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REF NO.: 9

SUBJECT: Memorial University to hold fall convocation ceremonies in Corner Brook and St. John's

DATE: Sept. 17

Memorial University will hold its fall convocation ceremonies in Corner Brook on Oct. 3, 2008, 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 in St. John’s, while Irish poet 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: Dr. James Greenlee, 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 criteria for nomination is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university. For more information on this fall’s professores emeriti, please see
Biographical notes:
Clyde Rose
Clyde Rose was born on Fox Island off the southwestern coast of Newfoundland. His forbearers were fishermen involved mainly in the salt fish trade.
During the Second World War, his family moved to Burgeo where the frozen fresh fish industry was prospering. He attended school in Burgeo, and after graduation, he enrolled as a student at Memorial University, where he later taught as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
While a student at Memorial, he became a diving officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. He also taught school in various places including Spaniard’s Bay and Corner Brook, NL, and Montreal, Que.
While teaching in Montreal, he was awarded a Canada Council Scholarship to represent the Canadian Teacher’s Federation as a lecturer with the Commonwealth Institute in London, England. For a year he travelled extensively in England, Scotland and Wales, addressing students in various educational institutions.                            
In 1973, while still at Memorial, he 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 was also a co-founder of the Atlantic Publisher’s Association, of which he became
president and he also served as president of the national body of the Association of Canadian Publishers. He is the editor of several books and the author of a popular volume of poetry entitled Christ in the Pizza Place.
            Clyde Rose will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 3 p.m., session of convocation on Friday, Oct. 17.
Robert Blakely
Robert Blakely was born and raised in Edmonton, Alta. Mr. Blakely joined the Canadian Forces (Naval Reserve) in 1969 and has risen through the ranks to command various HMC ships at sea and ashore. He also led the team that developed the Distance Learning Command and Staff Program used for senior Canadian and allied officers. In 2004 he was promoted to commodore and appointed commander of Canada’s naval reserve, serving in this post until December 2007.
Mr. Blakely earned a law degree from the University of Alberta and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1978. He was also credentialed as a certified human resources professional by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta.
A journeyperson plumber and steam and gas fitter, Mr. Blakely worked at his trade through university. As a member of the Edmonton-based law firm Blakely and Dushenski his expertise in labour relations, practicing on the employee side, is widely recognized. He has appeared successfully before most of the labour relations boards in Canada, at all levels of courts, up to the Supreme Court of Canada and before all of the various arbitration tribunals that this complex industry has reference.
Mr. Blakely’s advocacy is rooted in the belief that a strong construction industry-- an industry that creates 12 per cent of Canada’s GDP-- is critical to Canada’s ongoing social and economic prosperity. On the public policy front, he engages federal politicians, construction owners and contractors to address issues of importance to the organized construction industry that also benefit a broad cross-section of Canadians.
 His high-priority issues-of-the-day include: promoting apprenticeship opportunities for youth and Aboriginals; the industry’s strategic human resource challenges; and meeting the recruitment and retention issues that face construction in light of both demographics and growth.
Mr. Blakely is active in a number of national organizations serving, for example, as the Labour co-chair of the Construction Sector Council, as a member of the Canadian Labour Business Centre, the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre, ABC Literacy Canada and the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation of Canada. 
Robert Blakely will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 7:30 p.m., session of convocation on Friday, Oct. 17.
Dr. John Ennis
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 is originally a midlander from Westmeath, and has a BA from University College Cork, an MA from University College Dublin and an H.Dip.Ed. from the National University of Ireland. He has spent 38 years in Waterford – receiving his PhD there – and has been a major contributor to the development of the institute including its commitment to achieving full university status. Various well-established academic disciplines in the institute today, including music, art and design, social care, law, sports and health, culinary arts and hospitality, owe much of their development to his leadership. 
During his time at the college, Dr. Ennis has been the author of 13 books, won awards for his work and acted as editor, adjudicator and publisher in the field of literature. In 1996 he was presented with the Irish American Cultural Institute Award.
He was conferred with a PhD in 1997 at Waterford Institute of Technology for his work on myth and archetype in a study entitled What Verities Remain.
He 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 it 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 intensive gardener and bee-keeper.
John Ennis will receive a doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation on Friday, Oct 3.

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Note to editors:
In St. John’s 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, associate director (communications), or call 687-9433 in advance to arrange for seating and photography/videography
For further information contact Ivan Muzychka, associate director (communications), Memorial University, at 737-8665 or or Pamela Gill, communications co-ordinator, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland at (709) 637-6200 ext. 6134 or


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