Spring convocation at Western


By Communications Staff
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thousands of students will soon be calling themselves University of Western Ontario graduates as the university's 293rd convocation ceremonies take place June 8-12.
Former premier of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow, award-winning musician and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie and philanthropic businessman Joseph Rotman are among those selected to receive an honorary degree - Western’s highest honour.

A total of ten honorary degrees will be presented during the spring convocation.
Other honorary degree recipients include Wesley Dunn, founding dean of the Western’s Faculty of Dentistry and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an advocate for northern peoples and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
James Rourke carved out a reputation in Southwestern Ontario for promotion of rural medicine, Catherine Williams is recognized as one of Canada’s most powerful women and Paul Corkum has pushed boundaries in the world of physics.

Roy Ernst made learning music fun for a generation of adults, Frank Iacobucci may have retired but his decisions while a Supreme Court of Canada justice live on.

Ceremonies take place each day at Alumni Hall at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. For those not able to make it to campus, the university will be streaming Spring Convocation 2009 live online.

Western's Instructional Technology Resource Centre will also be on hand to record each convocation address, to be featured on iTunes U and YouTube.

The convocation ceremony schedule is as follows:

Joseph Rotman
Monday, June 8, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
Through his many philanthropic gifts, at Western and beyond, and through his involvement with community organizations, health care institutions and universities, Rotman has supported health, education and the arts. A graduate in philosophy from Western, he has attributed much of his success to what he learned during his years here. His most recent gift will create a new Institute of Science and Values in the Department of Philosophy at Western.
Roy Romanow
Monday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
After serving as the Premier of Saskatchewan for nearly a decade (1991–2001), Romanow was appointed to head the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. He released the Romanow Report in 2002, which outlined suggestions to improve the health care system.

Wesley Dunn
Tuesday, June 9, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws
The founding and long-time dean of Western’s Faculty of Dentistry (1965-1982), Dr. Dunn has dedicated his life outside of academics to volunteer pursuits with YMCA, the London and Middlesex Lung Association, United Way and the Ontario Commission on Interuniversity Athletics. Dunn is a past member of London Health Science Centre’s board of directors, having served in a number of senior-level capacities.      

Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Tuesday, June 9, 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Laws
A 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Watt-Cloutier lives in Iqaluit. She serves as the chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an international organization that represents the interests of the Inuit peoples of northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia.

Buffy Sainte-Marie
Wednesday, June 10, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Music
A voice on the international music scene for nearly 50 years, Sainte-Marie won an Academy Award for the song, Up Where We Belong. In 1968, she founded Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Education, an organization that helps aboriginal students participate in learning, while teaching others about Native American culture.

James Rourke
Wednesday, June 10, 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Laws
Now serving as the dean of medicine at Memorial University, Rourke worked as a rural family physician in Goderich from 1979 to 2004, while continuing to teach at Western. His work as Western’s assistant dean of Rural Regional Medicine led to the development of the Southwestern Ontario Medical Education Network.

Catherine Williams
Thursday, June 11, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws
Recognized three consecutive years as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network, Williams rose to the title of chief financial officer of Shell Canada before her retirement in 2007. She now serves as managing director of Options Capital Ltd. and earlier this year was named to Tim Hortons’ Board of Directors.   

Paul Corkum
Thursday, June 11, 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Science
Known as ‘the father of attosecond molecular imaging,’ Corkum is an internationally renowned physicist based at the University of Ottawa. He has earned numerous honours, including the 2008 John C. Polanyi Award, for his research into how intense laser light pulses interact with atoms and molecules.

Roy Ernst
Friday, June 12, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws
The founder of the New Horizons International Music Association, Ernst started the program to emphasize the importance of music making for senior adults and to provide those interested with an entry or re-entry point. Ernst is a professor emeritus of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, where he taught for 25 years.

Frank Iacobucci
Friday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Civil Law
After retiring as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and serving one year as the interim president of the University of Toronto, Iacobucci joined Torys LLP as counsel in 2004. Iacobucci, considered one of Canada’s most distinguished jurists and educators, currently serves as the chair of Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.  

Also from this web page:


8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(holidays excluded)


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