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Queen's University

2009 Honorary Degree Recipients



Jeannette Armstrong, LL.D 

Jill Bolte Taylor, D.Sc

John Edward Broadbent, LL.D William Buxton, LL.D
Basil (Buzz) Hargrove, LL.D Kathryn Knowles, LL.D
Frances Lankin, LL.D Patricia Monture, LL.D
Arthur Britton Smith, LL.D Thomas R. Williams, LL.D
Paul A. Volcker, LL.D Sheila Watt-Cloutier, LL.D
Dafydd Williams, D. Sc Ian Wilson, LL.D
Ruth Wright, D.D   



Jeannette Armstrong, LL.D 

Jeannette Armstrong is an Okanagan Indian who was born in 1948 on the Penticton Indian Reserve in British Columbia.


The grandniece of Hum-Ishu-Ma (Mourning Dove, 1888-1936), considered the first Native American woman novelist, Armstrong is a writer, teacher, artist, sculptor and activist.


She speaks both Okanagan and English; she received a traditional education from Okanagan elders and her family and has raised her own two children on the Penticton Indian reserve as well.


In 1978, she obtained a BFA from the University of Victoria. In 1986 Armstrong became the director of the En'owkin Centre in Penticton. She is also the first director of the En'owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, a creative-writing school organized by and for Native people which grants diplomas through the University of Victoria.


Armstrong writes poetry, fiction, essays and children's literature. She also continues to make visual art and teaches creative writing and performance. The importance of music and poetry is reflected in the recent production of her poem/song "Grandmothers" on the compact disk Word Up! She has been invited to speak to numerous international audiences on native issues including native education and indigenous rights.

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Jill Bolte Taylor, D.Sc

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a trained and published neuroanatomist. Her specialty was in the post-mortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. Because she has a brother who has been diagnosed with the brain disorder schizophrenia, Dr. Taylor served for three years on the Board of Directors of the National NAMI organization (National Alliance on Mental Illness) between 1994-1997. Currently she serves as President of the Greater Bloomington Affiliate of NAMI in Bloomington, Indiana.


Because there is a long term shortage of brain tissue donated for post-mortem research by individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, Dr. Taylor travels as the National Spokesperson for the Mentally Ill for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank) located at McLean Hospital. As the Singin' Scientist, Dr. Taylor delivers this very popular keynote address titled "How To Get Your Brain To Do What You Want It To Do."


But as irony would have it, on December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a rare form of stroke, an arterio-venous malformation (AVM). Two and a half weeks later, on December 27, 1996, she underwent major brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to remove a golf ball size blood clot that was placing pressure on the language centers in the left hemisphere of her brain.


It took eight years for Dr. Taylor to successfully rebuild her brain - from the inside out. In response to the swelling and trauma of the stroke, which placed pressure on her dominant left hemisphere, the functions of her right hemisphere blossomed. Among other things, she now creates and sells unique stained glass brains when commissioned to do so. In addition, she published a book about her recovery from stroke and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain. The New York Times bestselling memoir is titled My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey.
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John Edward Broadbent, LL.D

A native of Oshawa, Ont. Ed Broadbent has had a lengthy career in Canadian politics.


He graduated first in his class in philosophy at the University of Toronto, studied at the London School of Economics and obtained his doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto. He taught at York University until his election to parliament in 1968.


Mr. Broadbent was a Member of Parliament for 21 years, and leader of the New Democratic Party from 1975 to 1989. He has supported the struggle for democratic rights in developing countries and has published a book and many articles on human rights matters.


In 1993, he was one of four international judges on the Tribunal on Violations of Women’s Human Rights at the United Nations Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. He served as chairman of a national inquiry on Governance and Accountability in Canada's Voluntary Sector and co-chair of a commission on corporate social responsibility.


Mr. Broadbent was made a member of the Privy Council by Prime Minister Trudeau in 1982, an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993 and a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002.


Mr. Broadbent is a Fellow in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's.

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William Buxton, LL.D

William (Bill) Buxton began his career as a composer and performer. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Queen's, then studied and taught at Holland’s Institute of Sonology before shifting gears to do graduate work in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.


He has been senior researcher at Xerox's famous Palo Alto Research Center, a professor at the University of Toronto, and is currently principal researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.


His many awards include being named one of the top five designers in Canada. In 2003, he was co-recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement for his contribution the animation package Maya.


He is a relentless advocate for innovation, design, and the appropriate consideration of human values, capacity, and culture in the conception, implementation, and use of new products, services and technologies.


An avid outdoors person, Mr. Buxton has a passion for mountain sports ranging from back-country skiing, back-packing and ice-climbing. This summer he and friends plan to trace part of the old fur trade route along the Churchill River in traditional birch-bark canoes.

