Memorial is preparing for convocation season, the highlight of the academic year for the hundreds of students who will walk across the stage and receive their degrees.
The ceremonies in St. John’s and Corner Brook will include awarding honorary degrees to an outstanding group of seven.
The honourees include the Princess Royal, the daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree in a special convocation to take place on Friday, April 23, at the St. John’s campus.
During regular sessions of convocation in May, honorary degrees will be awarded to humanitarian Stephen Lewis; dancer and choreographer Christopher House; businessman and philanthropist Rex Anthony; Hall-of-Fame hockey player George Faulkner; doctor and Salvation Army officer Dawn Howse; and a leader of the provincial filmmaking community, Paul Pope.
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 contributions 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 Sir Wilfred Grenfell College session of convocation will be held at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook on Friday, May 14. Convocation takes place at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s from Tuesday, May 25, to Friday, May 28.
The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal is the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR) and one of the most active members of the Royal Family, undertaking hundreds of charitable engagements each year. The Princess Royal will be visiting the province in April to present new colours to the 1st battalion of the RNR and to participate in a variety of other activities being co-ordinated by the regiment. She will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial University on April 23.
One of the most visible Canadians on the world scene, Stephen Lewis has had an extraordinary career in effecting change.
At age 25, Mr. Lewis was an elected member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, where he served from 1963 to 1978. In 1970 he became leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party and subsequently became leader of the Official Opposition.
His standing as a man of principle was likely what led Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to appoint him as Canadian ambassador to the United Nations in 1984; this was the first of his several senior United Nations roles spanning two decades. However, it was in his role as the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa (2001-2006) that he had the greatest impact, helping to bring global attention to the severity of the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
Mr. Lewis is the chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He serves as a member of the board of directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Stephen Lewis holds 30 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and is a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. He was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal in 2004 by the United Nations Association in Canada; the award celebrates outstanding achievement in the field of international service and understanding.
For his contributions to Canada, for his role in effecting social change internationally, Stephen Lewis will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College session of convocation at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook on Friday, May 14, at 10 a.m.
After studying political science and philosophy, Christopher House developed an interest in the performing arts. This brought him to the Toronto Dance Theatre as a dancer in 1978 and saw him become its choreographer a brief three years later.
Since 1994 he has served as the theatre’s artistic director, transforming it into a company known internationally for its fresh, intelligent and provocative dance.
He has contributed over 60 works to the repertoire including Glass Houses, Four Towers, Early Departures, Vena Cava, Nest and Sly Verb. He has created choreographies for Portugal’s Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet British Columbia, and for soloists such as Peggy Baker and Guillaume Côté.
His recent works include Dis/(sol/ve)r and Pteros Tactics for the Toronto Dance Theatre. Timecode Break, a commission from the Canada Dance Festival and a co-production with the National Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts, was named best Canadian work by the Globe and Mail, and best new
contemporary dance by the Toronto Star in 2006. In June 2007, it won three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Production.
A distinguished instructor, Mr. House teaches at the Toronto Dance Theatre, and has also given courses at Simon Fraser University, the Juilliard School in New York, the Ateliers de danse moderne in Montreal, Jacob’s Pillow (Massachusetts), and the Academy of Dance in Rotterdam.
As one of Canada’s most important figures in the world of dance and an outstanding choreographer, Mr. House has excelled in an art form that has not received as much attention in Newfoundland and Labrador as painting, music, theatre or fiction. For his contributions to the world of dance and for bringing the province’s name to the national and the international stage, Mr. House will be awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation in St. John’s on Tuesday, May 25.
While involved with many business enterprises in Newfoundland and Labrador, Rex Anthony has also made a major contribution to philanthropic endeavours here.
Mr. Anthony graduated from Memorial University with a bachelor of commerce degree, worked for a year in the United States and returned home in 1969 to take a position with his family’s insurance business. Along with his brothers Dave and Gerry, he acquired the Anthony Group of Companies in 1977.
As he re-developed his family’s business into one dealing with financial services, tourism and real estate, he also served as a director of the Bristol Group, Fishery Products (both of which he chaired), Newtel and the St. John’s Board of Trade.
His business activities were matched by his efforts in the community sector, especially in arts where he served on the boards of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador and its successor The Rooms, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and the Council of Business and Arts in Canada.
