Irwin Brodo was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday, June 11, “in recognition of a distinguished career in lichenology and scientific leadership in the international biosystematics community.”
Irwin Brodo retired in 2000 from the Canadian Museum of Nature where he was a Research Lichenologist for 35 years, and chief of the Botany Division for more than eight. A native of New York City, he received a B.S. from City College in New York, an M.S. in biology from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in botany from Michigan State University. He has published over 90 research papers, including numerous on British Columbia lichens, and an identification guidebook on the lichens of the Ottawa region.
He has taught at l’Université Laval in Quebec City and the University of Alaska in Juneau, and directed master’s degree students at Carleton and the University of Ottawa. In addition to lecturing throughout North America and Europe, Dr. Brodo frequently gives workshops and leads field trips for amateur groups.
Recently, he completed a four-year term as president of the International Association for Lichenology (IAL), which awarded him an Eric Acharius medal in 1994 for his contributions to lichenology. He has been president of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society and the Canadian Botanical Association, and received the CBA’s Mary Elliot Service Award in 1993 and the George Lawson Medal in 2004.
He continues to work at the Canadian Museum of Nature as Research Lichenologist Emeritus.
Larry Phillip Fontaine was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Tuesday, June 11, “in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and leadership on issues of Aboriginal societies in Canada and internationally and setting a model for generations to come.”
Phil Fontaine is the former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and is the longest serving National Chief in AFN history, elected for an unprecedented three terms. He has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of human rights to all Canadians and First Nations peoples, in particular. He is a citizen of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. As AFN National Chief, Mr. Fontaine was instrumental in the successful resolution and settlement of the 150-year Indian residential school tragedy, which led to a historic apology by the Canadian government. He also signed the Declaration of Kinship and Cooperation of the Indigenous and First Nations of North America and was the first indigenous leader to address the Organization of American States. Currently, he acts as a senior advisor to Norton Rose Canada LLP, counsel to Chieftain Metals, counsel to Avalon Rare Metals, and is special advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada and Trans Canada Pipelines.
He holds 14 honorary doctorate degrees from Canadian and U.S. universities. In 1996, he was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award and is a Member of the Order of Manitoba. In 2010, he received the Equitas Human Rights Education Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions made in the field of human rights education. He has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal and, most recently, was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Kim Pate was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Wednesday, June 12, “in recognition of her tireless efforts and outstanding leadership in promoting human rights for women within the justice system.”
Kim Pate is the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS). She is a lawyer and teacher by training, has completed postgraduate work in the area of forensic mental health, and is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. CAEFS is a federation of autonomous societies which work with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized women and girls throughout Canada. She has also worked with youth and men during her 29 years of working in and around the legal and penal systems.
She has received many honours and awards, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Award for Excellence, the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Equality Award. She has an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.
(Photo Credit: Couvrette/Ottawa)
Constance Backhouse was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Wednesday, June 12, “in recognition of outstanding contributions to human rights advocacy and the advancement of social justice.”
Constance Backhouse is a Distinguished University Professor and the University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. She teaches in the areas of criminal law, human rights, legal history, and women and the law. She has published a number of books on legal history, the most recent being Carnal Crimes: Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900-1975 which was awarded the Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize and shortlisted for the Harold Adams Innis Prize. Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900-1950, was republished in French as De la couleur des lois: Une histoire juridique du racisme au Canada entre 1900 et 1950 and won the Joseph Brant Award. Her Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and the Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada won the Willard Hurst Prize in American Legal History.
She is a co-founder of the Feminist History Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the writing and publication of a series of books on the history of second-wave Canadian feminism. She holds three honorary doctorate degrees. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Her many awards include the Killam Prize for Social Sciences, the Trudeau Fellowship, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Gold Medal. She is also a member of the Order of Canada, as well as the Order of Ontario.
Jean Teron was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Thursday, June 13, “in recognition of outstanding contribution to business and commitment to philanthropic endeavours and the community.”
Jean Teron, along with her husband Bill, has been a long-time champion of fundraising in various sectors of the Ottawa community. Her work with the United Way campaign, the Kidney Foundation, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the National Arts Centre has had a significant impact on the lives of many people living in the region.
She also has a psychology degree from Carleton and has served the university in several capacities as an active alumna, and as a member of the university’s Board of Governors. In 1983, she became the first woman to be the chair of Carleton’s Board of Governors and served in that capacity until 1986.
