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Honorary degree recipients 2016

Honorary degree recipients 2016

This year’s spring convocation ceremonies will give the honorees the feeling of coming home: the recipients this spring are all Queen’s alumni.

“Bestowing honorary degrees on Queen’s alumni as we prepare to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the university is very fitting,” says Principal Woolf. “This year we are celebrating the university’s unique legacy while recognizing our leaders in academia, business, science and the arts.” 

The ceremonies got underway Thursday, May 19 and wrap up Friday, June 10.

The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 in Waldron Tower, a university residence building. Consisting of lead singer Gordon Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay, the group has won 14 Juno awards. Its members are active in community, international aid and environmental causes.

The Tragically Hip, featured in a 1990 issue of the Queen's Review.

Donald Sobey (Com’57) joined the board of Empire Company Ltd. in 1963. In 2004, he retired as chairman of Empire Company Ltd. and retired from the board in 2015. For his work, he was inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. Mr. Sobey also established the D & R Sobey Atlantic Leadership Scholarships at Queen’s, which are awarded to Atlantic Canadian students who demonstrate academic achievement and leadership.  He also serves on the Smith School of Business Advisory Board.

 P. Kim Sturgess, CM (Sc’77) is the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, an organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. In 2007, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and in 2012 was named the Business Woman of the Year in Calgary.

After teaching law at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, for 18 years, Ronald McCallum (LLM’74) was appointed to a full professorship at the University of Sydney. This appointment made Mr. McCallum the first totally blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at any Australian or New Zealand university. He served as dean of the University of Sydney Law School between 2002 and 2007. Read about the welcome he received as a Queen's student.

Eileen Hutton (NSc’74) is currently the assistant dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences and director of midwifery at McMaster. She was the first midwife member of the Council of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. She is the first midwife ever to hold a professorship in the Netherlands. Read a Gazette interview with Ms. Hutton and learn about her connection to early healthcard pioneer Lady Aberdeen.

Piers Handling, O.Ont (Arts’71) has been the director and CEO of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a charitable cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world, through film, since 1994. Under Mr. Handling’s direction, the organization has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution. Read a Gazette interview with Mr. Handling, on the power of cinema.

Debra Pepler (PHE’73, Ed’74) has been a member of the Department of Psychology at York University since 1988 and works closely with Queen’s professor Wendy Craig as co-scientific director of Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet). This is a collaborative and interdisciplinary initiative that brings together 62 researchers from 27 Canadian universities and 49 national organizations.

Ali Velshi (Artsci’94) was most recently the host of Ali Velshi On Target, a nightly primetime show on Al Jazeera America. He’s also reported from the U.S. presidential campaign trail, as well as covering ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey, the days leading up to the nuclear deal from Tehran, the debt crisis in Greece, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Brian Yealland (MDiv’72) was ordained a United Church minister the same year as his graduation. Following the retirement of Padre A. Marshall Laverty, Rev. Yealland worked as the Queen’s University Chaplain from 1983 until 2013.

Wendy Crewson (Artsci’77) is an actor and producer with more than 100 film and television titles to her credit, including Air Force One with Harrison Ford. She currently plays Dr. Dana Kinney on the TV series Saving Hope.

Stephen Safe (Arts'62, MSc’63) studied chemistry at Queen’s and at the University of Oxford. His scientific career has covered several different areas of research that include his early studies on the chemistry of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). His work has helped regulate and reduce levels of this compound in wildlife, humans and food.

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 2-2016]