Four community leaders named honorary degree recipients at NAIT’s 57th Convocation celebrations 

Published on June 07, 2021

(Edmonton) NAIT recognized four outstanding community members with honorary degrees at the 57th Convocation celebrations on Saturday, June 5. 

Former journalist and strong community supporter Linda Hughes will be awarded an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration. Award-winning chef and author Shane Chartrand (Cook ‘04), decorated news anchor Daryl McIntyre (Radio and Television Arts ‘83), and world-renowned diabetes researcher Dr. Raymond Rajotte (Medical X-ray Technology ‘65) will each be awarded an Honorary Bachelor of Technology

Linda Hughes: Throughout her 34-year journalism career, which began with the Victoria Times in 1972 and ended with the Edmonton Journal in 2006, Linda Hughes was active in supporting a variety of causes. She served on the strategy council for the Mazankowski Heart Institute, was a founding member and chair of the NorQuest College Foundation and spent nearly a decade as a board member and then board chair for the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. After Hughes left the Journal, she devoted herself more fully to community service. She sat on the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation board of directors, was a board member with the Edmonton Homeless Commission and chair of the Mayor’s Committee to End Homelessness in Edmonton, to name a few. She also boosted research and education by serving on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and as the chancellor of the University of Alberta. 

Shane Chartrand (Cook, ‘04): River Cree Resort and Casino executive chef Shane Chartrand began his culinary career at a truck stop in central Alberta. It was a job that not only set him on the path to a career that has made him one of Canada’s celebrated chefs, but also to helping him to discover more about his own identity as an Indigenous person. Chartrand was raised from a young age by foster parents of Irish and Mi’kmaw and Métis descent. At the restaurant one day, a young Chartrand was told by a patron – a cousin he didn’t know, it turned out – that he was Cree from Enoch First Nation. Thereafter, he’d devote increasing efforts to exploring and reconnecting with his heritage, and to expressing that experience through the food he prepared. The results are now at the heart of his cookbook, tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, which recently placed third at the World Gourmand Awards for cookbooks. 

Daryl McIntyre (Radio and Television Arts, ‘83): A staple in the Edmonton media scene, Daryl McIntyre’s storied career began at a station in Lloydminster, where he did his first newscast at the age of 19. He eventually moved to Edmonton, with CTV, in October 1986 where he remained until 2019. Throughout his career, McIntyre upheld the perspective and belief that, in the midst of that evolution, the fundamentals of reporting would not diminish in importance. Colleagues and viewers alike remember his work – such as covering Edmonton’s 1987 tornado, the shooting of four Mounties in Mayerthorpe, and the Fort McMurray and Slave Lake fires – as that of a serious and seasoned newsperson. McIntyre recently returned to the airwaves, this time on radio, as host of 630 CHED Mornings. 

Dr. Raymond Rajotte (Medical X-ray Technology ‘65): Since graduating as a member of NAIT’s first Medical X-ray Technology class, Dr. Rajotte has gone on to become a pioneer and international leader in diabetes research. In 1989, Rajotte and a team of clinical scientists successfully carried out Canada’s first transplant of islets, which are a part of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. The procedure, known as the Edmonton Protocol, would be employed around the world allowing many living with diabetes to enjoy long-term independence from insulin injections. He was also the founding director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute and the Islet Transplant Group. Rajotte is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour and a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada, and is an inductee of the Royal Society of Canada, Alberta Order of Excellence and a member of the Order of Canada.  

Quick Facts

  • All four of this year’s NAIT honorary degree recipients have won multiple awards and accolades for their contributions to their fields and communities, including two Alberta Order of Excellence recipients (Hughes and Rajotte) 
  • NAIT’s honorary degree recipients are chosen for the contributions they make to local, national or international communities 
  • Since 1999, 57 people have been named NAIT honorary degree recipients 


The 2021 honorary degree recipients spoke at NAIT’s 57th Convocation virtual celebrations on Saturday, June 5. View all celebrations HERE

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With over 34,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads help fuel the economic engine of the province. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping businesses and communities become more competitive through industry-driven research and corporate training. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, industry partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E

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