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175th Anniversary

Shining a light on a piece of Queen’s history

  • Principal Daniel Woolf stands alongside Mati Bernabei and Gina Jack after unveiling a new plaque on the statue of Venus that was brought into the University Club 38 years ago by their father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei.
    Principal Daniel Woolf stands alongside Mati Bernabei and Gina Jack after unveiling a new plaque on the statue of Venus that was brought into the University Club 38 years ago by their father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei.
  • Mati Bernabei speaks at a special event honouring her father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei, hosted at the University Club.
    Mati Bernabei speaks at a special event honouring her father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei, hosted at the University Club.
  • Principal Daniel Woolf speaks to Mati Bernabei and Gina Jack during a special event honouring their father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei, who once taught the principal at Queen's.
    Principal Daniel Woolf speaks to Mati Bernabei and Gina Jack during a special event honouring their father, former Classics professor Richard Bernabei, who once taught the principal at Queen's.
  • Barbara Reeves (Classics) points out some details in a poster highlighting the replicas within the Department of Classics to two attendees of an event honouring former Classics professor Richard Bernabei.
    Barbara Reeves (Classics) points out some details in a poster highlighting the replicas within the Department of Classics to two attendees of an event honouring former Classics professor Richard Bernabei.

The history of Queen’s is long and colourful and because of this, unfortunately, some of the personalities that are part of that 175-year story have been forgotten.

Recently, the Department of Classics and the University Club honoured a past professor and shone a light on one of his contributions during his time at Queen’s with a special event hosted by the University Club.

[Queen's 175]Richard Bernabei was a Classics professor at Queen’s from 1965-78, and during that time he had an impact on many of his colleagues, as well as students, including current Principal Daniel Woolf, who spoke at the event.

Organized by Barbara Reeves (Classics), an associate professor and coordinator of Queen’s Classics at 175, the event was aimed at remembering Dr. Bernabei’s contributions inside and outside the lecture hall, including a Venus de Milo statue that he “smuggled” into the University Club in 1979 that has become a fixture of the building.

At the event a plaque was unveiled for the statue.  

“Dr. Bernabei impacted a lot of students, including Principal Woolf. He donated this statue which has been admired for the past 38 years by people at the University Club, not necessarily knowing about him but they have benefitted from it, and yet we don’t know him,” Dr. Reeves says, adding that she felt it was important to provide some recognition.

The event attracted a wide range of Queen’s community members including former colleagues, friends and Dr. Bernabei’s daughters – Mati Bernabei and Gina Jack.

“There were people from all across campus, and that was wonderful,” Dr. Reeves says. “It was not a departmental function. There were people from everywhere who were interested in the statue, who were interested in Queen’s history.”

The wording on the plaque matches a request written in a letter 25 years ago by Dr. Bernabei’s ex-wife Wilma, who was a long-time Queen’s employee, as well as the university’s first employment equity officer. 

With the statue being a part of their history, the University Club paid for the plaque and the reception and helped promote the event.

It was also a special event for Dr. Bernabei’s daughters providing an opportunity to reconnect with Queen’s and to tell their family’s story.

“The reception in honour of our father was deeply moving for us,” says Mati Bernabei. “He was still a young man when he died, and my sister and I were just teenagers. The circumstances of his death were difficult – grief weighed heavily at the time. But now, 38 years later, this event provided my sister and I, and our father’s friends and former students, an opportunity to celebrate his life, his art, and his passion for teaching.”

“I have no doubt that he would be absolutely delighted that it was Venus who brought us all together,” says Gina Jack. “When he brought her to the University Club he was extremely ill – nonetheless, he hatched a plan, and snuck his beloved Venus into her rightful home. The reception, and the plaque, honouring her, and establishing her place officially as a permanent resident of the club, was the perfect way to honour our father.”

