Mandela, Goodall to get Rye degrees

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By Sutton Eaves

Ryerson is awaiting confirmation that former South African president and human rights activist Nelson Mandela will come to the school in November to receive honorary degree. “Were getting positive signs from (South Africa), but we don’t have anything in writing yet,” Ryerson spokesperson Bruce Piercey said Tuesday. Piercey said he expects a formal confirmation within the next few weeks. It all goes according to plan the Noble peace prize winner will come to Ryerson on Nov.-17 to pick up an honorary doctorate of laws as part of his trip to Canada to receive an honorary citizenship, Piercey said. Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, will also receive an honorary doctorate. She is the former education minister of Mozambique and an advocate for education in Africa.

Ryerson’s fall convention ceremony will also include a “world class” award recipient-researcher and conservationist Jane Goodall. On Oct 19, Goodall will receive an honorary Ryerson doctorate for work in the behavioral sciences, said retired Ryerson psychology professor Eugene Bannerman. The internationally recognized chimpanzee researcher will accept the degree at an October convocation ceremony. She is in the city to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the research facility she opened in Tanzania’s Gombe National park. Bannerman nominated Goodall for the honorary degree given to two recipients each year. “She’s moving, she’s articulate, she’s intelligent, and she’s an absolute delight to listen to,” he said of Goodall, who lectured to one of his classes two years ago. “Isn’t it wonderful? She’s a world class individual.”

Goodall was the first researcher to discover that animals create and use tools to help them survive after watching chimps hunt for ants by plunging into anthills and eating them as they climbed out, Bannerman said. “Jane demonstrates naturalistic observation,”he said.”all these years, (Goodall) followed chimps through the park to study their behaviour, never disturbing their natural habitat.”

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