University of Victoria, British Columbia Canada, Announcements
September 18, 2009

Steve Nash accepts honorary degree from UVic

Steve Nash - two-time recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award, six-time NBA All-Star and creator of the Steve Nash Foundation for underserved children - is now Dr. Steve Nash. The Victoria-raised athlete and community leader received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria at a special convocation ceremony Friday morning in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

Long-time Nash family friend and Department of Curriculum and Instruction faculty member Carole Miller delivered the oration for Nash. She recalled that when sitting with other parents in the Arbutus School gym watching the young Nash play basketball "we knew we were witnessing a truly gifted player." Miller described the young Nash as displaying "precision, focus, discipline and, above all, a great sense of joy in all those challenges" and as "the local kid who does good."

Nash spoke of his “sense of pride” in accepting an honorary degree from UVic, “at which I spent not a lot of time studying . . . but where I spent enough time in the gym for several careers. This is an honour that I will cherish. It’s very humbling to be recognized by a community that means so much to me and by a university that has had such an impact on my life.” Then addressing the young people in crowd he said, “Follow your passions. Find them and follow them. Set goals for yourself. Try to realize your dreams. That’s a sure fire way to find happiness and find peace in your life.”

A member of the Phoenix Suns, Nash is known for his exceptional playmaking, ball-handling and shooting skills. Off the court, Nash consistently demonstrates the finer qualities of a role model and community leader: integrity, character and humility.

He established the Steve Nash Foundation, a private charity dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life in BC, Arizona and Paraguay (the birthplace of his wife, Alejandra Nash).

In 2008, the Steve Nash Foundation received the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy from the US-based Sports Philanthropy Project and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Nash's previous honours include the 2005 Lou Marsh Award as Canada's Athlete of the Year and the 2007 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from the NBA for outstanding service and dedication to the community. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been selected to the Order of British Columbia.

Honorary degrees are conferred by the University of Victoria Senate based on nominations received from members of the university committee. Recipients are selected for their exceptional records of distinction and achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts, public service or other outstanding personal qualities.

Watch the convocation ceremony online at

Download high-resolution images of the ceremony.


(image: fern)