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REF NO.: 283
SUBJECT: Memorial University announces honorary degree recipients for spring and fall 2005 convocation ceremonies
DATE: April 1
Newfoundlandand Labrador’s home-grown television personality Rick Mercer leads a remarkable list of luminaries who will be honoured by Memorial University during this year’s spring and fall convocation.
The group includes renowned businesspeople, community activists and scholars.
In order of presentation, this spring’s honorary graduands are comedian and writer Rick Mercer; distinguished author and editor Dr. David Pitt; professor of sport science Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper; humanitarian and soldier Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire; businessman Ches Penney; cultural theorist Dr. Henry Giroux; naturalist and conservationist Dr. Bernard Jackson and former St. John’s mayor and businessman John Murphy.
In the fall convocation 2005, slated for Oct. 21, 2005 in St. John’s, honorary degrees will be awarded to Scott Hand, chairman and CEO of Inco Ltd., and Elizabeth Penashue, a community activist in Labrador.
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 our graduates, their families and guests.
Spring convocation kicks off at SirWilfredGrenfellCollegein Corner Brookon May 13. In St. John’s, convocation runs at the Arts and Culture Centre from Wednesday, May 25, to Friday, May 27.
Details on Memorial’s honorary degree recipients follows below.
Lt.-Gen. Roméo A. Dallaire
Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire had a 35-year career in the military and has been honoured on numerous occasions for outstanding professionalism, honour, altruism, resourcefulness and bravery. His dedication to world peace, self-sacrifice and courage saved the lives of thousands of Rwandans in 1994, when he led the United Nations mission in Rwanda. Although he and his UN troops did not have the mandate to intervene in the genocide that occurred there, he did not freeze in the face of horror. Against political pressure to take sides in the conflict, Lt.-Gen. Dallaire remained impartial and his courage, compassion and integrity earned him one of Canada’s most prestigious military honours, the Meritorious Service Cross.
Born in the Netherlands, Lt.-Gen. Dallaire attended the Royal Military College at St-Jean and Kingston. During his military career, he occupied a variety of commands at national and international levels, and has become one of the most decorated Canadian soldiers. In 1996 he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal by the United Statesand later that year he became chief of staff of the assistant deputy minister (personnel) group. In 1998 he became assistant deputy minister (human resources — military). In 1999 Lt.-Gen. Dallaire was appointed special advisor to the chief of the defence staff on officer professional development.
He was invested in the Order of Canadain 2002. His internationally recognized book Shake Hands With The Devil — The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004.
He was named to the Canadian Senate earlier this month.
Lt.-Gen. Dallaire will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 7:30 p.m.session of convocation on Wednesday, May 25.
Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper
Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper is a professor at the Freie Universität Berlinin Germany. She received her doctorate from the Universityof Berlinand her habilitation from the Universityof Frankfurt. She has authored and co-authored over 300 publications in sport science, sport pedagogy, and adapted physical activity and sport for persons with a disability.
Dr. Doll-Tepper is president of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, an organization with more more than 250 national and international members. She is also the former president of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity, former chairperson of the International Paralympic Sport Science Committee, invited fellow of the European College of Sport Science, and member of the National Olympic Committee for Germany.
She has been recognized with several awards and honours for her contributions to sport and sport science. She received the William G. Anderson Commemorative Award for her contribution to the Paralympic Movement (1998) , the Alice-Profé-Award for her contribution to women in sport; the Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany (1999) for her outstanding contribution to disability sport, physical education and sport science; the Distinguished International Scholar Award from the International Relations Council of American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness/ American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (2000); the Gold Cross Award of the Fédération Internationale d’Education Physique (2001); and the Paralympic Order of the International Paralympic Cocmmittee (2002).
Dr. Doll-Tepper will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 3 p.m.session of convocation on Wednesday, May 25.
Bernard S. Jackson
Bernard S. Jackson has been involved in the agriculture business since the young age of 16 when he worked as a trainee on farms in Britain. He worked for a short time with the Hudson Bay Company before joining the Government of Newfoundland in 1958 where he worked for 10 years, first with the wildlife division and later as a naturalist with the provincial parks. He joined Memorial University at the Botanical Gardens in 1971 where he created and managed the gardens until 1993.
Mr. Jackson holds a certificate in public administration from MemorialUniversity(1971) and a diploma in horticulture from GuelphUniversity(1977). Throughout his professional career he has remained a naturalist and conservationist publishing more than 35 articles in nature magazines and writing and contributing to numerous booklets, book chapters and various publications.
Among his many awards and accolades, Mr. Jackson is a fellow of the Linneaen Society of London, a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, an Honorary Associate of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (2003), and has been the recipient of the Professional Citation from the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (1990); the Conservation Award from the Canadian Wildflower Society (1991); the Tuck/Walters Conservation Award (1993); an Honorary Life Membership in the Newfoundland Horticultural Society (1993) and the Friends of Memorial University Botanical Garden; and the Meritorious Service Award from Memorial University (1999).
