Tom Jackson, a beloved Canadian entertainer known as much for his philanthropy and community contributions as for his music and acting, will receive an honorary doctorate from Brandon University later this month at the 2021 Spring Convocation.
Jackson has leveraged his decades of fame as an artist to raise money and bring attention to worthy causes both close to home and around the globe.
“Tom Jackson’s energy, creativity, and his commitment to doing good around the world are simply unmatched,” said BU President Dr. David Docherty. “He stands as an example of how much one person can accomplish, and as an inspiration for us all to strive to do more. We are honoured to have him accept a BU honorary degree.”
With 17 albums that amply display his talents as a folk-pop singer/songwriter and his rich bass-baritone, Jackson has received two Juno nominations as well as the 2007 Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Awards.
As an actor, he has been a familiar face on both the big screen and the small screen, with memorable parts in Hollywood films and marquee network television shows — many that provide an opportunity for Jackson to showcase his Indigenous heritage.
But it may be through his charity and philanthropic work where Jackson’s impact is most deeply felt. When a crisis hits, or when a need is felt, from droughts to flooding, from suicide to 9/11, Jackson steps up. Along with raising much-needed money and awareness, he unites people to create lasting change. Youth empowerment, homelessness and affordable housing, and food security are particular passions. Every year, he tours across the country at the head of The Huron Carole in support of Canadian food banks and social service agencies.
In total, Jackson’s work has raised more than $230 million in cash or in-kind contributions to food banks and disaster relief.
An Ambassador for the Red Cross, Jackson has received multiple humanitarian awards, is a member of Playback’s Radio & Television Hall of Fame, has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and in November 2020 was promoted to Companion.
Jackson will be conferred with a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from BU.
Brandon University bestows individuals with an honorary degree based on significant service to the university community or society; excellence in professional life or public service; or advancement of knowledge through research or teaching. Each year nominations are received from within the BU community as well as from other supporters of the University.
Tom Jackson’s honorary doctorate will be presented by video during a virtual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, May 27.
- Brandon University
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