 Innovation Center and is a long-serving member on the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Council. 

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