York to bestow 11 honorary degrees at convocation

York will celebrate the contributions of educators, politicians, artists, public servants, and business and community leaders this year as it confers 11 honorary degrees during spring convocation ceremonies June 11-16.

"We are proud to bestow honorary degrees on such an extraordinary group of individuals," said Lorna R. Marsden, York University president & vice-chancellor. "We hope their remarkable achievements will inspire our newest graduates to reach for their goals and act as ambassadors of the York University spirit."

Altogether about 8,600 students from York’s 11 Faculties will be graduating this week at morning and afternoon ceremonies, bringing the number of York alumni to approximately 200,000.

Ceremonies will take place under the tent on the lawn east of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Glendon ceremony will take place on June 16 at the Glendon campus. If you can’t attend, you can watch the ceremonies streamed live – and then archived – on the Internet here.

Receiving the honorary degrees are, in order of presentation: Donald Cousens, public servant and community leader; Howard Shore, composer; H. Ian Macdonald, York President Emeritus, scholar and public servant; Peter Sato, diplomat; Diane Goudie and Eleanor Moore, educators; Roy Henry Vickers, artist, writer and advocate for Aboriginal people; David Butler-Jones, public servant in public health; Richard (Rick) Waugh, corporate and community leader; Dennis O’Connor, public servant, jurist and legal scholar; and Danielle Juteau, ethnic studies scholar and educator.

Donald Cousens (right)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 11, 10:30am (Faculty of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Health I, and Faculty of Science & Engineering)

Don Cousens has served the Markham and York Region community for many years as a school board trustee and Chair, MPP and cabinet minister, and mayor for three terms. He has been instrumental in making Markham stand out among the rapidly growing regional communities, attracting high technology business, building partnerships and introducing new forms of suburban development. Cousens has been a very strong advocate for York University’s role in York Region, providing the University with an opportunity to demonstrate that it is "York Region’s Research University" and advocating for improved transit between the region and Toronto, including the subway extension through York University.

Howard Shore (left)
Honorary Doctor of Letters
June 11, 3pm (Faculty of Arts I and Faculty of Fine Arts)

Howard Shore has composed scores for over 50 films, such as Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and numerous David Cronenberg films, including The Fly, Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch. He won three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shore’s film compositions are based on great sensitivity to the film’s text, research into the genres of the film’s period (or in the case of Lord of the Rings, creating an imagined genre), and strong arranging skills. In addition to his upcoming film projects, Shore is writing an opera commissioned by Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and Los Angeles Opera, based on The Fly and directed by Cronenberg.

H. Ian Macdonald (right)
Honorary Doctor of Letters
June 12, 10:30am (Faculty of Arts II)

Ian Macdonald has had a distinguished career as an educator, economist, administrator and government policymaker. His career has been characterized by the pursuit of excellence and leadership, serving as a positive force for change in education and public policy. In addition to his significant contributions as president of the University for a decade, he provided leadership in the expansion of York’s international activities as director of York International. Building on this work, he has made notable contributions to international education with many organizations, including the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education, the International Association of Universities and the World University Service of Canada.

Peter Sato
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 12, 4:30pm (Faculty of Arts III)

Peter Sato, a distinguished Japanese diplomat, is former ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and to the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development, senior member of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, and a true friend of Canada. A respected individual within business and diplomatic circles in Japan, Sato has been instrumental in making recommendations to nurture and encourage interchange in all sectors between Canada and Japan. For the past three years he has been the Japanese co-chair of the Canada-Japan Forum, which is examining the bilateral Canada/Japan relationship in all of its elements – cultural, academic, economic and political – and the two countries’ roles in the world.

Diane Goudie and Eleanor Moore (right) Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 13, 10:30am (Joseph E. Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies)

Diane Goudie (pictured left) and Eleanor Moore are the co-founders and co-principals of The Linden School in Toronto, Canada’s first school practising feminist pedagogy. This single-sex school was founded to incorporate research on girls’ development and learning needs into curriculum and pedagogical practices. From its early days the school has had a York connection. A number of feminist faculty members at York have been involved in the school as board members and/or parents, and currently students from the Faculty of Education undertake practicum placements at the school. Goudie and Moore each have over 30 years of educational experience in teaching and administration.

Roy Henry Vickers (left)
Honorary Doctor of Letters
June 13, 4:30pm (Faculty of Education)

Of native ancestry, Roy Henry Vickers is a painter, sculptor and writer whose work has received international acclaim. Among his major works is the 30-foot Salmon Pole sculpted for the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. In addition, he is a recognized leader in the First Nations community, and a tireless spokesperson for recovery from addictions and abuse. He is the founder of Vision Quest, a non-profit organization designed to help those with addictive personalities. Vickers has received many awards and honours for his art and community involvement, including a hereditary chieftainship and several hereditary names from Northwest Coast First Nations. Vickers’ work can be found in private and public collections and galleries around the world, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the National Museum of Japan.

David Butler-Jones (right)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 14, 10:30am (Faculty of Health II)

David Butler-Jones is Canada’s first chief public health officer and the inaugural head of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Often called "Canada’s doctor", he has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting community health at home and worldwide. He was a key member of the committee that produced the report "Learning from SARS: Renewal of Public Health in Canada." The recommendations from this seminal report have had significant impact on rejuvenating public health across Canada, including the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Butler-Jones is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine, and is certified with the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Richard (Rick) Waugh (right)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 15, 10:30am (Schulich School of Business)

As president and CEO of Scotiabank, Rick Waugh is one of the most prominent graduates of York’s Schulich School of Business. As Canada’s most international bank, Scotiabank, under Waugh’s leadership, has established the Professorship in International Business and created the Scotiabank Student Services and International Relations area in the Schulich School of Business. Waugh has also made major commitments to supporting the community in a number of ways, currently as finance sector Chair for the United Way and as a board member of St. Michael’s Hospital.

Dennis O’Connor (left)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 15, 3pm (Osgoode Hall Law School)

Over the past 30 years, Dennis O’Connor has attained eminence as an academic, a magistrate in Canada’s north, a jurist and, most recently, commissioner of both the Walkerton and Maher Arar inquiries. The Walkerton Report and the Arar Report are a testament to O’Connor’s wisdom, judgment, service to the community and courage. He taught law at the University of Western Ontario and, from 1980 to 1998, acted as the chief negotiator for the Government of Canada for the Yukon Land Claim. He served as an elected bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada from 1987 to 1995, and was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1998. He was appointed associate chief justice of Ontario in 2001.

Danielle Juteau (right)
Honorary Doctor of Laws
June 16, 2:30pm (Glendon College)

An eminent academic, Danielle Juteau is co-founder of the Centre for Ethnic Studies at Université de Montréal and held its first Chair in Ethnic Relations from 1991to 2003. She is recognized among those responsible for creating the field of ethnic studies in Quebec. Juteau has written on the dynamics of ethnic boundaries, ethnicities and nationalisms, citizenship and changing forms of pluralisms, and sex-gender relations. Her scholarly research has significant impact here in Canada and internationally. Juteau has also held positions at the University of Ottawa, Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, Freie Universität, as well as York’s Glendon College. She is a Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.