Michaëlle Jean Among Honorary Degree Recipients

February 18, 2011 - News Release

Former Canadian governor general and commander-in-chief Michaëlle Jean will be among five recipients of honorary degrees during winter convocation at the University of Guelph.

U of G will also honour ecologist Daniel Janzen; June Henton, an anti-poverty and anti-hunger advocate; health advocate Quentin Johnson; and Ken Knox, former Ontario deputy minister of energy, science and technology.
Alan Meek, former dean of the Ontario Veterinary College, will be named an Honorary Fellow of the University for his significant contributions to life at U of G.

Convocation will run Feb. 23 to 25 in War Memorial Hall. More than 900 degrees and diplomas will be presented during seven ceremonies. Honorary degree recipients will deliver convocation addresses.

Jean will receive her degree at a special ceremony Feb. 25. It will take place following the President's Dialogue, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. in Rozanski Hall, Room 104.

Jean was Canada’s 27th governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, the first black woman to occupy the role. Born in Haiti, she came to Canada at age 11. An award-winning broadcast journalist and program host, she helped establish provincial and national networks of shelters for abused women and worked closely with aid organizations for immigrant women and families. Last fall, Jean was appointed special envoy for Haiti for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Janzen will be honoured by the College of Biological Science Feb. 23 at the 10 a.m. ceremony. A biology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he studies tropical ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. He established Costa Rica’s Area de Conservación Guanacaste, one of the world’s largest and longest-running habitat restoration projects.

Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University in Alabama, will be recognized at the first of two convocation ceremonies for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. She has worked on urban renewal projects to reduce poverty and hunger while achieving environmental sustainability. She co-founded the “War on Hunger” and “Universities Fighting World Hunger” campaigns to help meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Johnson will receive an honorary degree during the second CSAHS ceremony at 1 p.m. By supporting the fortification of flour with micronutrients, he has helped to dramatically reduce neural birth defects, spina bifida, anemia, learning defects, infant mortality and premature deaths in more than 20 poor countries.

Knox, president and CEO of the Innovation Institute of Ontario, will be recognized by the Ontario Agricultural College Feb. 24 at a 4 p.m. ceremony. He spent 28 years as a provincial public servant, many of them with the ministries of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Transportation. After helping to establish the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology in 1997, he served as deputy minister to support research and technology application.

Meek will be named an Honorary Fellow of the University during the ceremony for OVC and the College of Physical and Engineering Science Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. An OVC graduate, he practised veterinary medicine before returning to U of G to teach veterinary microbiology and immunology. During his 10-year term as dean of the college, graduate student enrolment grew by 25 per cent and research funding doubled. Meek helped secure more than $100 million for construction and renovation at OVC.

More information
is available online.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or dhealey@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1