Campus News

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

News Release

May 23, 2001

Singer, Veterinarian to receive honorary degrees

Canadian singer Burton Cummings and Peter Doherty, the first veterinarian to win a Nobel Prize, will receive honorary degrees from the University of Guelph during summer convocation ceremonies June 5 to 8. Some 1,887 degrees and diplomas will also be awarded.

In addition, Prof. Bill Beamish, Department of Zoology, will be named University professor emeritus, and Andre Auger, former director of U of G’s Counselling and Student Resource Centre, will be recognized as an honorary fellow of the University. Hank Vander Pol, a Guelph alumnus and president and CEO of Rol-Land Farms Inc. in Blenheim, Ont., will receive the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service.

All convocation ceremonies will be held on Johnston Green. In case of rain or excessive heat, ceremonies will be held in the Gold Arena at the Mitchell Athletics Centre.

Cummings will receive an honorary doctorate of music and will address students graduating from the College of Arts June 5 at 10 a.m. He is internationally recognized as an outstanding Canadian singer and songwriter and won numerous Juno Awards in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The Winnipeg-born singer is best known as the vocalist for the band The Guess Who. He spent 10 years with the group, recording 20 singles, including the hits American Woman and These Eyes, and 33 albums. He left the group to launch a solo career in 1975. Cummings was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame in 1987. The Guess Who reunited again this year and launched a coast-to-coast Canadian tour.

Doherty will receive an honorary doctorate of science June 7 at 2:30 p.m. during a ceremony for the Ontario Veterinary College and College of Physical and Engineering Science. In 1996, Doherty became the first veterinarian to receive a Nobel Prize. He and colleague Rolf Zinkernagel were recognized for their pioneering research to determine how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells. His work has significantly influenced current thinking in the area of immunology, especially approaches to vaccination. Doherty is a scientist in the Department of Immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Beamish will be honoured June 7 at 10 a.m. during the ceremony for the College of Biological Science. He joined U of G’s Department of Zoology in 1965, serving as chair from 1974 to1979. Beamish, who retired last August, is known for his research on understanding the metabolism and bioenergetics of fish in the natural environment. Auger and Van der Pol will be recognized June 8 at 2:30 p.m. during the ceremony for the Ontario Agricultural College. Auger, who is also an artist, is being recognized for his contributions to the University, especially in the areas of student counselling and student services. Vander Pol, a 1965 graduate of OAC, is the second person to receive the Lincoln Alexander Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the University. Vander Pol is a member of the University’s Board of Governors and was one of the three founding directors of GUARD. He has also served on numerous University-related committees, campaigns and councils.

Convocation ceremonies for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences will be held June 6 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The ceremony for the OAC diploma program is June 5 at 2:30 p.m.

For media questions, contact: Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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