Four to Receive Honorary Degrees During Winter Convocation

February 16, 2012 - News Release

Renowned animal scientist, author and autism spokesperson Temple Grandin will receive an honorary degree during the University of Guelph’s winter convocation Feb. 22 and 23 in War Memorial Hall.

The University will also present honorary degrees to Vandana Shiva, a philosopher, physicist and environmental activist; Peter Senge, an international business strategist; and Richard Witter, a veterinarian and poultry disease researcher. All honorary degree recipients will address graduands during convocation ceremonies.

Convocation begins Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. with the College of Arts ceremony. Shiva will receive an honorary doctorate of laws and give the convocation address. She leads the International Forum on Globalization along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin. Trained as a physicist and philosopher, including graduate studies in the philosophy of science at Guelph, she has advocated changes in farming and food production. She has been featured in numerous documentaries, written several books and spoken at international gatherings, including the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum.

The ceremony for the College of Management and Economics will begin at 1 p.m., with Senge receiving an honorary doctorate of laws and addressing the graduands. A senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, Senge has been named a top management guru by the Financial Times and Business Week. His book The Fifth Discipline introduced the theory of learning organizations and was named one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years by the Harvard Business Review. His most recent work focuses on sustainability.

Grandin will receive an honorary doctorate of science at the 4 p.m. ceremony for the Ontario Agricultural College and the Ontario Veterinary College. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin introduced humane practices for handling livestock. She consults with the livestock industry on animal behaviour and welfare and the design of handling facilities. She is one of the world’s most accomplished and recognized people with autism. A best-selling author, she invented a device used to treat people with hypersensitivity and was the subject of the Emmy Award-winning film Temple Grandin.

The first of two ceremonies for the College of Biological Science (CBS) will be held Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. Witter will receive an honorary doctorate of science and address the graduands. Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory for 23 years, he discovered a way to control Marek’s disease, the most costly poultry affliction worldwide. He is one of only a few veterinary scientists elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Ceremonies will take place at 1 p.m. for CBS and the College of Physical and Engineering Science, and at 4 and 7 p.m. for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences.

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

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