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Huron Confers Two Honorary Doctorates at Theology Convocation

May 12 2022

LONDON, ON – Huron University celebrated graduating students on Thursday at the Faculty of Theology’s convocation, the university’s first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019.

On Thursday, eight Theology students graduated with the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies. As well, Huron granted two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees to Olive Watahíne Elm of the Oneida Nation of the Thames and the Right Reverend Dr. Todd Townshend, Bishop of the Diocese of Huron in the Anglican Church of Canada.

“I want to congratulate our graduates on their accomplishments here at Huron,” said Dan Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Huron University. “Throughout their studies, these students have rooted their theological education in a foundation of spiritual and ethical leadership. I am excited to see what is ahead of them and the impact they will make on their communities and the world.”


Olive Watahíne Elm

Olive Watahíne Elm is Bear Clan from the Oneida Nation of the Thames, where she has been an activist in her community, having served on the band council and in the band’s language centre for over 30 years. She is one of only thirty-eight fluent speakers left in her nation.

Elm helped found the Lene Lenape Algonquian Iroquois Council of the Diocese of Huron (LAIC), and acted as Co-Chair of the Council of Native Ministries. As part of band council, she was instrumental in building a language centre.

Whether teaching community members or translating a range of documents and books, Elm has always been a strong proponent of using language collaboration as vehicle to bring peoples and cultures together. Elm believes her legacy in teaching, translating, and curating the Oneida language and culture will serve the community long after she leaves this earth.  She is encouraged by her students and she gives them her very best by imparting her wisdom and upholding them in prayer.


The Right Reverend Todd Townshend

Todd Townshend is the 14th Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron. He served for 19 years in congregations as a deacon and then parish priest.

Townshend has taught at Huron University College in the Faculty of Theology for over 20 years, and served as Dean of Theology before being elected bishop in the Fall of 2019.

Townshend has given leadership in theological education nationally and internationally and continues to seek the welfare of the learning church through higher education. He has developed gifts as a learner and teacher, a collaborator, a catalyst, a communicator, a pastor, a partner, and a parent.