Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Robert Charles Davidson 
Doctor of Arts  1997
Status: conferred

Contemporary artist Robert Davidson is credited with reviving the artistic tradition of his people, the Haida, a North American indigenous tribe living on islands off the coast of British Columbia. In 1969, when he was only 23, and the Haida culture was on the verge of extinction, Mr. Davidson completed and erected on the site of his family's fishing village a classically carved Haida totem pole, the first of its kind in 90 years. He soon revived other aspects of his culture, including its songs, dances, and storytelling traditions. Today his totem poles are erected in famous sculpture gardens alongside works by Rodin and Henry Moore. His carvings, prints, bronze sculptures, and jewelry have been exhibited throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Mr. Davidson has received the Canadian Aboriginal Achievement Award for Art and Culture, along with Canada's highest award, the Companion to the Order of Canada. For his creative achievements as an artist, and his contributions to cultural preservation, SMU is proud to honor Robert Davidson with the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.