International flair highlights Western's convocation

By Communications Staff
May 09, 2013

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Fourteen distinguished individuals will receive honorary degrees as Western hosts its 301st Convocation this June.

Respected British barrister and former first lady Cherie Blair, Canada's long-serving ambassador to the United States Allan Gotlieb and mental health disease advocate Margaret Trudeau are among those set to receive Western's highest honour.

The ceremonies, featuring convocation addresses by the recipients, will take place on the following days:

Cherie Blair
Tuesday, June 11, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Cherie Blair is a leading lawyer, committed campaigner for women's rights and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. She is a founding member of Matrix Chambers and chair of Omnia Strategy LLP, a legal strategy consultancy with expertise in law, governance and economics. In 2008, she established the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to promote women's economic development. 

Margo Ritchie
Tuesday, June 11, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

The congregational leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph London for the past five years, Sister Margo Ritchie also served as president of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada from 2009 to 2011. The Western alumna and London native has worked as a teacher; lived in a transition home for women and facilitated retreats for groups and individuals in need during her life of service.

Allan E. Gotlieb
Wednesday, June 12, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

A former Canadian ambassador to the United States, Allan Gotlieb's international law and diplomacy experience has been honed over the past 50 years through his legal and public service careers. Currently serving as senior business advisor at Bennett Jones law firm in Toronto, Gotlieb is also the chair of the Canadian Group and North American deputy chair of the Trilateral Commission.

Robert R. Janes
Wednesday, June 12, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

One of Canada's leading museologists, Robert Janes is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK), an adjunct professor of Archaeology at the University of Calgary, Canada, and the former president and CEO of the Glenbow Museum.

Dr. Peeyush Lala
Thursday, June 13, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)

Professor emeritus and past chair of Western's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and professor, Department of Oncology, Dr. Peeyush Lala pioneered research which bridged two disciplines in biomedical research: reproduction and cancer. Having developed novel therapy for advance melanomas and kidney cancers, his research goals include preventing certain fetal-maternal maladies and developing new modes of breast cancer therapy.

Arto Salomaa
Thursday, June 13, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)

Arto Salomaa is one of the world's most influential computer scientists and a founder of formal language and automata theory, the core of theoretical computer science. In the 1960s, Salomaa visited Western for two years and was instrumental in the birth of its Department of Computer Science, the first in Canada.

Bob McDonald
Friday, June 14, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

The host of CBC Radio's award-winning weekly program Quirks & Quarks, Bob McDonald is arguably Canada's most famous science journalist. Also serving as a science commentator for CBC News Network and CBC TV's The National, McDonald has been recognized for his life-time contributions to the public awareness of science numerous times. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012. 

Indira V. Samarasekera
Friday, June 14, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Indira V. Samarasekera is the 12th president and vice chancellor of the University of Alberta, one of Canada's most respected research-intensive universities. Internationally recognized as one of Canada's leading metallurgical engineers, Samarasekera has also devoted her career to advancing innovation in higher education and the private sector.

Richard W. Ivey
Monday, June 17, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

A successful businessman, dynamic volunteer and dedicated philanthropist, Richard W. Ivey is a graduate of the Ivey Business School and an active volunteer on its behalf. Ivey also holds, or has held, leadership roles on the boards of The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, MaRS, the Toronto Community Foundation, the Ivey Foundation and the University Health Network.

Emma Donoghue
Monday, June 17, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Letters, honoris causa (D.Litt.)

A distinguished novelist, playwright and literary historian, Emma Donoghue is best known for her works of fiction, including the international best seller Room, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010. Donoghue's books have been translated into more than 40 languages. 

Edmund Clark
Tuesday, June 18, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Following TD's acquisition of Canada Trust Financial Services in 2000, Ed Clark joined TD Bank Group as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TD Canada Trust. A member of the Advisory Council for Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management, Clark was named the Ivey Business Leader of the Year in 2011.

Silken Laumann
Tuesday, June 18, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

A multiple Olympic medal winner, Silken Laumann has devoted her time and energy, since retiring from competitive rowing, to helping children stay physically fit. The Founder of The Silken Laumann Active Kids Movement and closely involved with Right to Play International, she is arguably one of Western's most well‐known and accomplished athletes.

Chantal Hébert
Wednesday, June 19, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Chantal Hébert, Toronto Star national affairs writer and political columnist, started her award-winning career in politics at Queen's Park in the late seventies. She has also reported in French and in English on Canada's constitutional and referendum wars, the 1988 free-trade debate, as well as the more recent rebirth of the Conservative movement. 

Margaret Trudeau
Wednesday, June 19, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Margaret Trudeau has long been a champion and advocate for people suffering from mental health disease. She has openly and honestly shared her personal story and served as an inspiration for others afflicted with mental health issues. She has authored three books, including Changing My Mind, which topped the national best seller charts.


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


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