Honorary doctorate recipient apologizes for remarks

Screen shot of Aubrey Dan from Western University YouTube video.

A man who received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Western University has apologized for remarks that have been called “offensive” and “misogynistic.”

Aubrey Dan got his honorary degree from Western during a ceremony last week. During his speech, which can be viewed here, Dan made reference to Playboy magazine’s rating of female students at Western when he was a student there, after he transferred from McMaster.

“I really like that the ACS (Administrative and Commercial Studies) was in the Social Sciences, focusing on the people side of the business,” he said. “Besides, according to Playboy Magazine, at the time, the women are among the best in North America, and obviously they still are.”

The statement led to criticism from several people, including Lesley Bikos, a PhD candidate at Western.


Dan released a statement of apology through the University.

I am sorry that anyone was offended by the comments in my speech, which was far from my intention. My remarks were made to provide a context of what went through my 19-year-old mind when deciding back in 1983 to go to Western. Nothing to do with being sexist at all.

As in response to my comment: “… Besides, according to Playboy magazine, at that time, the women are among the best in North America, and obviously they still are …” My comment was in reference to a compliment and nothing else. I am an egalitarian.

I am honoured and humbled to receive the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Going to Western turned out to be the best choice I ever made in my life for an education, providing me with skill sets and knowledge that I continue to use every day. Receiving this recognition is the cherry on top of the sundae with my involvement and commitment to the success of the students in the DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies past, present and future.

Again, my apologies.

Yours truly,