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Gerry Labas to receive Honorary Applied Degree from MHC

Gerry Labas, 2021 Honorary Degree Recipient
June 8, 2021

Medicine Hat College (MHC) is pleased to recognize Gerry Labas as the recipient of the 2021 honorary applied baccalaureate degree for his commitment to public service and education.

“Since 2005, Medicine Hat College has been celebrating the contributions of individuals who help move our communities, region and province forward,” says Kevin Shufflebotham, president and CEO of MHC. “It is with gratitude that we present Gerry Labas with our honorary applied degree, our institution’s highest credential, for his service to Southeast Alberta and beyond.”

Labas’s career spanned 40 years, taking him from a private electrical utility, crown corporations, provincial government, a federal government agency, to the City of Medicine Hat where he served as Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Operating Officer – Energy Division until his retirement in 2015. He is an Institute Certified Director, Institute of Corporate Directors and recipient of Canada’s Commemorative Medal given in recognition of contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada.

During that time, Labas was an advocate for continued education within the various organizations he served.

Through his own journey of lifelong learning, first as a tradesman then post secondary education at the technical and university level and finally completion of a master’s degree in business administration, he demonstrated the value of education as a key factor in personal growth and development. As CAO with the City, he led a program to financially encourage and support staff in their pursuit of higher education through MHC.

Under his leadership, the Southeastern Alberta Community Association increased its profile, resulting in generous public contributions to non profit organizations supporting those in need. As a strong community leader with Métis heritage, Labas remains an advocate for college initiatives and support for Indigenous peoples.

His commitment to MHC was also demonstrated through his participation on its Board of Governors, where he served as board vice-chair and a public member during his term from 2004 – 2010.

“This honorary degree will be regarded as the most memorable of anything I have achieved, connecting me to a place of learning that I respect and to the Class of 2021,” says Labas. “I am so fortunate to have this award bestowed on me and sincerely thank Medicine Hat College and the Board of Governors for this recognition.”

MHC is unable to host its traditional convocation ceremony on June 11, but Labas and other award winners will be recognized throughout the week on social media and the college website.