Former CBC Reporter to Give 'Last Lecture'

April 06, 2010 - Campus Bulletin

Judy Maddren's voice is one that many Canadians already know well from her longtime career at CBC Radio, especially as the host of World Report. On Thursday, the University of Guelph community will have the opportunity to put a face to that voice when Maddren comes to campus as one of the speakers at the ninth annual Last Lecture for graduating students. The event begins at 5:45 p.m. in War Memorial Hall.

The Last Lecture gives members of the class of 2010 the opportunity to come together to reflect on their experiences and achievements during their time at the University. In addition to Maddren, a 1972 U of G graduate, graduating science student Ismail Hirji and political science professor Ian Spears will speak. This year’s theme is “Life Is a Gift and a Responsibility.”

“We want students to leave inspired by the words of the lecturers and excited about the next steps in their journey,” said Shannon Thibodeau, leadership education and development adviser in Student Life.

Maddren earned a degree in consumer studies from U of G and worked at U of G’s radio station as a student. When she joined CBC Radio in 1972 as a consumer affairs reporter, the corporation did not hire women as announcers. When this policy changed a few years later, Maddren was the third woman brought on board. From 1993 to 2009, she hosted or co-hosted CBC Radio's national morning newscast, World Report. She left CBC in 2009 to work full-time for Soundportraits, a company she started in 2001 that produces audio recordings of personal biographies.

Spears was elected to speak at the Last Lecture by graduating students. He is known for teaching classes so engaging that students from outside of political science line up to audit his courses. Each semester he delivers a “last lecture” in his own classes.

Hirji has been involved with U of G groups and campaigns focused on the environment, social justice, animal welfare and conservation, politics, involvement and faith. He hopes to continue his studies at Guelph in veterinary medicine.

Graduating students are encouraged to invite a faculty member to join them at the Last Lecture. Invitation postcards are available at the Student Life reception desk on the third floor of the University Centre. For more information, contact Thibodeau at 519-824-4120, Ext. 54362, or

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