Name: Margaret (Kesserling) Weiers, B.A.
Convocation date: June 1, 2010
Discipline / contribution: journalism
Citation / biographical information:
Born on a farm near Viceroy, Saskatchewan in 1928, Margaret (Kesslering) Weiers graduated at age twenty from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A. in English. As an early feminist, social reformer, and fierce nationalist, she embarked on a stellar forty-year career in journalism, beginning with the Regina Leader-Post and ending with the Toronto Star. She was at one time the only woman on the Star's editorial board and earned a reputation for her forceful, articulate editorials on a wide range of topics. During her time at the Star, she wrote on a variety of subjects: health, social policy, the law, municipal and provincial politics, human rights, women’s rights, and international affairs. In 1969 she won the Canadian Women’s Press Club Memorial Award for best news story and in 1979 she was the first journalist to receive a special award from the American Association on Mental Deficiency for what the citation called “outstanding socially responsible journalism”. Upon her retirement, she was feted by colleagues as a “social reformer and fierce nationalist” as well as a journalist who ‘brought a feminist viewpoint to the editorial board in 1972”.Degree received: Doctor of Letters
Margaret also served briefly as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of External Affairs in the mid-1950s and was at the United Nations in New York when former Canadian prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lester Pearson defused the Suez Crisis. She later wrote about women's diplomatic experiences in her book, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. Margaret never let questions about her gender get in the way of doing her job to the best of her abilities. She has also continuously downplayed her many contributions, selflessly shunning the spotlight at every opportunity. But like her own family who homesteaded in Saskatchewan, she is a true pioneer who blazed a trail for other women to follow. They unanimously agree they owe Margaret a deep debt of gratitude.
Degree presented by: Jo-Ann Dillon, Dean of Arts and Science
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