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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell to hold spring convocation 2009; marks anniversary with special suite of ceremonial music

DATE: May 11

           Sir Wilfred Grenfell College will hold its annual spring convocation ceremony in the Pepsi Studio on Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m.
           Memorial University’s Corner Brook campus will see roughly 150 students accept bachelor’s degrees in arts, business administration, education, fine arts, kinesiology, nursing, science and technology. Ben Hansen, one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most celebrated and accomplished photographers, will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws. In addition, Grenfell’s students at Western Regional School of Nursing will participate in the annual school of nursing awards ceremony in the Humber Room of the  Pepsi Centre at 2:30 p.m. 
           There will be a live webcast streaming from the Memorial University website beginning at 10 a.m. – visit
           Spring Convocation 2009 marks a special milestone in Memorial University’s convocation tradition. The first regular session of convocation – a gathering of the university community usually held for the conferring of degrees – took place in 1950, and apart from a few special convocations held to celebrate extraordinary events over the years, today’s convocation is the 100th regular session.
           To commemorate this milestone, a suite of ceremonial music has been created. Renowned composer and retired Grenfell classics professor Michael Parker was selected through a competitive process to undertake the commission. Evocative of the music of Newfoundland and Labrador, the suite for organ/piano and brass premieres at this Convocation, and is dedicated to the late Ferriss Hodgett, vice-principal of Sir Wilfred
Grenfell College 1975-1992.

Biography: BEN HANSEN

For his role in celebrating and recording the old and the new Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Hansen will receive an honorary doctor of laws.

Ben Hansen is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most celebrated and accomplished photographers. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Mr. Hansen came to Canada in 1953 and worked as a public relations photographer for Canadian Pacific and Canadair in Montréal. He came to Newfoundland in 1968 and worked as manager of Photographic Services for Memorial University until 1988. He then “retired” and travelled extensively around the province, photographing its people and places. Mr. Hansen has published 12 books of photography.

In 1981 he was named Maritime Professional Photographer of the year and in 1990 he was awarded the title, Master of Photographic Arts. In 1993, he was presented with the Confederation 125 medal by the Government of Canada. He lives in St. John’s with Joyce, his wife of 53 years.

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For more information about convocation at Grenfell College, contact Shauna Hewlett at (709) 637-6275 or


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