Canada lost one of its most patriotic citizens, and the University of Prince Edward Island one of its most colourful honorary degree recipients with the passing of musical icon Stompin’ Tom Connors, OC, LLD, LittD, at the age of 77 years on March 6. UPEI was pleased to present Dr. Connors with an honorary doctor of laws in 2002.
The University extends its sincere condolences to his wife Lena, two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren.
“The entire UPEI community is saddened to learn of Stompin’ Tom’s passing,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “We have lost a musical treasure, a man whose name is synonymous with the Maritimes, and whose memorable and quintessential Canadian songs will be his great legacy to future generations. On behalf of UPEI, I offer my deepest sympathies to his family and legions of friends and fans.”
Connors was an Officer of the Order of Canada, and received many other accolades including his own Canadian postage stamp, the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award, and the Queen’s gold and diamond jubilee medals. He also earned honorary degrees from Saint Thomas University and the University of Toronto.
Born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, NB and raised from an early age by foster parents in Skinners Pond, PEI, Connors lived for most of his adult years in Peterborough, Ontario—a public celebration of his life will take place in Peterborough on March 13.
Everyone at UPEI hopes Stompin’ Tom will always be “rollin’ down the highway smilin’.”