Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 12, 2007

Four to Receive Honorary Degrees at Winter Convocation

James Lockyer, the criminal lawyer currently defending Steven Truscott in the 1959 murder conviction before the Ontario Court of Appeal, will receive an honorary degree during the University of Guelph’s winter convocation Feb. 19 to 22 in War Memorial Hall. Some 800 degrees and diplomas will be awarded during seven ceremonies.

The University will also present honorary degrees to Andrew Pipe, a medical doctor instrumental in founding the Canadian Centre for Ethics; Christopher Somerville, a groundbreaking plant scientist; and Gabriel Tsampalieros, a Canadian business leader. In addition, retired sociology professor Lynn McDonald will be named University professor emerita.

Convocation begins Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. with the College of Management and Economics ceremony. Graduates will be addressed by Tsampalieros, owner of Second Cup and former president and chief executive officer of Cara Operations Limited. Tsampalieros is no stranger to U of G: he served on Board of Governors, was instrumental in raising the funds needed for the teaching kitchen facility in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and led the way in developing of the distance MBA programs. He will be presented with a doctor of laws degree.

On Feb. 20, the College of Arts ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Graduates will be addressed by Don Bruce, dean of the College of Arts. Tony Vannelli, dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science (CPES), will address CPES graduates at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Two ceremonies for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences will be held Feb. 21. Lockyer, founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, will receive an honorary doctorate of laws and deliver the convocation address at the 10 a.m. ceremony. He has been involved in exposing more than 10 wrongful convictions in Canada, including the cases of Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard, Clayton Johnson and Gregory Parson. He is also currently working on behalf of Robert Baltovich, who is awaiting a new trial after his murder conviction was quashed by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Lockyer graduated from the University of Nottingham and taught law at McGill University and the University of Windsor until 1977, when he went into private practice as a criminal lawyer.

McDonald will be honoured at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. The author of Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, which will eventually contain 16 volumes, she has been writing about Nightingale and other women theorists since her 1993 book, Early Origins of the Social Sciences. McDonald is also a public health advocate. As a Toronto MP, she succeeded in getting the Non-Smokers’ Health Act adopted in 1988 as a private member’s bill. A well-known women’s advocate, she was president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

On Feb. 22, Pipe will receive an honorary doctorate of laws and address College of Biological Science graduands at 10 a.m. Division director of the prevention and rehabilitation centre of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, he is a leader in ethical issues in sport and preventive health care. He was a driving force for Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and has been its director since 1983. Pipe also helped found the Canadian Centre for Drug-Free Sport. His efforts have resulted in many distinctions, including the Sport Medicine Award of the International Olympic Committee, the Canada 125 Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He is also a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada.

At the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, Somerville will be presented with a doctor of science degree and will address students graduating from the Ontario Agricultural College and the Ontario Veterinary College. Prior to the 1980s, the identity and function of plant genes were virtually unknown until Somerville pioneered the development of a species, Arabidopsis, that could be grown in a petri dish to make rapid advances in the understanding of crop genes. As a result of his efforts, Arabidopsis was the first plant species to have its DNA sequenced and all of its genes mapped. Somerville is senior editor of Science magazine and has been director of the Carnegie Institution of Washington department of plant biology since 1994.

For more information, visit the convocation website.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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