Looking at the universe with 'New Eyes'

  • Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus Art McDonald helps open the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit on Friday, May 26. The exhibit is open to the public at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre from May 27-July 7.
    Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus Art McDonald helps open the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit on Friday, May 26. The exhibit is open to the public at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre from May 27-July 7.
  • One of the most popular features of the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit is a life-size virtual display of Art McDonald, presenting information about the work of SNO and SNOLAB.
    One of the most popular features of the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit is a life-size virtual display of Art McDonald, presenting information about the work of SNO and SNOLAB.
  • Art McDonald acknowledges the contributions of Gordon and Patricia Gray, the sponsors of the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, a position he once held at Queen's University.
    Art McDonald acknowledges the contributions of Gordon and Patricia Gray, the sponsors of the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, a position he once held at Queen's University.
  • Members of the Queen's and Kingston communities tour through the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit during a special opening event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Friday, May 26.
    Members of the Queen's and Kingston communities tour through the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit during a special opening event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Friday, May 26.
  • Art McDonald cuts the ribbon to officially open the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit alongside, from left, Principal Daniel Woolf, student Elizabeth Fletcher, MPP for Kingston and the Islands Sophie Kiwala and David Walker, Chair, Executive Committee for Queen’s 175th Anniversary.
    Art McDonald cuts the ribbon to officially open the New Eyes on the Universe exhibit alongside, from left, Principal Daniel Woolf, student Elizabeth Fletcher, MPP for Kingston and the Islands Sophie Kiwala and David Walker, Chair, Executive Committee for Queen’s 175th Anniversary.

Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald helped kick off an interactive exhibit highlighting the discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) project and the ongoing experiments by Queen’s researchers at the SNOLAB underground facility.

[Queen's 175th anniversary]
Queen's 175th anniversary

A special event was held Friday at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre where the exhibit will be on display from May 27-July 7. Queen’s is hosting the exhibit as part of its 175th anniversary celebrations, which will conclude later this summer.

Dr. McDonald shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for proving that solar neutrinos change their flavour en route to Earth, an important discovery for explaining the structure of the universe and the nature of matter.

The exhibit, which debuted July 1, 2016 at Canada House in London before touring across Canada, features 40 panels presenting the history and development of SNO and SNOLAB, located two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury. Video kiosks allow visitors to explore themes and offer a virtual tour of SNOLAB, while, through a life-size virtual display, Dr. McDonald presents information about the work of SNO and SNOLAB and his perspective on the future.

Exhibit artifacts include unique detector components developed especially for SNO, as well as a scale model of the SNO detector.

Admission to the exhibit and the Agnes is free for everyone.

The SNOLAB Institute is operated under a trust agreement between Queen’s University, Carleton University, University of Alberta, Laurentian University, Université de Montréal, and Vale, and includes external and international membership from both academic and industrial sectors. 

Special Hong Kong ceremony celebrates Asia-Pacific ties

Justice Kin Kee Pang, Arts’70 (centre), who is a long-time Queen’s volunteer leader and former judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court in Hong Kong, received an honorary degree at the ceremony in Hong Kong May 20. Chancellor Jim Leech (second from right) and Principal Daniel Woolf (right) presented the honour, along with Queen's Rector Cam Yung and Dean Bill Flanagan (Law). (Photo by Michael Pat)

A special re-convocation ceremony in Hong Kong this past weekend provided the perfect opportunity for Queen’s to reconnect with alumni in the Asia-Pacific region during the university’s 175th anniversary year and to deepen ties with current and potential partners in the area.

Queen's in the World

Several Queen’s senior leaders – including Chancellor Jim Leech, Principal Daniel Woolf, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, and Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien – joined alumni from the area for the celebrations.

“Queen’s has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and with these special celebrations, held to mark the university’s 175th anniversary, we wanted to provide those who have attended Queen’s with an opportunity to reconnect with the university,” says Principal Woolf. “The weekend in Hong Kong was also a chance to strengthen Queen’s presence, and re-affirm the university’s commitment to international initiatives in the region.”

At the ceremony on Saturday, Queen’s presented an honorary degree to Justice Kin Kee Pang, Arts’70, who is a long-time Queen’s volunteer leader and former judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court in Hong Kong. At the event, 120 alumni re-affirmed their degrees and connection to Queen’s, each receiving a card with a Queen’s alumni pin and a special 175th celebratory pin. At a gala dinner in the evening, Queen’s Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald provided a keynote address, and senior leaders spoke about recent Queen’s highlights and goals for the future.

