The Royal Military College of Canada is very proud to announce that Ms. Carol Off, the Host of CBC’s As It Happens, and Dr. David J. Bercuson from the University of Calgary will each receive an Honorary degree – Doctor of Laws at our 105th Convocation at 1300 hours on 19 May 2016. Their Honorary Doctorates will be conferred by the Chancellor of the Royal Military College of Canada, The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
David Bercuson was born in Montreal in August 1945. He attended Sir George Williams University, graduating in June 1966 with Honours in History and winning the Lieutenant-Governor's Silver Medal for the highest standing in history. After graduation he pursued graduate studies at the University of Toronto, earning an MA in history in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1971.
Dr. Bercuson has published in academic and popular publications on a wide range of topics specializing in modern Canadian politics, Canadian defence and foreign policy, and Canadian military history. He has written, coauthored, or edited over 35 popular and academic books and does regular commentary for television and radio. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Calgary Herald, the National Post and other newspapers.
In 1988, Bercuson was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and in May 1989, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at The University of Calgary. In 1997 he was appointed Special Advisor to the Minister of National Defence on the Future of the Canadian Forces. He was a member of the Minister of National Defence's Monitoring Committee from 1997 to 2003. He served on the Advisory Council on National Security from 2005 to 2008. Since January 1997 he has been the Director of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. Currently he is also the Director of Programs of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, which is based in Calgary. And the Director of International Programs for the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy.
Dr. Bercuson served as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 41 Combat Engineer Regiment, a Land Force Reserve military engineer unit of the Canadian Forces until November 2010. He was a member of Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada from 2006 to 2012.
In 2002 Dr. Bercuson was awarded the J. B. Tyrrell Historical Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. In 2003, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Bercuson's latest book 'Our Finest Hour: Canada Fights the Second World War' was published in 2016.
Carol Off is co-host of CBC Radio’s popular evening program, as It Happens, where she has been in the chair since 2006.
Before joining radio, Carol was a news and documentary reporter covering many national and international events. In the 1990s, she reported on post-war reconstruction in Bosnia; the war in Kosovo; the refugee crisis in Macedonia; and the collapse of the Milosevic regime in Serbia. She made a number of programs about the wars including the documentaries: “Flight from Bosnia” about the war criminals who found safe haven in Canada’s refugee system; “Of Crimes and Courage”, the story of a child who survived the massacre of her family in Kosovo and went on to hunt down the killers; and “The Ghosts of Medak Pocket”, a story about Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and its heroic intervention in Croatia-- a documentary that became the award winning book “The Ghosts of Medak Pocket”. She also published the best-selling book “The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda” which raised controversial issues concerning Canada’s involvement in two civil wars.
Carol also covered the fall-out from the 9/11 attacks, reporting from New York City, Washington and Cairo. In Afghanistan she reported from Kabul and Mazar e Sharif where she produced the award-winning documentary “In the Company of Warlords”. In 2006 she followed Canadian and international forces into Kandahar where she was both embedded with the military and reported from outside the wire.
Over many decades as a journalist, Carol has covered many stories concerning the Canadian Forces, including the Oka Crisis; Arctic Sovereignty; the evolution of peacekeeping; and post-traumatic stress disorders in the military.
Carol is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Linden MacIntyre.