Three prominent writers will be honoured during Memorial University's fall convocation ceremonies, taking place at the St. John’s Arts and Culture on Friday, Oct. 20. Over 500 students will receive degrees during the three sessions of convocation being held on that day at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Honorary degrees will be awarded to Ingeborg Marshall, Anne Hart and Dr. Alison Feder. As well, two renowned researchers – Dr. Roy West and Dr. Kevin Keough – will be receiving the designation professor emeritus.
A leader in Irish studies, Dr. Feder taught at Memorial for almost 40 years. She served as president of the Canadian Association of Irish Studies and organized a successful conference at Memorial in 1977 out of which came a collection of essays, Literature and Folk Culture: Ireland and Newfoundland. In the 1980s, she began a study of neglected Newfoundland novelist Margaret Duley which was published in 1983. Dr. Feder will be awarded an honorary doctorate of letters at the 10 a.m. session of convocation.
Ms. Hart served as head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies for over 20 years, during which time she developed the collections and the public awareness of them. She is better known for her unconventional biographies of fictional characters; Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. She recently collaborated with Dr. Roberta Buchanan and Bryan Greene on The Woman Who Mapped Labrador: The Life and Expedition Diary of Mina Hubbard. Ms. Hart will be awarded an honorary doctorate of letters at the 3 p.m. session of convocation.
Ms. Marshall’s undergraduate paper on Beothuk decorated bone pieces, published in the Newfoundland Quarterly, led to a deeper interest in this group of native people. A children’s book, a master’s thesis and two more books led up to her master work: A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk, published in 1996. The book was shortlisted for the Innis Book Prize, Editor’s Choice of the Globe and Mail, and selected as one of Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Books in 1997. Ms. Marshall will receive an honorary doctorate of letters at the 7:30 p.m. session of convocation.
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 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. The prime criterion for nomination as professor emeritus is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university.
Digital audio of the honorary degree orations and addresses by honorary degree recipients will be available on the web one hour after the convocation session. Please visit www.mun.ca/marcomm/media for details.
Note to editors:
Representatives of media agencies should arrive at the stage door of the Arts and Culture Centre at least 15 minutes before convocation ceremonies commence, and ask for Ivan Muzychka, manager, Communications, or call 687-9433 in advance to arrange for seating and photography/videography. Please note that broadcast quality digital audio of the honorary degree orations and addresses by honorary degree recipients will be available on the web one hour after the convocation session. Please visit www.mun.ca/marcomm/media for details.