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Basil (Buzz) Hargrove, LL.D

Basil (Buzz) Hargrove served as National President of the Canadian Auto Workers Union from his election in 1992 until his retirement in September 2008. One of the most recognized labour leaders in Canada, Buzz has been a figurehead in the fight for workplace and social justice.


Born and raised in Bath, New Brunswick (1944), Hargrove's roots in the labour movement began in on the auto assembly line in Windsor, Ontario. His willingness to defend workers' rights won him the respect and confidence of his union brothers and sisters. Buzz eventually found himself a place in the union, serving in a variety of capacities. He held several leadership positions and eventually was elected to the executive of UAW-Canada Local 444.


Buzz joined the UAW staff in Toronto in 1975 and three years later became the assistant to then UAW Canadian Director Bob White. Hargrove was an integral part of the leadership team that broke away from the UAW in 1984 and formed the CAW in 1985. Along with his efforts as National President for sixteen years, he served as vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress' executive committee.


Hargrove has extensive bargaining experience, having negotiated with some of Canada's largest private corporations including General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Air Canada, Pratt & Whitney, Bombardier and CN Rail. His well-rounded understanding of the economic, social and political issues affecting workers has fuelled his commitment to help working people and their families at home and around the world.


In November 1998, Hargrove released an autobiography entitled Labour of Love: The Fight to Create a More Humane Canada. In recognition of his hard work and dedication Hargrove received honorary doctorates from Brock University in 1998, the University of Windsor in 2003, Wilfred Laurier University in 2004, Ryerson University in 2006 and the University of New Brunswick in 2008. He was also named a Fellow of Centennial College in June of 2005.


Nationally recognized for his contributions to society, Buzz was named an officer of the prestigious Order of Canada in 2008.


Since retirement, Buzz has focused his energy on many different projects. He is the co-host of BNN's Buzz Cuts, was recently appointed as Ombudsman to the National Hockey League Player's Association (NHLPA) and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in the Ted Rogers School of Business offering a critical labour perspective on social, economical and political issues to undergraduate, graduate and MBA students.


Hargrove now lives with his wife Denise Small in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Kathryn Knowles, LL.D

Kathryn M. Knowles has spent decades enriching the lives of children around the world. She was born in Toronto and completed her Bachelor of Nursing Science degree at Queen's in 1977. She was a paediatric nurse until she moved to Accra, Ghana with her family.


Her project began in her garden in 1990, with a basket of books and six neighbourhood children. That modest initiative became the Osu Children's Library Fund, which raised funds to build, furnish and stock six large community libraries and went on to develop 200 smaller libraries in Ghana. These facilities give thousands of children their only exposure to books, and also act as community centres, offering free adult literacy classes, theatre and cultural activities, meals for hungry members and lay librarian training.


Ms. Knowles works on a volunteer basis from her Winnipeg home and relies on a group of dedicated volunteers. She speaks across Canada, and has created an awareness of the far-reaching effects of libraries and literacy. She has published 25 books reflecting African culture, eight of which are in African languages.


She was awarded the Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal in 2001.

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Frances Lankin, LL.D

The Hon. Frances Lankin, PC, has been the President and CEO of United Way Toronto since 2001, guiding it through a strategic transformation into an organization that works to change social conditions. Under Frances's leadership, United Way has become a leading community builder that not only funds social service agencies, but also works to strengthen neighbourhoods and create opportunities for a better life for everyone in Toronto.


Frances has spent a lifetime in service to her community and is widely recognized as a leader in the non-profit sector. In 2006, she chaired a federal government-commissioned Blue Ribbon Panel that recommended changes to Ottawa's grant and contribution distribution process. Frances has served on the boards of several not-for-profit and charitable organizations and is currently a member of the Toronto City Summit Alliance Steering Committee and the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy Advisory Committee.


Frances has been widely recognized for her community work. She was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2003. In 2004, she was presented with United Way Canada's Award of Excellence. In 2007, she was named the Canadian Public Relations Society's CEO of the Year and received the Toronto Star's Laurel Award. In 2008, Frances received the Equal Voice EVE Award, was named both Toronto Consumers' Choice Woman of the Year and one of More Magazine's Top 40 Over 40. Most recently, she was honoured with the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto's Community Builder Award.


Frances was the MPP for Beaches-East York for eleven years before joining United Way in 2001. From 1990-1995 she served as Ontario's Minister of Health, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Minister of Government Services.


In 2009, she was made a member of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada, and appointed by the Prime Minister to the Security Intelligence Review Committee which provides an external review of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

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Patricia Monture, LL.D

Patricia Anne Monture is a tireless supporter of the pursuit of justice for Aboriginal peoples.


