Peter Mansbridge, Cynthia Dale awarded honorary doctorates at McMaster

The CBC correspondent-in-chief and noted thespian, also husband and wife, were honoured at the DeGroote School of Business’ spring 2017 convocation.
Peter Mansbridge addresses the graduates of the DeGroote School of Business at their spring 2017 convocation. (Mahnoor Yawar/CBC )

With just over two weeks remaining for Peter Mansbridge at the helm of The National, CBC's chief correspondent took some time off earn a doctorate from McMaster University.

And though this was his tenth one so far, Monday's was special - he got one standing beside his wife, noted thespian Cynthia Dale, who also received an honorary degree.

Mansbridge and Dale were conferred the honours during the DeGroote School of Business' spring 2017 convocation held at FirstOntario Place on Monday.

Dale described the honour as "emotional."

"Neither Cynthia nor I went to university," added Mansbridge in an interview with CBC Hamilton. "But it's always been part of both of us that wishes we had that opportunity."

He said it filled them both with great pride to witness the young people who made such a commitment and worked hard to achieve what they have achieved. 

"It's their day. We're lucky just to be a part of it."

Of course, the pair also felt the weight of emotions that the coming weeks will bring, as Mansbridge steps down after 50 years with CBC. He commended the people he's been able to work with.

"It's hard to walk away from something that's been such a part of your life, but I leave feeling confident that CBC has a future, is well-loved by the overwhelming majority of Canadians, and that the news division is solid and secure."

"I think change is good," said Dale, reflecting on her husband's upcoming retirement. "You have to go into it with a positive attitude, while acknowledging the sadness and loss."

The couple said they were looking forward to enjoying life, living in the positive, and watching their son begin college in the fall.

Dale and Mansbridge offered advice to the graduates, to make the most of their careers and to fight for tolerance.

"You are all part of the And Generation," Dale said to the graduates, describing her parents' generation as the Either/Or Generation. "You may have many different careers in your lifetime, and create any number of opportunities for yourself."

"How fantastic it will be to watch all of that happen."

Mansbridge addressed the graduates with a plea to meet hatred with kindness, compassion and respect, especially in an age of social media.

But his most important lesson? Trust who you work with.

"What I've learned is that teamwork matters," said Mansbridge. "You have to have trust in them, and they have to trust you."