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Fall honoraries announced

Memorial University will hold its fall convocation ceremonies in Corner Brook on Oct. 3 and in St. John’s on Friday, Oct. 17. More than 900 students will receive their degrees at four sessions of convocation.

In Corner Brook there will be one session of convocation starting at 10 a.m. In St. John’s, sessions begin at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. At the 10 a.m. session in St. John’s, retired General Rick Hillier will be officially installed as Memorial’s sixth chancellor.

Additionally, honorary degrees will be awarded to publisher Clyde Rose and naval reserve leader Robert Blakely at the convocation is St. John’s, while Irish poet Dr. John Ennis will receive an honorary degree at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College session in Corner Brook. (Biographical notes follow below.)

Honorary degree recipients are chosen by the Senate, the university’s academic governing body, after careful examination of the grounds for their nomination.

The honorary doctorate is designed to recognize extraordinary contribution to society or exceptional intellectual or artistic achievement. The awarding of honorary doctorates, an important feature of Memorial’s convocation, serves to celebrate both the individual and the university as well as to inspire graduates, their families and guests.

Also at fall convocation, several professors will be honoured with the designation professor emeritus/emerita: Dr. James Greenlee, Historical Studies, Arts, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College; Dr. Peter Booth, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Carolyn Harley, Department of Psychology; Dr. Andy den Otter, Department of History; Dr. Thakor Patel, Department of Biology; and Dr. Robert Sexty, Faculty of Business Administration. To be eligible for the title professor emeritus, a person must have served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member at Memorial and must have held the rank of professor upon retirement.

The prime criterion for nomination is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university. For more information on this fall’s professores
emeriti, please see

Dr. John Ennis has been head of Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland since 1980, first as head of department and, since 1992, as head of school. Dr. Ennis continues to forge international links for the Waterford Institute, the most notable being his chairmanship of the Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, whose function is to promote research, scholarship, joint projects and entrepreneurial ventures between Ireland and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prominent among these initiatives has been his joint editorship with colleagues Stephanie McKenzie and Randall Maggs from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College of a trilogy of anthologies featuring contemporary and canonical poetry from Canada and Ireland. In his spare time, Dr. Ennis is an passionate gardener and bee-keeper.

Dr. Ennis will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation on Friday, Oct 3.

Clyde Rose founded, along with his colleagues, Newfoundland’s first commercial publishing house: Breakwater Books Limited. To date, Breakwater has published well over 600 titles, most of which focus on the history, folklore and literature of Newfoundland and Labrador. Breakwater also made significant forays into the curricula of our country’s school system, publishing major textbooks and resources in areas such as language arts, social studies, religious studies, and environmental studies.

Mr. Rose will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 3 p.m., session of convocation on Friday, Oct. 17.

Robert Blakely joined the Canadian Forces (Naval Reserve) in 1969 and has risen through the ranks to command various HMC ships at sea and ashore. In 2004 he was promoted to commodore and appointed commander of Canada’s naval reserve serving in this post until December 2007. Mr. Blakely has also earned a law degree from the University of Alberta and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1978.

Mr. Blakely will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 7:30 p.m., session of convocation on Friday, Oct. 17.

For more on the 2008 fall honoraries, see