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

News Release

February 14, 2001

Three to receive honourary degrees at winter convocation

The University of Guelph will award three honorary degrees and some 650 degrees and diplomas during winter convocation ceremonies Feb. 21 and 22 in War Memorial Hall.

Honorary degrees will be presented to Louis Siminovitch, a molecular biologist who helped develop the Ontario Cancer Institute and Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children; leading Canadian physicist George Thomson Ewan; and Peggy Knapp, who is known nationally and internationally for her work on rural women and families. In addition, retired U of G fine art professor Margaret Priest will be named university professor emerita.

Convocation begins Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. with a ceremony for the College of Biological Science and Ontario Veterinary College. Siminovitch will receive a doctor of science degree and will address the graduating class.

Professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and emeritus director of research at Mount Sinai Hospital, Siminovitch holds seven honorary degrees and is considered one of Canada’s most distinguished living scientists. After earning a PhD from McGill University in 1944, he went on to pursue studies on bacteriophage in France that now form the underpinnings of modern molecular biology. Author of more than 200 papers, he is also known for his contributions to science administration, including helping to found Sick Kids Hospital, and continues to be an advocate for Ontario’s research community.

At 2:30 p.m., the ceremony will honour graduates of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, with retired U of G psychology professor Ernest Dalrymple-Alford giving the convocation address.

On Feb. 22, Ewan will receive a doctorate of science and will address the graduating class at the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Physical and Engineering Science and the College of Arts.

Professor emeritus at Queen’s University, Ewan has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. Author of more than 100 papers and book chapters, he is known for helping to create the lithium- drifted germanium detector, which became a standard tool for gamma ray measurements worldwide. He was also Canada’s leader of an international collaboration to study neutrino particles emanating from the sun.

Ewan is the father of U of G history professor Elizabeth Ewan, who will be on the stage to hood her father as he receives his honorary degree.

Priest will also be honoured during the 10 a.m. ceremony. She was already a notable member of the pioneering generation of British feminist artists when she joined U of G’s fine art program in 1983. Known for her drawings, prints and paintings, she has exhibited her work regularly in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

In 1994, Priest received a Governor General's Award for Architecture for The Monument to Construction Workers, a sculpture in the Bay/Adelaide Park in Toronto. The project had earlier won the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence. She has also earned kudos for her work in the classroom, winning a 1996 teaching award from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and a 1997 U of G Faculty Association teaching award.

At the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for the Ontario Agricultural College, Knapp will receive a doctorate of science and deliver the convocation address. Knapp has dedicated her life to the education of rural women and families, serving as president of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario, Canada’s president to the Associated Country Women of the World and first female trustee of the North Dumfries School Board. She is also a member of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

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

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