Countdown to convocation: celebrating a pioneering spirit

It’s the time of year when York’s remarkable students cross the stage to receive their hard-won diplomas. And it’s the time when distinguished individuals, each of whom has made a lasting mark in a particular field, is recognized by York.
The University will award 11 honorary degrees during its 2003 spring convocation ceremonies to individuals whose pioneering spirit and groundbreaking achievements reflect the York vision of success.The ceremonies, from June 13 to 21, will confer honorary degrees on people with achievements in fields ranging from public service and broadcasting to business, philanthropy, volunteerism and the arts.Honorary doctorate recipients are:
  • Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson (top, left), Governor General of Canada
  • author Rohinton Mistry (top, right)
  • CBC President Robert Rabinovitch (left)
  • Newmont Mining Corporation Chair and York business school benefactor Seymour Schulich (right)
  • Six Nations Chief Roberta Jamieson
  • tenor Ben Heppner
  • arts volunteer and philanthropist Joan Goldfarb
  • legal scholar and historian Martin L. Friedland
  • volunteer and philanthropist Helen Vari
  • University of Toronto Chancellor Emerita Rose Wolfe
  • Constitution of Kenya Review Commissioner Phoebe Asiyo
Left: Roberta Jamieson; right: Ben Heppner
“York University’s honorary degree recipients are individuals who dare to challenge convention and overcome obstacles to achieve progress,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden. “Their leadership and tenacious pursuit of excellence improves our communities and enriches our quality of life, making them ideal role models for our students.”
Left: Joan Goldfarb; right: Martin L. Friedland
The ceremonies will also confer University Professorships on African-American literature and women’s studies Professor Leslie Sanders and geography Professor Bryan Massam. Distinguished Research Professorships will be conferred on chemistry Professor Clifford Leznoff and psychology Professor Ellen Bialystok.
Left: Helen Vari; right: Rose Wolfe
University-Wide Teaching Awards will be presented to psychology Professor Michaela Hynie, mathematics Professor Walter Whiteley and philosophy Professors Patrick Phillips and Frances Latchford.
Left: Phoebe Asiyo
Approximately 6,400 students will graduate during the spring convocation ceremonies, joining York’s more than 170,000-strong alumni.York University’s spring convocation ceremonies will be streamed over the Internet giving family and friends who cannot attend a virtual front row seat. You can access live Web casts and archives at further information about York’s honorary degree recipients and for the ceremony schedule, visit the Media Relations Web site at