Sedins Receive Honorary Doctorates of Law From KPU
Featured / June 2, 2017
Local NHL hockey legends honoured for their leadership and community support
Joseph Keller, Web Editor
A pair of hometown legends were on campus this Thursday to be honored by Kwantlen Polytechnic University for their contributions to the Metro Vancouver community and for their leadership both on and off the ice.
Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin and alternate captain Daniel Sedin each received honorary degrees at this year’s convocation ceremony in the KPU Surrey campus conference centre.
“It was a big honour,” Daniel said at a press event shortly after the ceremony. “We’ve never been a part of anything like this and it’s a great honour for us and our families to get this.”
During the ceremony, the Sedins had the opportunity to say a few words to the KPU graduates. Henrik used his time to reflect on their careers going back to arriving in Canada from Sweden as 19-year-old NHL rookies and their experience learning from Canucks veterans during those early years.
“What we learned so early in our career is what I hope that you might remember from our time here with you today,” he said. “The simplest things you do for others can have a meaningful impact on their lives.”
Daniel spoke about how the pair has found a home in Vancouver and with the Canucks organisation. He said that it’s because they have received so much from the city and team that they feel the need to give back through the many charitable organisations and initiatives they support.
“Playing hockey here has been a privilege, and being able to give back to the community has been our great honour,” Daniel told graduates. “We have witnessed in our careers tremendous growth in the way hockey players and organizations contribute to their communities
Through the team’s highs and lows the Sedins have remained the heart of the Vancouver Canucks. The twins have repaid the mentorship they received from the likes of Markus Näslund and Trevor Linden by becoming mentors to the new generation of Canucks like Bo Horvat and Sven Bärtschi. The role is more important now than ever as the team struggles to rebuild itself into a playoff contender.
“We were in those shoes a long time ago and we learned from the best,” says Henrik. “We watched them, we listened to what they said. It’s not so much about having to talk to [the younger players] all the time, it’s about them learning and watching the older guys.”
KPU president Alan Davis says it’s that mentorship and commitment to giving back that drove his decision to offer the honorary degrees to the Sedin twins. In addition to their leadership to the team, the Sedins are leaders in the community, supporting dozens of local community initiatives including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Canucks for Kids Fund, the YMCA, and BC Children’s Hospital through their Sedin Family Foundation.
“For them to be able to take [their success] and turn it around and say, ‘now it’s important for us to serve the community,’ is pretty amazing,”: says Davis. “I think and they do it in such a low key way. I think they’re just great role models for anybody.”
The Sedins left some parting words of wisdom for the future graduates of KPU.
“It’s about treating other people how you want to be treated yourself,” says Henrik. “Just be nice.”
The Sedins’ full speech can be found here.