Ryerson to award six honorary doctorates at spring convocation

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By Anastasia Andric

The honorary doctorates for Ryerson University’s spring convocation have been announced.

Ryerson will recognize six honorary doctorates this June from six faculties. The recipients have backgrounds ranging from performing arts, politics to activism.

The honorary doctorate is “the university’s highest honour,” according to Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi.

“It’s given to those who have made substantial contributions to Canada or internationally,” he said.

Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM)

There will be two honorary doctorates recognized by TRSM.

Firstly, Victor G. Dodig, the President and CEO of CIBC will be honoured with a Doctor of Laws. He achieved his title as President and CEO of the company in September 2014, according to his CIBC profile. In his 25 years of business and banking experience, Dodig led CIBC’s Wealth Management, Retail Banking and Asset Management businesses. In addition, he serves as Co-Chair of the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation’s Promise Campaign.

Hazel McCallion, the longest serving mayor of the city of Mississauga will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce. The 98-year-old businesswoman has a long history of holding powerful political positions. Currently, she is the Chancellor of Sheridan College and Special Advisor to the University of Toronto, Mississauga campus. In addition, she served as Vice Chairman of Greater Toronto Transit Authority since April 2004 and has been on the Board of Advisors at Kaneff Corporation since July 2015, according to Bloomberg. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto in 2010, according to Bloomberg.

Faculty of Science

In the Faculty of Science, Samantha Nutt, the founder of War Child Canada and War Child USA, will receive a Doctor of Laws. She graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University, earning a M.Sc in Public Health and holding a Fellowship in Community Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

She is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and a medical doctor, according to her profile on her website. Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families all across the world, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, Sierra Leone and Sudan. In addition, The Globe and Mail named her one of Canada’s 25 Transformational Canadians and the World Economic Forum recognized her as a Young Global Leader.

Faculty of Community Services

In the Faculty of Community Services, former Canadian politician and social activist Jean Augustine will be honoured with a Doctor of Laws. The Grenada native came to Canada in 1960 and attended Toronto Teachers College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, according her personal biography on her website.

She also earned her Master’s in Education degree and worked as a principal in Toronto. Working toward social causes, Augustine was an active member on boards that included The Hospital for Sick Children, York University Board of Trustees, the Donwood Institute, Harbourfront She also served as Chair of the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority.

Faculty of Communication and Design

In the Faculty of Communication and Design, Canadian actor Eric McCormack will be honoured with a Doctor of Laws. Born and raised in Toronto, McCormack is well-known for starring in numerous TV shows and movies, including Will &; Grace, Travelers, A Heavenly Christmas, Studio City and Perception, according to his IMDb page. McCormack attended Ryerson’s Theatre School for three years and also attended the Banff Centre for the Arts after which he went to spend five seasons with Canada’s Stratford Festival. After that, he moved to Vancouver where he moved into television and film, according to his IMDb page.

Faculty of Arts

Richard Atleo will receive a Doctor of Laws in the Faculty of Arts. Atleo is the Hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation and associate adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. He is recognized as the first Aboriginal person in British Columbia to earn a doctoral degree, according to the University of British Columbia’s website. In addition to his career as an educator, he is the author of Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis, which outlines origin stories and the meaning of Indigenous culture.

“I am extremely proud that Ryerson is willing to award six honorary doctors as part of our spring convocation,” Lachemi said.

Spring 2019 convocation ceremonies will take place from June 12 to June 19.

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