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Former NHL player wins top award at Royal Roads

Oct 17 2012

Jim Kyte took deafness in his stride as the NHL's first such player, then overcame a career-ending car accident and post-concussion syndrome to excel in academics.

As a stellar performer in both sports and scholastics, Kyte wins this year's Governor General's Gold Medal along with his master's of business degree Oct. 23 at Royal Roads University's fall convocation.

He is receiving the medal, which is awarded to the best thesis or graduate project, for his work on determining the optimum number of professors for faculty departments.

Kyte, a first-round draft pick for the Winnipeg Jets in 1982, played for Pittsburgh, Calgary, Ottawa and San Jose before a 1997 car accident left him unable to play. He turned to public speaking, then developed the sport business management grad program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He is now the chair of Algonquin's school of business.

Kyte is one of four people being honoured in a ceremony at the Royal Theatre next week.

Retired judge Ted Hughes and his wife, longtime civic leader Helen Hughes, will receive honorary degrees for their far-reaching work in defending the rights of vulnerable children and youth, and advancing their welfare.

Singer and teacher Louise Rose will receive the Chancellor's Community Recognition Award for her role creating choirs open to anyone, including one giving voice to homeless people.

The honorees will join a convocation ceremony for 824 students graduating from programs in social and applied sciences, management and applied leadership, including Solange Meilleur, winner of the Governor General's Silver Medal for highest academic standing in a bachelor's program.

"This year's honorees exemplify wise leadership, devoted public service and creative community spirit. They are an inspiration to the university community," said Royal Roads president Allan Cahoon in a statement.

Ted Hughes, who led major investigations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. on issues such as residential school abuse and child welfare, and once served as president of the Canadian Hospitals Association will receive an honorary degree for his exemplary public service in health and welfare.

Helen Hughes, known as a tireless volunteer, served on Victoria council for 18 years, created fundraisers such as Souper Bowls of Hope and worked on behalf of youth, First Nations programs and civic welfare.

Rose is a Baptist minister famed for getting ordinary people to raise their voices in song with the Victoria Good News Choir and the Open Door Choir. She has taught at the Victoria Conservatory of Music at camps and schools throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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