Principal Woolf addresses the crowd at the re-convocation ceremony in Hong Kong. (Photo by Michael Pat)

“Queen’s is thriving today, but we need to keep our eye on the future. And the future is global,” said Provost Bacon in his address. “How present and impactful is Queen’s internationally? How diverse and inclusive are we? How are we contributing to solving global challenges in climate, social issues, or food and water? Queen’s is asking these questions today so that we remain a premier destination in the future.”

The trip to Asia provided the opportunity for Queen’s to strengthen connections in China as well. The university has bilateral exchange and study-abroad partnerships with 20 Chinese institutions, and Queen’s continues to explore new academic program opportunities and potential research collaborations.

Following events in Hong Kong, the provost, along with Ms. O’Brien, travelled to Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Qingdao. They met with partners at Guangzhou’s South China Normal University (SCNU), which recently signed an agreement with Queen’s Faculty of Education to collaborate on a dual degree master’s program.

In Shanghai, they met with longstanding partners, Fudan University and Tongji University, renewing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tongji. The provost also hosted an alumni event in Shanghai. In Qingdao tomorrow, Provost Bacon and Ms. O’Brien will sign a three-way MOU with Qingdao University and the Qingdao Municipal Government to explore areas of mutual interest in mental health research and mental health services in China.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

 

Exhibit offers interactive look at Nobel Prize-winning research

The Queen’s and Kingston communities will soon have the opportunity to see where Nobel Laureate Art McDonald and his team conducted their ground-breaking physics experiments without travelling two kilometres underground. 

[Dr. McDonald with SNOLAB collaborators]
An upcoming exhibit will explore the new experiments that current Queen's researchers and students (pictured above) are conducting at the SNOLAB underground facility in Sudbury. (Photo by Bernard Clark) 

The interactive exhibit, New Eyes on the Universe, is coming to Queen’s University this spring. The exhibit highlights the discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) project. Dr. McDonald shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics for this experiment that proved that solar neutrinos change their flavour enroute to Earth, an important discovery for explaining the nature of matter and the structure of the universe.

New Eyes on the Universe also explores the ways in which the current SNOLAB facilities and experiments continue to push the frontiers in particle astrophysics.

“The exhibit is a wonderful way to bring the Queen’s community closer to the work our team did in Sudbury as well as the research that continues at the facility,” Dr. McDonald says. “We are excited to share the exhibit with the local region as well as with many of our colleagues who will come to campus for the annual congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists in June.”

[Queen's 175th logo]
Queen's 175th anniversary

Queen’s is hosting the exhibit as part of its 175th anniversary celebrations, which will conclude later this summer.

New Eyes on the Universe is a fitting way to cap our 175th anniversary,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “Over the past year, we have reflected on Queen’s monumental contributions, while also contemplating what the future holds for the university. Similarly, this exhibit allows visitors to celebrate Dr. McDonald and his colleagues’ outstanding accomplishments and learn about the ways in which Queen’s researchers, now and in the future, will play a leading role in unlocking the mysteries of the universe.”

Intimate and Interactive

The exhibit’s 40 panels present spectacular images of the history and development of SNO and SNOLAB, which is located two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury, Ont. Video kiosks let visitors explore themes and offer a virtual tour of SNOLAB. Through a life-size virtual display, Dr. McDonald presents information about the work of SNO and SNOLAB and his perspective on the future.

The exhibit also includes a section on the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics, which Dr. McDonald shared with Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita. There are images from Nobel Week in Stockholm and a display of the Nobel Medal, citation, and artwork.

Exhibit artifacts include unique detector components developed especially for SNO, as well as a scale model of the SNO detector. Another area of the exhibit shares interviews with young scientists who started their scientific careers with SNO.

New Eyes on the Universe will be on display in the atrium of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre from May 27-July 7. Admission to the exhibit and the Agnes is free for everyone.

The New Eyes on the Universe exhibit is owned and circulated by SNOLAB. The exhibit debuted on July 1, 2016 at Canada House, Trafalgar Square in London, and it is touring across Canada this year.

