Jeopardy host, U of O alumnus wins Canada’s highest honour

On Friday, Nov. 17, University of Ottawa alumnus and host of the popular television show Jeopardy! Alex Trebek was appointed to the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada is considered Canada’s highest honour, recognizing outstanding achievement and service to the country.

Trebek, who graduated with a degree in philosophy from the U of O in 1961, was recognized for instilling “a love of learning in millions of people” during his time as host for Jeopardy!, of which he has hosted over 7,000 episodes.

Trebek is currently signed on to be a host of the popular game show until 2020.

He was also recognized for his contributions off camera, as Trebek participates in extensive humanitarian work. “Generous with his time and support, he is committed to multiple educational, environmental and humanitarian causes, notably as an ambassador for World Vision,” said the office of the governor general at the presentation of Trebek’s award.  

“I feel great,” said Trebek in a video interview with the CBC. “It was more emotional than I thought it would be. I teared up a couple of times, not when they were talking about me, but when they were talking about all of these other Canadians who have accomplished so much in various fields.”

Trebek was honoured along with 40 other recipients at a ceremony at Rideau Hall. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada and the ceremony was the first performed by new Governor General Julie Payette.

To date, nearly 7,000 people have received the Order of Canada.

“I’m a television quiz show host,” said Trebek in the interview with CBC. “These people have accomplishments and discoveries that are saving lives and that are changing the lives of Canadians and people around the world. I feel very humbled.”

Trebek said that he will proudly display his Order of Canada medal along with other awards and trophies in his home. You can also find several of his awards on display in the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall at the U of O.