Campus News

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

News Release

May 31, 2005

Five to Receive Honorary Degrees at Summer Convocation

The University of Guelph will award some 2,300 degrees and diplomas during nine convocation ceremonies June 13 to 17 in the Gryphon Dome.

Honorary degrees will be presented to former Ontario attorney general Ian Scott, economist and political scientist Mel Watkins, family studies researcher and advocate Robert Glossop, leading U.S. microbiologist Ronald Atlas and eight-time Olympic equestrian show jumper Ian Millar.

Five retired Guelph faculty will be named University professor emeriti: psychology professor Mary Konstantareas, nutritional scientist Bruce Holub, chemist Bryan Henry, clinical studies professor Wayne McDonell and land resource scientist Terry Gillespie.

In addition, philanthropist and Guelph graduate Bill Brock will receive the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service for his outstanding contributions to the University, and Prof. Joe Cunsolo, Mathematics and Statistics, will receive the John Bell Award in recognition of his teaching and leadership.

Convocation begins June 13 with a ceremony for the College of Arts at 10 a.m. Scott, a leading barrister and former Ontario minister responsible for native affairs, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree and give the convocation address.

As attorney general, Scott brought in the first Freedom of Information Act in Ontario, promoted fundamental reform of the court system and introduced pay equity legislation, including the first public-sector pay equity legislation in North America. Scott, who was openly gay throughout his entire career, led the government to alter the Ontario Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Three ceremonies are planned for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences: June 13 at 2:30 p.m. and June 14 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Watkins will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree and address the graduands at the morning ceremony June 14. He is an academic and advocate who has contributed to the fields of economics, aboriginal studies and Canadian studies. In the 1970s, he helped Aboriginal Peoples of the Canadian North defend their economic and social interests, and his contributions to the Canadian political economy are recognized globally.

Also at the morning ceremony, Konstantareas will be named University professor emerita. A leading researcher in the study of autism and reviewer of programs for those living with autism, she retired in December 2004 after 15 years as a faculty member at U of G.

At the afternoon ceremony June 14, Glossop will address the graduating class and receive an honorary doctorate of science. For more than 25 years, he has worked to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Canadian families and has made presentations on a diversity of issues, including tax policies and government initiatives such as the National Child Benefit. Glossop is executive director of programs and research for the Vanier Institute, a national charitable organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of Canadian families. He has also served on the boards of several charitable foundations and has represented Canada at international forums on families and children.

Two convocation ceremonies will be held June 15 for the College of Biological Science. At 10 a.m., Atlas will address graduates and receive an honorary doctor of science degree. A longtime faculty member at the University of Louisville, he is currently co-director of the Center for the Deterrence of Bio-warfare and Bioterrorism there. His early research helped initiate the concept of bioremediation, and his later work has focused on the molecular detection of pathogens in the environment, which now forms the basis of biosensors to detect bio-threat agents. He regularly advises the U.S. government on policy issues related to bioterrorism.

At 2:30 p.m. Holub, who taught at Guelph for 32 years and took early retirement in January to pursue on-campus research and other activities, will be named University professor emeritus and give the convocation address. He is world-renowned for his contributions to nutritional sciences and for his research on the health implications of dietary omega-3 acids, fish and fish oils and trans fats.

Also at this ceremony, Brock will be presented with the Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service. Brock has been a strong supporter of U of G since graduating from OAC in 1958. His many contributions have included chairing the Board of Governors and the Heritage Trust board and creating the Brock Doctoral Scholarship.

On June 16, Cunsolo will address graduates and receive the John Bell Award at the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Physical and Engineering Science. A faculty member at Guelph since 1969, he has been recognized nationally for his outstanding contributions to education and received a 3M Teaching Fellowship in 1992. During his time at Guelph, he has offered extensive service to the faculty association, worked to enhance effective teaching practices across campus, mentored new faculty, and served on a number of committees related to teaching.

Also at the CPES ceremony, Henry, a faculty member at Guelph from 1987 to 2005 and a former chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will be named University professor emeritus. Recognized as one of Canada’s leading physical chemists, Henry is vice-president and president-elect of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

At the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, Millar will address graduands of the Ontario Veterinary College and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. First named to Canada’s equestrian team in 1971, Millar was ranked first in the world in 1987 and 1989. He holds more than 150 Grand Prix and Derby wins, is a nine-time Canadian show-jumping champion and has coached some of the country’s most successful show-jumping teams.

McDonell, who is respected internationally for his contributions to veterinary anesthesia and who retired in 2004 after 38 years of teaching at OVC, will be named University professor emeritus. He also served as an administrator in the establishment of Pet Trust and the Dynasty and Horse Health trusts.

On June 17, Gillespie will give the convocation address and be named University professor emeritus during the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for the Ontario Agricultural College and the Faculty of Environmental Sciences. A leading agrometeorologist, he began his career at Guelph in 1968 after completing his PhD here. Renowned for his teaching, he is a 3M Teaching Fellow, was named CASE Canadian Professor of the Year in 1991 and received U of G's John Bell Award the same year. He retired in 2004.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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