Mr. Jackson will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 10 a.m.session of convocation on Friday, May 27.
Dr. Henry A. Giroux
Dr. Henry A. Giroux is the Global Television Network Chair in English and Communication at McMasterUniversity.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he is an accomplished lecturer, writer, professor and award-winner. His research focuses on a variety of issues including cultural studies, youth, critical pedagogy, democratic theory, public education, social theory, and the politics of higher education.
Dr. Giroux received his doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon Universityin 1977. Since then he has gone on to teach at Bostonand MiamiUniversities, accepted the Waterbury Chair Professorship at Pennsylvania State Universityand served as the director of the Waterbury Forum in Education and Cultural Studies.
In addition to serving on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous national and international scholarly journals and serving as co-editor of three scholarly book series, Dr. Giroux has been published extensively in a wide ranging number of scholarly journals and books. He is the author of Educational Leadership and the Crisis of Democratic Culture (1992), Corporate Culture and the Attack on Higher Education and Public Schooling (1999) and Proto-Fascism in America: Neoliberalism and the Demise of Democracy (2004). His forthcoming book, Henry Giroux on Politics, Culture and Education, will be published by Palgrave this year.
Together with figures like Peter McLaren, Joe Kincheloe and Shirely Steinberg, Dr. Giroux is at the forefront of integrating cultural studies into the study of education.
He currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife, Susan Searls-Giroux.
Dr. Giroux will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the 3 p.m.session of convocation on Thursday, May 26.
Scott M. Hand
Scott M. Hand was born in San Francisco, California, and was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Inco Ltd. in April 2002, after serving as deputy chairman and CEO since April 2001. Prior to his election as deputy chairman and CEO, he was president of Inco Ltd. since 1992. He earlier served as executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary and was also responsible for strategic planning and business development for the company. Mr. Hand joined Inco in 1973 in its legal department.
Mr. Hand received a bachelor of arts degree from HamiltonCollegein 1964, and after spending two years in Ethiopiawith the U.S. Peace Corps, he entered CornellLawSchooland graduated with a doctor of jurisprudence degree in 1969.
He is a member of the board of directors of Independence Community Bank Corp. in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Hand is also a member of the board of directors of The Nickel Development Institute, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the boards of the Ontario Heritage Foundation and Tafelmusik.
It was during Mr. Hand’s tenure at Inco that the giant mining company purchased the rights to the vast Voisey’s Bay mineral discovery and began its development.
It was also during his term as chief executive that Inco joined forces with Memorial University to convert the Thomson Centre into the Inco Innovation Centre, a modern research facility that will address the scientific, technical and human resource needs of the Voisey’s Bay project. The centre is slated to open this year.
Mr. Hand and his family make their home in Toronto.
Mr. Hand will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree in the fall session of convocation, Friday, Oct. 21.
Rick Mercer began his career in comedy performing and writing a series of one-man stage shows, beginning with Show Me the Button, I’ll Push It, which debuted at the National Arts Centre in 1990 and went on to tour across the country. Subsequent theatre performances included I’ve Killed Before, I’ll Kill Again (1992) and Canada: A Good Placeto Hide (1995).
In 1994, this St. John’snative launched his television career as a performer and writer on the topical weekly show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which he left in 2001. In 1998, he joined Gerald Lunz and Michael Donovan to create the satirical dramatic series Made in Canada, where he again starred and contributed as a writer. In 2001, his special Talking to Americans became the highest rated Canadian comedy special of all time with 2.7 millions viewers.
Rick Mercer’s Monday Report, a weekly half-hour of topical comedy, debuted on CBCTelevision in January 2004; it is now in its second season. In November 2004,
Mr. Mercer received the National Arts Centre Award at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, and in December 2004, he received two Gemini Awards: Best Writing in a Comedy and Best Performance in a Comedy for the CBCTelevision series Made in Canada.
In 2002, he was presented with an honorary doctor of letters from Laurentian University. Among numerous other awards, he has been co-named Journalist of the Year at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, Artist of the Year from the Newfoundlandand Labrador Arts Council, and he has received a number of Canadian Comedy Awards.
Mr. Mercer will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the SirWilfredGrenfellCollegeconvocation at 10 a.m.on Friday, May 13.
John J. Murphy
John Murphy is best known to the people of Newfoundlandand Labradorin his dual roles of public servant and independent businessperson.
He served the people of St. John’s for 17 years — as deputy mayor for four years and as mayor for 13 years. During his term as mayor, St. John’sabsorbed a large number of satellite communities and expanded from 25 square miles to 200 square miles. His achievements include saving the historic look of old St. John’sthrough neighbourhood improvement, housing repair and subsidized infill housing programs. As well, it was a major achievement to initiate and complete extensive road constructions in and out of the city.
