Honorary degree citation - Aimee Mullins
By: Jennifer McGrath, June 2019
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Aimee Mullins, athlete, model, actor and producer.
Although she was amputated just below both knees at the age of one, by age two Ms. Mullins had already learned how to walk on prosthetic limbs. And she never slowed down – quite literally, ultimately setting three track and field world records in her class.
Her carbon-fibre prosthetics modeled on cheetah’s legs opened up a new perspective on design for her: instead of her limbs being a representation of loss, she saw their potential as wearable sculpture. This mindset shift propelled her into modeling for revolutionary designer Alexander McQueen, and she was also featured in Matthew Barney’s monumental Cremaster Cycle art film series. Ms. Mullins demonstrated that fashion and fine art are the perfect arenas to explore societal conversations about inclusivity, a value at the heart of Concordia’s history.
From modeling she has transitioned into film and television, always seeking characters that allow her to play a personality, not a prop with prosthetic limbs. Among other roles, you may recognize her from the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.
Her service to society is impressive. Her inspiring story and perspective have led her to work in athletic development and be a featured speaker at the United Nations, the White House, Google headquarters, Bloomberg – and now, at Concordia.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Aimee Mullins, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.