A citizen of the Mohawk Nation, Grand River Territory, Professor Monture has a BA in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, a LL B from Queen’s a LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School and an honorary LLD from Athabasca University.


From 1989 to 1994, she taught in Canadian law schools, and in 1994 joined the Native Studies department at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was also special advisor to the dean of the College of Arts and Science on Indigenous Initiatives. She is now a professor in the Sociology department, chair of Graduate Studies and academic coordinator of the Aboriginal Justice and Criminology Program.


She has worked extensively in the area of federal corrections and recently received the Human Rights in Action Award from the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.


She has advised several Aboriginal organizations including the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women's Association of Canada. Her contributions to the advancement of women in the university were recognized last year with an award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

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Arthur Britton Smith, LL.D

Kingstonian Arthur Britton (Britt) Smith has spent a lifetime making his community a better place. He graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) in 1940, and, after being wounded in Normandy, he returned to Canada in 1944.


A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he practiced law in Kingston until 1998, when he was given honorary life membership in the Law Society of Upper Canada. He built apartment buildings as a hobby from the time he was in law school. This is now his full-time occupation as executive chairman of Homestead Land Holdings.


Mr. Smith served on city council and commanded a company in the Princess of Wales Own Regiment. He has been active with Branch 560 of the Royal Canadian Legion and has chaired several fundraising campaigns. In 1990, he was named the Kingston Chamber of Commerce's Business Person of the Year and in 2006 was inducted into the Kingston Business Hall of Fame.


Mr. Smith has compiled two books on local history, Kingston! Oh Kingston! and Legend of the Lake: The 22-Gun Brig-Sloop Ontario, 1780.


His honours include the Military Cross, the Canadian Forces Decoration, the Canada 125 medal, Queen's Counsel and an honorary doctorate from RMC.

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Thomas R. Williams, LL.D

Dr. Williams, the 19th Principal of Queen's University, has served in many key leadership roles at Queen's since arriving in 1977 to assume the position of Dean, Faculty of Education. These roles and appointments include Vice-Principal (Operations and University Finance); Vice-Principal (Institutional Relations); and Acting Director of the School of Policy Studies. In the late nineties, he also served a term as the honorary president of the Queen's Alma Mater Society.


He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from McGill University, both in Educational Administration, and a B.Sc. in Chemistry from McGill University.


Dr. Williams has served on the boards of both Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital. He is a past board member with the Kingston Community Foundation and former Chair of the Board of Kingston YMCA.

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Paul A. Volcker, LL.D

In the course of his career, Mr. Volcker worked in the United States Federal Government for almost 30 years, culminating in two terms as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979-1987. He divided the earlier stages of his career between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Treasury Department, and the Chase Manhattan Bank.


Mr. Volcker retired as Chairman of Wolfensohn & Co. upon the merger of that firm with Bankers Trust. From 1996-1999, Mr. Volcker headed a committee formed to determine existing dormant accounts and other assets in Swiss banks of victims of Nazi persecution.


From 2000-2005, Mr. Volcker served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee overseeing a renewed effort to develop consistent, high-quality accounting standards acceptable in all countries. In 2003, he headed a private Commission on the Public Service recommending a sweeping overhaul of the organization and personnel practices of the United States Federal Government.


In April 2004, Mr. Volcker was asked by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to chair the Independent Inquiry into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program. The report on the Inquiry was published in October 2005.


In 2007, Mr. Volcker was asked by the President of the World Bank to chair a panel of experts to review the operations of the Department of Institutional Integrity. A report was published in September 2007.


In November 2008, President-Elect Obama chose Mr. Volcker to head the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.


Pursuing his many continuing interests in public policy, Mr. Volcker is associated with the Japan Society, the Institute of International Economics, the American Assembly, and the American Council on Germany. He is Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission and Chairman of the Trustees of the Group of 30.


Educated at Princeton, Harvard and the London School of Economics, Mr. Volcker is Professor Emeritus of International Economic Policy at Princeton University and was the first Henry Kaufman Visiting Professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU.

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Sheila Watt-Cloutier, LL.D 

Sheila Watt-Cloutier currently resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She was born in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (northern Quebec), and was raised traditionally in her early years before attending school in southern Canada and in Churchill, Manitoba. She is the past Chair of Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), the organization that represents internationally the 155,000 Inuit of Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Chukotka in the Far East of the Federation of Russia.


Dealing with youth issues holistically is important for Ms. Watt-Cloutier. She contributed significantly to "Silatunirmut: The Pathway to Wisdom," the 1992 report of the review of educational programming in Nunavik, and she co-wrote, produced and co-directed the acclaimed youth awareness video "Capturing Spirit: The Inuit Journey."


