York to confer honorary degrees on three ‘role models’


Three important figures will receive honorary degrees from York, and the University’s more than 170,000 alumni will swell by about 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students in the four 2003 Fall Convocation ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 7 and Saturday, Nov. 8, in York’s Tait McKenzie Athletic Centre.

The honorary doctorate recipients are Ontario Lt.-Gov. James Bartleman, former German constitutional court president Jutta Limbach and Canadian author Guy Vanderhaeghe. You can see the recipients live at the convocation ceremonies, by tuning in to the Internet at http://www.studentaffairs.yorku.ca/convo/convolive.htm. The broadcasts will also be archived, for viewing at a later date.

“Convocation recognizes and celebrates the remarkable achievements of both our newest graduates and our honorary degree recipients who have had a profound impact in fields ranging from exemplary foreign service, to award-winning fiction, to ground-breaking work in social justice and the law,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden (right). “Their tenaciousness in defining success on their own terms makes them ideal role models for our students.”


The ceremonies will also be poignant for Chancellor Avie Bennett (left), who will preside over his last convocation after two three-year terms. Reflected Bennett, “It has been my privilege to be part of a remarkable period of growth and transformation on York’s campus. This is evident not only in new state-of-the-art buildings but in the students themselves. York students, who reflect Toronto’s ethnic diversity, are often the first in their families to go to university and will have an influence for generations to come.”

More about York’s honorary doctorate recipients

Guy Vanderhaeghe
DLitt, Friday, Nov. 7, 10am

Born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, in 1951, Guy Vanderhaeghe (left) is an award-winning author and playwright. He is the author of four novels, My Present Age (1984), Homesick (1989), The Englishman’s Boy (1996) and The Last Crossing (2002). The Englishman’s Boy (right) was winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and a finalist for The Giller Prize and the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Vanderhaeghe is also the author of three collections of short stories, Man Descending (1982), winner of the Governor’s General’s Award and the Faber Prize in the United Kingdom, The Trouble With Heroes (1983), and Things As They Are? (1992).

Jutta Limbach
LLD, Friday, Nov. 7, 2:30pm

An eminent legal scholar, distinguished jurist and cultural leader, Jutta Limbach is president of the German Goethe-Institut and former chief justice of the German Supreme Court (the first woman to hold this post). Limbach is recognized as an expert on human and civil rights as well as German culture. During her long career as a ground-breaking lawmaker, she became one of the most influential women in the European legal system. As president of the Goethe-Institut, Limbach is active in the promotion of intercultural and international understanding.


James Bartleman
LLD, Saturday, Nov. 8, 10:30am

Since taking office in March 2002, Ontario’s 27th lieutenant governor has focused on three priorities: encouraging aboriginal communities, especially young people; speaking out to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness; and supporting initiatives that fight racism and discrimination. Bartleman has received the Hugh Lafave Award (2003) for his advocacy of mental health, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1999) for public service. He is also the author of the award-winning Out of Muskoka (Penumbra Press, 2002) (right), a memoir of his early life. Bartleman previously served as foreign policy advisor to the prime minister of Canada, and was high commissioner to Australia and South Africa and ambassador to the European Union, Israel and Cuba.

Glendon’s convocation ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2:30pm in York’s Tait McKenzie Athletic Centre.