Campus News

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

News Release

June 01, 1999

Six to receive honorary degrees from U of G

The University of Guelph will award six honorary degrees, including its first posthumous honorary degree, during Spring convocation June 8 to 11. More than 1,500 degrees and diplomas will be awarded during seven ceremonies held on Johnston Green.

Honorary degree recipients are: Jane Urquhart, a Canadian author and U of G alumni, William Chambliss, a renowned U.S. criminologist; Michel Chrétien, a respected Canadian medical researcher; Stanley Falkow, a pioneer in molecular genetics; Ola Ullsten, a leader in the formation of a global strategy for sustainable use of the world's forests, and Charles Zavitz, one of the first degree graduates of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) in 1888.

In addition, U of G will present retired physics professor Jim Hunt with the Medal of Merit and 1985 graduate Adrian Park with the Alumni Medal of Achievement. University professor emeritus status will be awarded to retired philosophy professor John Leslie, and Ken Kasha, retired crop scientist.

Convocation ceremonies are open to graduates, invited guests and the media.

The College of Arts ceremony will be June 8 at 10 a.m. Urquhart, one of the most widely read and discussed novelists in Canada, will receive an honorary doctorate of letters. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from U of G in 1971 and is the author of four award-winning novels, three books of poetry and a collection of short stories, as well as numerous articles and reviews. The ceremony for OAC's two-year diploma program will be at 2:30 p.m. June 8, with an address by Tom Sawyer, a graduate of OAC's diploma and degree programs and former executive vice-president of the Fertilizer Institute of Ontario.

Two ceremonies for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences will be held June 9. At 10 a.m., Prof. David Knight, Department of Geography, will address graduates, and Leslie, the author of 127 books, journal articles, reviews and conference papers, will be honoured.

At 2:30 p.m., Chambliss, a professor of sociology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., will receive an honorary doctorate of laws. He has been credited with influencing an entire generation of criminologists and is the author or co-author of 10 books.

Ceremonies for the College of Biological Science are June 10, with Falkow, one of the premier microbiologists in the world, receiving an honorary doctorate of science at 10 a.m. Falkow was an early pioneer in molecular genetics with his students on R-plasmids, and he was one of the founding scientists of recombinant DNA technology. Park, a medical researcher at the University of Kentucky, will accept his medal during the same ceremony.

A doctorate of science will be awarded to Chrétien at a 2:30 p.m. June 10 ceremony for the College of Physical and Engineering Science and the Ontario Veterinary College. Chrétien, scientific director and CEO of the Loeb Health Research Institute in Ottawa, discovered gamma-lipotropic hormone, which is involved in the control of obesity. Hunt, an OCUFA teaching award winner and well-known researcher, will receive the Medal of Merit during the ceremony.

On June 11, OAC degrees will be awarded at 2:30 p.m., along with an honorary doctorate of laws to Ullsten and doctorate of science to Zavitz. Ullsten, former Swedish ambassador to Italy and Canada, has dedicated more than 10 years to putting the world forest crisis on the public agenda. Although he began his 35-year career at OAC before the turn of the century, Zavitz's contributions as head of field crop research at OAC continue to have an impact. His 81-year-old grandson, James Zavitz, will accept the degree. Kasha, whose research on cytogenetics has been recognized worldwide, will be honoured during the same ceremony.

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

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