He has been recognized for these efforts by being named Patron of the Arts by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and receiving awards from the Canadian Red Cross, the Business Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. To Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration he has demonstrated a particular attachment, having chaired its advisory board and served as judge/adjudicator for many years of the school’s case competition teams. He was honoured as Alumnus of the Year by both the Faculty of Business Administration Business and Memorial University.
For his longstanding involvement in business and his contributions to the community and to Memorial University, Mr. Anthony will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 7 p.m. session of convocation in St. John’s on Tuesday, May 25.
George Faulkner is considered by many as the best hockey player ever to lace on a pair of skates in this province.
The highlight of Mr. Faulkner’s 30-year amateur and professional hockey career came in 1966 when he starred for Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
That year he was plucked right out of Newfoundland senior hockey to join the nationals. He helped Canada to win a bronze medal by leading the team in scoring, with seven goals and three assists during the tournament.
A native of Bishop’s Falls, he started playing hockey in the Grand Falls senior league as a 15-year-old and two years later took a shot at hockey on the
mainland where he played for the Quebec City Citadels in the Quebec junior B league.
Mr. Faulkner returned home in 1952-53 and played with the Grand Falls Andcos, who won the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League Championship and Herder Memorial Trophy.
There were eight more Herder victories to follow.
He returned to Quebec the following year to play with the junior A Citadels and they won the Quebec championship.
He had a tryout with the Montreal Canadiens the following year but failed to crack the star-studded Habs’ lineup. He spent the next four years playing with Shawinigan Falls Cataracts in the Quebec Professional Senior Hockey League.
He returned to Newfoundland in 1958 to join the Conception Bay Ceebees and during the 10 years he was with the club they won the provincial championship four times and never missed the playoffs.
Under Mr. Faulkner’s leadership, the Ceebees were the first to represent Newfoundland in Canadian Allan Cup competition in 1967.
He was inducted into the Sport Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame in 1982.
In 2008, The Telegram named Mr. Faulkner number one in its list of Newfoundland and Labrador's greatest athletes.
To recognize this hockey great and his significant role in development of sport in Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Faulkner will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation in St. John’s on May 26.
Dawn Howse graduated from Memorial’s medical school in 1978. Her first appointment was at Woody Point where she worked until 1981 when she moved into private practice in Corner Brook. Four years later she took a momentous
decision; she would become a Salvation Army officer and put her medical abilities to use in Africa.
With training in tropical medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, England, she went to Howard Hospital in northern Zimbabwe in 1988. In 1992 she moved to Tshelanyemba, near the border with Botswana, to a hospital that had been upgraded from a nursing station.
While there serving the 45,000 people in the region, she was the only medical doctor in the 105-bed hospital, supported by a staff of 25 nurses.
In that role, Dr. Howse managed the care of an average of 50 in-patients daily, and was consulted on management of an average of 25 out-patients daily. The hospital saw some 350 new tuberculosis patients a year, as well as men and women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In addition, she was consulted by the region’s midwives, doing about 40 ultrasounds per month, and performed about 20 surgical procedures per month.
She recently returned to this province after 20 years of service to Zimbabwe.
For her service to medicine and to Africa, Dr. Howse will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation in St. John’s on Thursday, May 27.
Paul Pope is one of the most important figures in the development of the film industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, an industry that now generates some $25 million a year and has generated for this province numerous national and international awards.
He helped found and has been permanently involved with NIFCO, the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-operative, the incubator for virtually everything film-related that has been produced in this province.
Mr. Pope received a bachelor of applied arts in film and photography from Ryerson University in Toronto in 1980. He returned to the province and served as president of NIFCO from 1981-1993.
While he has been a mentor to a generation of filmmakers, he’s also been constantly engaged in making movies in this province. He has produced dozens of documentaries, short films and feature length films, including Secret Nation (1992), Extraordinary Visitor (1998) and Rare Birds (the 2003 adaptation of Ed Riche’s comic novel), the television miniseries Above and Beyond (2006) and the Gemini award-winning documentary My Left Breast (2002).
He continues on the board of NIFCO, serves on the board of the Resource Centre of the Arts and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association.
In 2006 his contributions were recognized by the Arts Council of Newfoundland and Labrador with its Achievement Award. For his central role in the development of Newfoundland film and his unceasing support of his colleagues in the industry, Mr. Pope will be awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation in St. John’s on Friday, May 28.