The SNOLAB Institute is operated under a trust agreement between Queen’s University, Carleton University, University of Alberta, Laurentian University, Université de Montréal, and Vale, and includes external and international membership from both academic and industrial sectors. 

175th anniversary: Recognizing the past, with eye to the future

 

  • Nathan Brinklow, a lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, speaks after presenting Principal Daniel Woolf with a friendship wampum on behalf of the clan mothers at Tyendinaga and the Grandmother’s Council in Kingston.
    Nathan Brinklow, a lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, speaks after presenting Principal Daniel Woolf with a friendship wampum on behalf of the clan mothers at Tyendinaga and the Grandmother’s Council in Kingston.
  • The Whispering Wind Drum Group performed a traditional honour song during the special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class starting at Queen’s.
    The Whispering Wind Drum Group performed a traditional honour song during the special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class starting at Queen’s.
  • Paul Banfield, University Archivist, presented a short history of Queen’s Royal Charter, which was on display during the special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class.
    Paul Banfield, University Archivist, presented a short history of Queen’s Royal Charter, which was on display during the special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class.
  • A special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class starting at Queen’s was held in Wallace Hall on Tuesday, March 7.
    A special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class starting at Queen’s was held in Wallace Hall on Tuesday, March 7.

A special Senate meeting recognizing the 175th anniversary of the first class starting at Queen’s took on extra meaning Tuesday afternoon.

[Queen's 175th logo]In his address to Senate, Principal Daniel Woolf acknowledged Queen’s presence on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and the Anishnaabe Peoples. He also reiterated the university’s commitment to building good relations with Aboriginal Peoples and creating meaningful change on campus.

“For too long, our country’s mistreatment and segregation of Indigenous Peoples has been hidden from view, only to perpetuate and contribute to their suffering. To move forward in healing, we must acknowledge Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People,” said Principal Woolf, who also chairs Senate.

In the coming weeks, the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force will release its final report, which will contain recommendations that address federal calls to action and broader themes at the university of relationship-building, changing perspectives and policy, and promoting an awareness of the rights, histories, and contemporary issues of Indigenous Peoples. Principal Woolf told Senate that he is committed to dedicating the time and resources required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the recommendations.

“The Queen’s community can and must change the narrative,” he said. “By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, recognizing that all students can benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university.”

The special Senate meeting began with a traditional Mohawk-language opening by Nathan Brinklow, a lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Mr. Brinklow presented Principal Woolf with a friendship wampum on behalf of the Clan mothers at Tyendinaga and the Grandmother’s Council in Kingston. The wampum belt will be placed at the head table at every Senate meeting as a reminder that Senate meetings take place on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. The Whispering Wind Drum Group also performed a traditional honour song.

Following the principal’s statement, Queen’s Senate approved the naming of March 7 as “First Class Day.” At the first Senate meeting on March 7, 1842, 12 students were presented to Senate for consideration for matriculation.

Paul Banfield, University Archivist, presented a short history of Queen’s Royal Charter.

175th anniversary: A day to remember

On March 7, 1842, the first students arrived at a house at 67 Colborne St. to begin their studies. Their classes were led by Peter Colin Campbell, the first professor hired by Queen’s who taught classical literature, and Thomas Liddell, Queen’s founding principal and professor of divinity.

[175th anniversary logo]

Queen’s will mark the 175th anniversary of this important moment in its history with a special meeting of Senate on Tuesday, March 7. In 1842, Senate would have admitted the small group – approximately 15 students – to Queen’s.

[House at 67 Colborne Street]
As detailed on the Queen's 175th anniversary website, Queen's campus consisted of this rented house 67 Colborne St. when Senate admitted the first group of students on March 7, 1842. (Queen's University Archives)

Several activities will take place during the special Senate meeting. After the academic procession and traditional opening, there will be a presentation of a friendship wampum and a performance by the Whispering Wind Drum Group.

University Archivist Paul Banfield will offer a short history of Queen’s Royal Charter and Senate. Principal Emeritus William Leggett will reflect on his experience as chair of Senate.

