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Spring 2012 honorary degree recipients announced

Memorial University has announced the names of the individuals whom it will present with honorary doctorates at the 2012 spring convocation ceremonies. Memorial will present degrees honoris causa to four accomplished people during nine ceremonies to be held in St. John's and Corner Brook this year.
Honorary degrees will be awarded to radio broadcaster Shelagh Rogers; musician Everard "Bud" Davidge (to be conferred in Corner Brook); Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory Roberta Jamieson; and former auditor general of Canada Sheila Fraser (biographies of all honourees follow).

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

The honorary doctorate degree 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.

Memorial's spring convocation ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 11, at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook, and from Tuesday, May 29, to Friday, June 1, at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John's.


Biographies

Shelagh Rogers
For her contributions to Canadian broadcasting and to the public understanding of the problems of literacy and depression, Shelagh Rogers will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 3 p.m. session of convocation on Tuesday, May 29. The current host of The Next Chapter on CBC radio, Ms. Rogers is a veteran broadcast journalist. She has hosted flagship programs on the CBC, including This Morning and Sounds Like Canada. In 2000, she won the John Drainie Award, Canada's highest broadcasting honour. Ms. Rogers' awards are not limited to her professional work. A sufferer of depression, she has done much to enlighten the public on the subject. For her efforts, Ms. Rogers received a Transforming Lives Award from the national Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for speaking publicly about her experiences. She was also awarded a Hero Award from the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and a Mental Health Voices Award from the Canadian Mental Health Association-British Columbia. Ms. Rogers has also been honoured for her work in reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, is a Jack Award winner for her decades-long promotion of Canadian literature – she hosts the annual Writers at Woody Point Festival in Bonne Bay, N.L. – and is an honorary member of the League of Canadian Poets. In 2010, she was made an officer of the Order of Canada. Ms. Rogers is a graduate of the art history program at Queen's University.

Roberta Jamieson
For her contribution to the advancement of women and native peoples, Roberta Jamieson will receive an honorary doctor of laws at the 3 p.m. session of convocation on Friday, June 1. Ms. Jamieson has enjoyed a career of "firsts." She was the first First Nations woman to receive a law degree upon her education at McGill University and Western University; the first non-parliamentarian to be appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons committee; the first woman to be appointed ombudsman of the province of Ontario; and in 2010 she was the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Ms. Jamieson's work in conflict resolution was recognized by the University of Toronto when it awarded her with the Goodman Fellowship award and she also received the first Mary Parker Follett Award of the International Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. Ms. Jamieson was named president and chief executive officer of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, now renamed Indspire, in 2004. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees, Ms. Jamieson is also a member of the Order of Canada.

Everard "Bud" Davidge
For his contribution to Newfoundland music, Everard "Bud" Davidge will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 10 a.m. session of convocation on Friday, May 11, in Corner Brook. A schoolteacher by profession and a musician by vocation, Mr. Davidge recorded 12 albums as one half of the singer-songwriter duo SIMANI and recorded three solo albums. His collection of songs can be found in several publications, including the iconic The Mummers Song. Published as an illustrated children's book in 1993, it was given an award by the American Folklore Society in 1994. Mr. Davidge's other songs cover a wide range of topics including migrant workers in Alberta, shipwrecks, history and one heard at Memorial University each year on Remembrance Day: The Little Blue Forget-Me-Not, a tribute to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. He opened his recording studio, SWC Productions, in his current home of English Harbour West. The studio provided an important and welcoming outlet for many other artists throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, artists who may have avoided larger centres and whose work might otherwise have been lost. Mr. Davidge received two bachelor's degrees from Memorial University and a master of arts from the University of Toronto.

Sheila Fraser
For her outstanding contribution to public probity, Sheila Fraser will receive an honorary doctor of laws at the 10 a.m. session of convocation on Wednesday, May 30. Ms. Fraser earned a bachelor of commerce degree from McGill University and earned the status of chartered accountant in 1974. She joined the Office of the Auditor General of Canada as deputy auditor general in January 1999 and served as auditor general from 2000-11, the first woman to do so. For her noteworthy service to the auditing and accounting professions, Ms. Fraser was awarded the designation of Fellow by the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec in 1994 and by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2000. She was a 2009 recipient of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario Award of Outstanding Merit, the highest honour that the institute can bestow upon its members. She has been awarded honorary degrees from 13 Canadian universities, which recognize her contribution to the fields of accounting, legislative auditing and public administration. Ms. Fraser currently serves as a public member of the International Federation of Accountants-International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.

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