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REF NO.: 55

SUBJECT: Memorial University's fall convocation to take place on Friday, Oct. 21, 2005

DATE: Oct. 18

Memorial University's fall convocation will take place at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre on Friday, Oct. 21, 2005. About 700 graduate and undergraduate degrees will be awarded during three sessions, to be held at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.In addition, Scott Hand, chairman and CEO of Inco Ltd., will receive a honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation, and Labrador community activist Elizabeth Penashue will receive a honorary doctor of laws degree at the 7:30 p.m. session of convocation. Biographies on each follow this release.

Several professors will be honoured with the designation professor emeritus at the fall graduation ceremonies. Dr. Derek Burton, Biology; Dr. Philip Gardner, English Language and Literature; Dr. Richard Haedrich, Biology, and Dr. Joseph Hodych, Earth Sciences, will be formally honored with the designation at the 3 p.m. session of convocation. 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 criterion for nomination is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university.

Memorial's fall convocation will be broadcast live on the Web. More details about this Internet broadcast are available at

Biographical notes

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 Hamilton College in 1964, and after spending two years in Ethiopia with the U.S. Peace Corps, he entered Cornell Law School and 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 opened in September, 2005.

Mr. Hand will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m.session of convocation.

Elizabeth Penashue

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 Falls required the creation of the Smallwood Reservoir and the consequent disappearance of his work territory at MishikaumauLake.

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 Goose Bay were 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 MineiNipi Lake and 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.

Elizabeth Penashue will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 7:30 p.m. session of convocation.

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 IvanMuzychka, manager, News Service, or call 687-9433in advance to arrange for seating and photography/videography.

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Memorial University News Service, 737-8665, cell 687-9433or


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