The meeting, which will take place in Wallace Hall in the John Deutsch University Centre beginning at 3:30 pm, is open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to contact the University Secretariat by emailing senate@queensu.ca.

Queen’s is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2016-17. Many units, departments, and groups across campus are planning special events or incorporating the 175th anniversary into their existing activities. To learn more, visit the Queen’s 175th website.

Celebrating inclusivity

  • [Provost Bacon and Dr. Rahman]
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon congratulates Hafizu Rahman on winning the inaugural Queen's Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Rights.
  • [Provost Bacon and Diane Kelly]
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon presents Diane Kelly with the Human Rights Award.
  • [Provost Bacon and Sheila Devine]
    Sheila Devine, the recipient of the Employment Equity Award, laughs as Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon introduces her during the Tri-Award Ceremony on Feb. 27.
  • [Katie Charboneau]
    Katie Charboneau accepts the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award from Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon during the Tri-Award Ceremony on Feb. 27.

Moments after being surprised with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Rights, Hafizu Rahman exhibited his trademark humble attitude.    

“I don’t think anything of it. It’s a natural thing to do,” says Dr. Rahman when asked to explain his devotion to human rights within the Queen’s and Kingston communities. “I don’t consider myself an activist, but more like a catalyst. If somebody wants to do something, I want to help.”

Dr. Rahman came to Queen’s for graduate studies in 1968. He earned his master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering at Queen’s.

After graduation, he continued to contribute to the university. He served several terms on the Queen’s University International Centre council and played an instrumental role in the development of the Human Rights Office in the early 1990s.

In addition to his work at Queen’s, Dr. Rahman has been an active member of the Kingston community. He served for more than 20 years as the president of the Islamic Society of Kingston. He was a founding member of community organizations such as the Kingston Multicultural Centre and the Kingston and District Immigrant Services.  

The surprise presentation of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award capped off the Tri-Award Ceremony held Feb. 27 in the atrium of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. In honour of Queen’s 175th anniversary, the Equity Office and the Human Rights Office bestowed their awards on alumni and past members of the university community.

The 2016 winners include:

Sheila Devine, Employment Equity Award

Diane Kelly, Human Rights Award

Katie Charboneau, Steve Cutway Accessibility Award

Enduring employment equity legacy

In honour of Queen’s 175th anniversary, the Equity Office and the Human Rights Office are bestowing their Human Rights Initiative, Employment Equity, and Steve Cutway Accessibility awards on alumni and past members of the university community in 2017. The Gazette’s series highlighting the award winners continues with a profile of Sheila Devine, the recipient of the 2016 Employment Equity Award. 

For Sheila Devine, employment equity is the thread that ties together her career in post-secondary education – a career that has taken her across Canada and around the world.

“After law school, I was interested in human rights. From there, I naturally gravitated to employment equity issues,” says Ms. Devine, who worked at Queen’s from 1996-2003 and recently retired from Memorial University in St. John’s. “In everything I have done in this area, my goal was always to have respectful, positive relations with people in order to advance initiatives on employment equity and to address systemic discrimination.”

[Sheila Devine]
Sheila Devine, forrmer associate vice-principal (faculty relations), returned to Queen's on Feb. 27 to accept the 2016 Employment Equity Award. During her time at Queen's, Ms. Devine demonstrated a commitment to integrating employment equity into the university's practices. 

Ms. Devine’s collaborative approach to advancing a diverse workforce and fair employment systems at Queen’s makes her a worthy recipient of the Employment Equity Award, according to Irène Bujara, University Adviser on Equity and Human Rights. 

“Successfully integrating employment equity into a university’s practices takes a great deal of relationship-building and trust,” says Ms. Bujara, who worked closely Ms. Devine over the years. “With a great deal of skill and humility, Sheila was able to build the bridges that allowed Queen’s community to work toward a common goal.”

Ms. Devine came to Queen’s from the University of Victoria, where she was the director of equity issues. As the associate vice-principal (faculty relations), she played a key as the university and the Queen’s University Faculty Association negotiated their first collective agreement.