She has been a board member with the Trillium Foundation, a member of the Ashbury College Board of Governors, serving as its chair for a three-year period beginning in 1986. She co-founded the William and Jean Teron Foundation in 2008, is a current Life Governor at Ashbury College, and is involved with fundraising at Ottawa Chamber Music Society.
William Teron was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Thursday, June 13, “in recognition of outstanding contribution to business and commitment to philanthropic endeavours and the community.”
Bill Teron is the founder of Teron International Building Technologies and is known as the “Father of Kanata” for his influence in shaping and building the west-end neighbourhood in Ottawa. He is responsible for two suburban developments in the Ottawa area – the development of the former hamlet of Bells Corners, Ont. into a garden suburb (through the development of housing estates called Lynwood Park and Arbeatha Park in the early 1960s) – and the development of Beaverbrook, the beginning of the city of Kanata (later amalgamated into greater Ottawa) from a greenfield site in the Township of March, west of the Ottawa greenbelt.
From 1973 to 1979, he was the chairman and president of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). He has been active in the community through his work with the National Arts Centre, Canadian Housing Design Council, the Ottawa General Hospital and the African Students’ Foundation.
He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1978, he was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has won three national and four regional awards for housing from the Canadian Housing Design Council. He has also received the Queen Elizabeth ll Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.
Michael Potter was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, June 13, “in recognition for outstanding commitment to philanthropic endeavors and contribution to the high-technology industry in the National Capital Region.”
Michael Potter was born in London, England and immigrated with his family to Canada at age seven. After graduating from high school, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and subsequently earned a B.Sc. from the Royal Military College in Kingston in 1966, and a M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 1967.
After working as a naval officer and federal public servant in Ottawa, he became involved in the establishment of the Ottawa-based software services company, Cognos. Under his leadership, Cognos embarked on a path of rapid international growth, became a publically traded firm, and emerged as the largest company in its sector in Canada with annual revenues over $1 billion. He led Cognos as its chief executive officer from its inception until 1995. Today, as a division of IBM, the organization remains an important component of the software technology sector in Canada. Since his retirement from active business, Mr. Potter has devoted his time to a number of philanthropic causes, most significantly the creation of Vintage Wings of Canada, a charitable foundation engaged in the restoration, preservation and display of historic aircraft for the purpose of educating and inspiring young Canadians.
Tomson Highway was awarded the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Friday, June 14, “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts, exemplary leadership in the arts, and mentorship of Aboriginal Canadians.”
Tomson Highway was born in a snow bank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters. He had the great privilege of growing up in two languages; Cree, his mother tongue, and Dene, the language of the neighbouring “nation,” a people with whom they roamed and hunted.
Today, he enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. His best known works are the plays, The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, Rose, and Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, and the bestselling novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen. For many years, he ran Canada’s premiere native theatre company, the Toronto-based Native Earth Performing Arts, out of which has emerged an entire generation of professional native playwrights, actors and, more indirectly, the many other native theatre companies that now dot the country.
His many awards include the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play and Best Production, the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the Toronto Arts Award, the Wang Harbourfront International Festival of Authors Award and the Silver Ticket Award. In 1994, he received the Order of Canada and in 2001, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. He has eight honorary degrees from institutions across Canada.
He is currently at work on his second novel.
Moyez G. Vassanji was awarded the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Friday, June 14, “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts and the promotion of international understanding and discourse.”
M.G. Vassanji was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. Before coming to Canada in 1978, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in theoretical nuclear physics. From 1978 to 1980, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Atomic Energy of Canada and from 1980 to 1989, he was a research associate at the University of Toronto. During this period he developed a keen interest in medieval Indian literature and history, co-founded and edited a literary magazine (The Toronto South Asian Review, later renamed The Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad), and began writing stories and a novel. In 1989, with the publication of his first novel, The Gunny Sack, he was invited to spend a season at the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa. That year ended his active career in nuclear physics.
Vassanji is the author of seven novels, two collections of short stories, a travel memoir about India, and a biography of Mordecai Richler. His work has appeared in various countries and several languages. His many awards include the Giller Prize (1994, 2003) for best novel in Canada, the Governor General’s Prize (2009) for best work of non-fiction, and the Commonwealth First Book Prize (Africa, 1990).
He is a member of the Order of Canada and has several honorary doctorates.