Ms. Watt-Cloutier was a political spokesperson for Inuit for over a decade. From 1995 to 1998, she was Corporate Secretary of Makivik Corporation, set-up under the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Land Claims Agreement. She was elected as President of ICC Canada in 1995 and re elected in 1998. She was a spokesperson for a coalition of northern Indigenous Peoples in the global negotiations that led to the 2001 Stockholm Convention banning the generation and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that contaminate the arctic food web. In 2002, Ms. Watt-Cloutier was elected international Chair of ICC.


In the past several years, Ms. Watt-Cloutier has alerted the world that Inuit will not become a footnote to the onslaught of globalization by working through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to defend Inuit human rights against the impacts of climate change. On December 7, 2005, she filed a climate change-related petition with to the Commission as an urgent message from the Inuit "sentinels" to the rest of the world on global warming's already dangerous impacts. On March 1, 2007, she testified before the Commission during their extraordinary first hearing on the links between climate change and human rights.


Ms. Watt-Cloutier received the inaugural Global Environment Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in recognition for her POPs work. In 2004, she received the 2004 Aboriginal Achievement Award for Environment.


In 2005, she was honoured with the United Nations Champion of the Earth Award and the Sophie prize in Norway. Later in the year, she was presented with the inaugural Northern Medal by the outgoing Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson.


In 2006, Global Green, USA, selected Sheila for its International Environmental Leadership Award, she received both the Citation of Lifetime Achievement from the Canadian Environment Awards and the Earth Day Canada International Environment Award, and she was made an Officer in the Order of Canada.


In 2007, she was publicly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Norwegian parliament. Also in Norway, she received the Rachel Carson Prize. And at the U.N. Human Development Awards in New York, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon presented Sheila with the 2007 Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Award.


In 2008, the Public Policy Forum honoured her with a Testimonial Award at its 21st Annual Testimonial Award Dinner in Toronto, Canada.

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Dafydd Williams, D.Sc

Dafydd (Dave) Rhys Williams has worn many hats over the years including doctor, lecturer, astronaut and aquanaut.


A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, he has worked as an emergency physician, a lecturer at the University of Toronto, medical director of the Westmount Urgent Care Clinic, and director of Department of Emergency Services at Sunnybrook Health Science.


He is currently the director of the McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and a professor in the Department of Surgery of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.


In 1992, Dr. Williams was selected by the Canadian Space Agency to begin astronaut training. His assignments included supervising the implementation of operational space medicine activities for the Canadian Astronaut Program Space Unit Life Simulation Project.


He joined the international class of NASA mission specialist astronaut candidates. In 1998 he was one of seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. He also served as a mission specialist in 2007 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. As director of the Space and Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Dr.Williams was the first non-American to hold a senior management position within NASA.


In 2001, he became an aquanaut, taking part in a training exercise held in Aquarius, the world's only underwater research laboratory. This made him the first Canadian to have lived and worked in space and in the ocean.

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Ian Wilson, LL.D

After a long and noteworthy career, Ian Wilson recently retired as the first Librarian and Archivist of Canada. He began his career in archives in the Douglas Library in the summer of 1966, after graduating with a BA and MA from Queen's.


In 1970, he was named head of Queen's University Archives and led an active program of acquisitions, nationally and regionally, adding considerably to the strength of the university archives as a research centre for Canadian politics, literature, business and labour.


Mr. Wilson became Saskatchewan's provincial archivist in 1976, and chaired the Consultative Group on Canadian Archives for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Their report, generally known as the Wilson Report, was published in 1980 and is described as "a milestone in the history of archival development in Canada."


He was appointed Archivist of Ontario in 1986, and for several years he was also responsible for the Ontario public library system. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, is a member of the Order of Canada and Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres(France).


Mr. Wilson was appointed as National Archivist in 1999, and he and Roch Carrier, National Librarian, developed and led the process to create a new knowledge institution for Canada in the 21st century: the integrated Library and Archives of Canada.

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Ruth Wright, D.D

Almost 14 years to the day after Ruth Wright graduated from Queen's Theological College with a Master of Divinity, she returns to Grant Hall on May 13 to accept an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity at the Theological College’s spring convocation.


Rev. Dr. Wright is being recognized for her deep commitment to affirming the worth of individuals and empowering communities to work for social justice.


A native of the Maritimes, she began her career as a high school teacher and administrator. After completing her doctorate at the University of Ottawa in 1982, she taught at several Canadian universities before coming to Queen's.


In 1997, Rev. Dr. Wright was appointed Executive Director of First United Mission in Vancouver, a position she held until retiring in 2007. She led a fundraising strategy to address the needs of the homeless, hungry and addicted. She raised national awareness of the plight of victims of the sex trade in Vancouver’s downtown corridor and successfully advocated for the creation of Canada's first supervised needle injection and exchange program.

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