Ms. Devine recalls with pride that both sides agreed to an employment equity article, and the collective agreement addressed other issues such as discrimination. 

[Queen's 175th logo]

“The feeling around the table was mutual. Everyone wanted a good article on employment equity,” she says.

Putting in place policies and procedures is important, according to Ms. Devine, but she has always aimed to go beyond that in her work at Queen’s and other post-secondary institutions.

“Education is critical for helping people understand the importance of employment equity,” says Ms. Devine, a teaching member at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development and a frequent presenter on human rights and equity practices both nationally and internationally. “The key is to inform people what the challenges are, while at the same time addressing the big myths that still surround employment, namely that equity and excellence are mutually exclusive, and that employment equity is reverse discrimination.”

Ms. Devine says she’s pleased to see the Queen’s community still working to advance employment equity. She highlighted a few initiatives – Queen’s Senior Search Policy, a certificate program to foster an inclusive work environment, and a tool for assessing and planning for equity and diversity – as positive developments.

Ms. Devine returned to Queen’s on Feb. 27 to accept the award, where she talked about employment equity in the post-secondary education context.

“I am very honoured, humbled, and surprised,” says Ms. Devine when asked about receiving the award. “I look at Canadian universities and there are so many people involved in employment equity. Outstanding leaders like Irène Bujara and others are so deserving of an award like this one. That’s why it feels like I am accepting this award on behalf of them.”

Visit the Equity Office website to learn more about the award and past winners.

 

Heading to the Hill: Queen's Model Parliament celebrates 70 years

The House of Commons was adjourned until Jan. 30, but on Jan. 11–14, the chamber roared back to life for Queen’s Model Parliament (QMP), which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

“To sit in the same seats as our country’s decision makers is really special and surreal,” says Brandon Jamieson, Artsci’17, QMP co-chair and past participant. He notes that Queen's is one of the few universities in Canada to have access to the House of Commons for its model parliament, and no other university has the opportunity to use the House of Commons for multiple days.

Art McDonald among 2017 Queen's honorary degree recipients

Queen’s University has unveiled its honorary degree recipients for 2017, and the list includes Nobel Prize Laureate and Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Art McDonald.

Fifteen other people will join Dr. McDonald in accepting an honorary degree in recognition of their outstanding contributions in the fields of academia, business, politics, scientific research, and the arts.

The university will present the honorary degrees during 2017 convocation ceremonies.

Spring 2017

[James Rutka]
James Rutka

James Rutka (Meds’81) is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a pediatric neurosurgeon with a clinical practice at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Rutka’s primary research and clinical interests relate to the science and surgery of human brain tumours and epilepsy. He has more than 450 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Rutka is an Officer of the Order of Canada. During his studies at Queen’s, he was quarterback for the Gaels, leading the football team a Vanier Cup victory in 1978.

Dr. Rutka will receive his honorary degree on Thursday, May 25 at 2:30 pm.

[Stephen Smith]
Stephen J.R. Smith

Stephen J.R. Smith (Sc’72) is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs in the financial services industry. He is renowned for innovation in information technology and financial structuring in the Canadian mortgage industry. Mr. Smith is an avid supporter of post-secondary education. In 2015, he made a $50-million investment in business education at Queen’s in order to equip the leaders of tomorrow with the skills to sustain Canada’s business, economic, and social development.

Mr. Smith will receive his honorary degree on Tuesday, May 30 at 2:30 pm.

[Gurujai and Jaishree Deshpande]
Gurujai and Jaishree Deshpande

Gurujai (PhD’79) and Jaishree Deshpande, entrepreneurs and philanthropists

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande are trustees of the Deshpande Foundation, which strengthens ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. Their joint gift along with the Dunin Foundation in 2016 is allowing Queen’s to expand its innovation programming for students through the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He was involved either as the founder, a founding investor or chairman of several companies. Ms. Deshpande earned a Master of Science in Physics in 1975 from the Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT) and a Master in Computer Science in 1989 from Boston University. She currently serves as a trustee for the Museum of Science in Boston and is involved with HESTIA Fund – a fund established to support after-school programs for low-income children in Massachusetts. 

