Sarah McLachlan played World on Fire and In the Arms of an Angel for the graduating class at SFU yesterday.

Simon Fraser University graduates attending their convocation yesterday morning were treated to a special performance by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan as she collected an honorary degree.

“My manager put the offer in front of me and said they want to honour me, and obviously I was extremely thrilled and humbled,” the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter said.

“It’s incredibly flattering to be recognized for the work I do that just comes naturally from the heart.”

McLachlan was introduced by former school of communication director Dr. Martin Laba, who lauded her for her charitable work in areas including animal welfare, youth musical education and poverty reduction.

“All of these contributions are remarkable, and all share the aspirations that are central to Simon Fraser University,” said Laba.

“We gain inspiration, example, and direction in Sarah MacLachlan’s music, in her artistic achievements, in her dedication to civic engagement, and her vision and commitments to make music truly an enduring agent of social change.”

After accepting her degree, McLachlan’s performance of World on Fire and In the Arms of an Angel were greeted with standing ovations from many of the graduates.

This semester, SFU is also giving honorary degrees to McDonald’s Canada founder George Cohon, astronaut Robert Thirsk, former Vancouver city planner Ray Spaxman, sportscaster Brian Williams, and computational molecular biologist Pavel Pevzner.

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