In the business world, Mr. Murphy was president of John J. Murphy Ltd. which owned and operated seven retail stories in the province, including the Arcadestore, a Water Streetfixture for many years. Mr. Murphy has served as president of the Newfoundland Board of Trade, a member of the Advisory Board of Royal Trust, and a director of Lawton’s Drugs, Great Eastern Oil and Texaco.
His community service record includes the chairmanship of the Salvation Army Red Shield Campaign, the Leave a Legacy Newfoundland committee and a patron of the 508 Air Cadet Caribou Squadron. He has been chairman of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, spent eight years on the National Capital Commission and sat on the Board of Regents of Memorial University.
Mr. Murphy has been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Order of Canada, Canada Medal, and the Paul Harris Fellowship/Rotary Medal.
Mr. Murphy will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 3 p.m.session of convocation on Friday, May 27.
Born into a hunting and trapping family who lived at Kanekuanikat, between Esker and Churchill Falls, Labrador, Elizabeth Penashue moved to Sheshatshiu in the 1960s when her family and her people were encouraged to relocate in order to integrate them into Canadian society through education and a more settled lifestyle. Her father’s hunting and trapping equipment as well as his traplines were lost when the development of Churchill Fallsrequired the creation of the Smallwood Reservoir and the consequent disappearance of his work territory at Mishikaumau Lake.
Marriage to Francis Penashue in 1963 did little but exacerbate the confining situation of Sheshatshiu for Ms. Penashue. Elizabeth and Francis attempted to go back to the old way of life, to return to the land. However, low-level military flying exercises out of GooseBaywere conducted over the land that the Innu used for hunting and thus diminished their capacity to recover. Ms. Penashue became a leader in the opposition to the low-level flying. She has also continued to promote the traditional lifestyle and Innu relationship with the land through organizing a winter walk from GooseBayto MineiNipiLakeand a canoe voyage along the Churchill to focus attention on the problems that would arise from the damming of the Lower Churchill.
Her efforts have drawn public attention to the cause and the Innu struggle has been the subject of a book (Marie Wadden’s Nitassinan) and a film (National Film Board’s Hunters and Bombers). Ms. Penashue has nine children, 33 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She won’t be doing her walk into the bush this year as her doctor recommended that she not make the trip.
Elizabeth Penashue will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the fall session of convocation Friday, Oct. 21.
As founder and chairman of the Penney Group of Companies and president and CEO of Pennecon, Ches Penney has built one of Newfoundlandand Labrador’s largest integrated industrial service and construction consortiums — from the ground up. After one term at MemorialUniversity, he founded Penney Construction in 1971. In the 34 years since then he’s expanded his business interests to include over 60 companies in four provinces, employing more than 3,000 people under the Penney Group banner.
Born in Carbonear, Newfoundland, Mr. Penney attributes his success to work, common sense, fair dealings, respect for others and attention to detail. He has also made a point of surrounding himself with people who are highly skilled and motivated, and who, themselves, are entrepreneurs and experts in their respective fields. These are the people he prefers to work with and he is proud that 30 of them have chosen to partner with him in their respective business ventures.
In 1997 he sat as a member of the provincial Advisory Council on the Economy. In 2002 Ches Penney was inducted into the Junior Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame, and in October of that year he accepted the Atlantic 2002 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Corporate partnerships are very important to Mr. Penney but so too are community partnerships. He has given substantial donations to support education, healthcare and many local charities. In recognition of his philanthropy, Rotary International named him a Paul Harris Fellow.
Mr. Penney will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 10 a.m.session of convocation on Thursday, May 26.
Dr. David Pitt
Dr. David Pitt has been professor emeritus of English at MemorialUniversitysince 1983 and also served as the head of the Department of English from 1970-1982. Dr. Pitt has also been a distinguished author and editor since 1965 and has written extensively on the history of the Methodist Church in Newfoundland.
As well, he has edited, with introductions, a number of textbooks covering Shakespeare and other English classics.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Pitt was a teacher in Moreton’s Harbour and Twillingate after graduating from MemorialUniversityCollege.
Dr. Pitt also attended Mount Allison University where he completed a bachelor of arts (hons.) in 1946. He earned a master of arts in 1948 and a PhD in 1960 from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Pitt is the president of the St. John’sbranch of the Humanities Association of Canada and a founding member of the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English, established in 1957.
He holds a doctor of laws (honoris causa) from MountAllisonUniversity, a medal for Canadian Biography from the Universityof British Columbiafor The Truant Years, a biography of E.J. Pratt, and was a runner up for the City of Toronto Book Awardin 1985 for the same book.
Dr. Pitt was chosen Artist of the Year by the Newfoundlandand Labrador Arts Council in 1989, holds a Humanities Research Council Fellowship for Newfoundlandand a Canada Council Senior Fellowship.
Dr. Pitt will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the 10 a.m.session of convocation on Wednesday, May 25.
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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Memorial University News Service, 737-8665, cell 687-9433, email@example.com.