The Deshpandes will receive their honorary degrees on Wednesday, May 31 at 10 am.

[David Skegg]
David Skegg

Sir David Skegg is an epidemiologist and public health physician based at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His research focuses mainly on the causes and control of cancers, especially breast and cervical cancer, and the use of epidemiological methods to study benefits and risks of medicines. As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago from 2004 to 2011, he took a strong interest in opportunities for international collaboration. He promoted discussions that led to the establishment of the Matariki Network of Universities, of which Queen’s and the University of Otago are founding members.

Dr. Skegg will receive his honorary degree on Friday, June 2 at 10 am.

[John Alderdice]
John Alderdice

John Alderdice, Baron Alderdice, played a significant role in the development of the Irish peace process and the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement as leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. He then stepped down as Alliance Leader and accepted an appointment as Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly. He retired as Speaker and Member of the Legislative Assembly in 2004. For many years, he served as a Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy at Queen’s University Belfast. He established the Centre for Psychotherapy in Belfast. He continues as an active member of the House of Lords, but has stepped back from front-line party politics to focus on his academic and practical involvement in situations of violent political conflict. 

Lord John Alderdice will receive his honorary degree on Monday, June 5 at 10 am.

[Otto Naumann]
Otto Naumann

Otto Naumann is the leading name in Old Master paintings in the United States and is one of the most respected figures in the international art scene. Dr. Naumann is renowned for his exceptional “eye” for quality and for his skills in connoisseurship.  Having made a name for himself specializing in Dutch and Flemish art, Dr. Naumann has handled more Rembrandts than any other living dealer and is the only dealer alive who has sold a painting by Vermeer.

Dr. Naumann will receive his honorary degree on Tuesday, June 6 at 10 am.

[Frank McKenna]
Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna has held numerous leadership positions in both the public and private sector. From 1987–1997 he was Premier of New Brunswick. He served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 2005-2006. He is currently Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group, Chairman of Brookfield Asset Management, and is on the board of Canadian Natural Resources. 

Mr. McKenna will receive his honorary degree on Tuesday, June 6 at 2:30 pm.

[Art McDonald]
Art McDonald

Art McDonald is a professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. Dr. McDonald shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for his longtime research and groundbreaking findings into neutrinos – sub-atomic particles considered the basic building blocks of the universe. He continues research on neutrinos and dark matter at the SNOLAB underground laboratory and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.

Dr. McDonald will receive his honorary degree on Wednesday, June 7 at 10 am.

[Fredy Peccerelli]
Fredy Peccerelli

Fredy Peccerelli has dedicated his life to upholding human rights and dignity through the application of forensic sciences. He is an internationally renowned and recognized human rights defender and forensic anthropologist, and founding member of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG). As FAFG’s executive director, Mr. Peccerelli leads the development and implementation of a system that applies victim investigation, forensic-archaeology, forensic-anthropology, and forensic-genetics to uncover the identity of victims of mass human rights abuses, and the truth behind their disappearance.

Mr. Peccerelli will receive his honorary degree on Thursday, June 8 at 10 am.

[Donald Bayne]
Donald Bayne

Donald Bayne (Arts’66, Law’69, EMBA’01) is a partner with Bayne, Sellar, Boxall, a firm practising exclusively criminal law in Ottawa. Mr. Bayne has practised criminal law exclusively for the past 45 years.  He has been designated a specialist in criminal litigation by the Law Society and has conducted trial and appellate advocacy at all levels of courts in Canada and at public inquiries around the world. 

Mr. Bayne will receive his honorary degree on Friday, June 9 at 2:30 pm.

Justice Kin Kee Pang (Arts’70), a member of Hong Kong’s senior judiciary, will receive his honorary degree on May 20 in Hong Kong.

Fall 2017

Please note, Queen’s has not yet confirmed the Fall 2017 convocation schedule.

Debbie Docherty, educator, social worker, and community volunteer

Oliver Jones, jazz pianist

John Rae, Arts’67, active political participant and businessman

David Bouchard, author and educator

The Gazette will publish full biographies of the honorary degree recipients before the spring and fall convocation ceremonies. 

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