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Honorary degree citation -
Bernard Voyer

By: Pascale Biron, November 2017

M. le président et le vice-chancelier, c'est un honneur pour moi de vous présenter M. Voyer.

Mr. Voyer has lived a life of tremendous adventure and accomplishment, as an explorer, humanist, and environmentalist.

Born in Rimouski, Mr. Voyer spent his childhood by the banks of the St. Lawrence River. It is the experience of living so close to the river that instilled a passion for adventure in him at a young age.

That passion has led him to some of the highest, coldest places on Earth.

For most of us, the phrase ‘Climb every mountain’ is the title of a song from The Sound of Music. But it could also be the title of Mr. Voyer’s biography.

Explorateur et alpiniste confirmé, Bernard Voyer compte à son actif plus de 30 années d’expéditions et d’aventures.

Il a rejoint le pôle Nord, le pôle Sud et le plus haut sommet de la terre, l’Everest, en 1999.

His adventures have taken him to the top of the world’s seven highest mountains.

In addition to Everest, he has climbed Mount McKinley, Vinson, Aconcagua, Carstensz, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. Mr. Voyer is part of an elite group of explorers to have accomplished this feat.

Son parcours exceptionnel lui a valu de nombreuses distinctions.

He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, has received the Governor General’s meritorious service medal and the prestigious gold medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Il a été nommé Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec, et il a reçu la haute distinction française de Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.

En 2002, il se voyait reconnu par la Gouverneure générale du Canada comme l’un des 50 plus grands Canadiens des 50 dernières années.

A gifted public speaker, Mr. Voyer has given over one thousand lectures in both French and English, speaking all over the world.

His message of dreaming big dreams and making them a reality has inspired thousands. A committed environmentalist, he speaks frequently about the effects of climate change.

Mr. Voyer is also devoted to causes relating to youth development, having partnered with the Canadian Rangers to organize large-scale expeditions for youth in northern communities like Nunavik.

His exploring and commitment to youth have converged in deeply personal ways.

In the audience today is Mr. Nima Nuru Sherpa, a young man from Nepal.

He is the son of Dorjee Sherpa, the man who climbed Everest with Mr. Voyer twice – once in 1997, and again in 1999, when the pair summited the mountain.

For the past fifteen years, Mr. Voyer and his wife, Ms. Nathalie Tremblay, (who is also here today) led an effort to support Mr. Sherpa’s education in Kathmandu.

Having graduated, Mr. Sherpa is now continuing his education in Canada –- right here at Concordia.

Today, both Mr. Sherpa and Mr. Voyer are part of the Concordia family.

I wish to extend a warm Concordia welcome to both of you.

Mr. President and Vice - Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Mr. Bernard Voyer, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

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