2023 Honorary Degree Recipient

Honorary Degrees and the Order of the University of Calgary Recipients
The Office of the Chancellor and Senate bestows two prestigious awards during convocation each term for people making an impact in our community and around the world: Honorary Degrees and the Order of the University of Calgary. 

Sara Quin

Sara Quin

Conferral and address – Thursday, Nov. 16, 9:30 a.m. ceremony  

Sara Quin, part of the pop-indie band Tegan and Sara, grew up just down the hall from her identical twin sister Tegan. Sara was a keen reader and writer from her early years, often crafting stories on the family computer. During their time at Crescent Heights High School, Sara and Tegan formed their first band, Plunk. Dubbing copies of their first demo in her bedroom, Sara hand drew the artwork for So Who’s in Your Band. The next day she sold a dozen tapes at school, launching their first merchandise company. 

Sara moved to Montreal in 2002, where she was inspired by the burgeoning indie rock scene. Under her guidance, Tegan and Sara produced a series of indie rock albums that would change the course of both their lives. Their song, "Walking With A Ghost" made it to the top ten on Alternative Radio in the US and was covered by the White Stripes. 

Over the years, Sara and Tegan have shared stages with renowned artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Paramore, and Neil Young. They have also performed on some of the world’s biggest stages, including Coachella, Lollapalooza, and the Academy Awards. 

In 2016, Sara and her sister founded the Tegan and Sara Foundation, aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ+ women and girls. This initiative upholds their commitment to feminism and racial, social, and gender justice. In 2018, both sisters received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award and the New York Civil Liberties Union Award. 

Sara lives in Vancouver with her wife, Stacy, and their son, Sid. She continues to record music and write books with Tegan, their most recent work being Junior High, a graphic novel created in collaboration with award-winning illustrator, Tillie Walden and premiere publisher FSG.