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Nelson Mandela among Queen's honorary degree recipients

[Queen's honorary degree recipient Nelson Mandela]Nelson Mandela

Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws (in absentia) at Queen’s fall convocation this month.

Mr. Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918 and was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 and was involved in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason from 1956 to 1961 and was acquitted in 1961. In 1962 he was convicted of sabotage and other charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Mr. Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. In 1994, he was elected President of South Africa, a position he held until 1999.

On Thursday, Oct. 28 at 2:30 pm Nicholas Haysom will accept the degree for Mr. Mandela. Mr. Haysom is the director for political affairs in the UN Secretary-General's Executive Office. He was Mr. Mandela’s legal advisor from 1994 - 1999.

Chancellor David Dodge will preside over the ceremonies on Oct. 28 and 29. They will be webcast live from the Queen’s campus.

Other recipients of Queen’s honorary degrees this fall: 

[Queen's honorary degree recipient Gareth Evans]Gareth Evans

On Thursday, Oct. 28 at 10 am, Gareth Evans will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws

The Honourable Gareth Evans, AO, QC, has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010, an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne since July 2009, and is Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament whose report Eliminating Nuclear Threats was published in December 2009. Professor Evans spent 21 years in Australian politics, 13 of them as a Cabinet Minister.

As Foreign Minister from 1988 to 1996, he was best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, concluding the Chemical Weapons Convention, and initiating new Asia-Pacific regional economic and security architecture.

Mr. Evans has written or edited nine books, most recently The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All, published by the Brookings Institution in 2008, as well as over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights, and legal and constitutional reform.

On Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 am, Philip Fontaine will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws

[Queen's honorary degree recipient Phil Fontaine]Philip Fontaine

Philip (Phil) Fontaine is a dedicated and highly respected figure in Canada. He has been instrumental in facilitating change and advancement for First Nations people from the time he was first elected to public office as chief at the young age of 28. He is a proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and still plays an active role in the support of his community.

In the early 1980’s, he was elected to the position of Manitoba Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. When his term expired in 1991, he was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs where he served three consecutive terms. He played a key role in the development of Manitoba’s Framework Agreement Initiative, in the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord, and signed an Employment Equity Agreement with 39 federal agencies. In 1997, he stepped onto the national stage where he was elected to the highest elected position in First Nations politics, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He recently finished serving an unprecedented third term in office.

On Friday, Oct. 29 at 2:30 pm, Hector DeLuca will receive an honorary Doctor of Science

[Queen's honorary degree recipient Hector DeLuca]Hector DeLuca

Hector DeLuca earned a BA in Chemistry, with honours, from the University of Colorado in 1951, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955 with Harry Steenbock, a pioneer in vitamin D research. When Dr. Steenbock retired in 1958 Dr. DeLuca took over his laboratory and carried on his research. In 1965, Dr. DeLuca was promoted to the position of Harry Steenbock Research Professor, one he retains today. From 1970 to 1986 and from 1991 to 2005, he was also the Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry.

Dr. DeLuca has received numerous international and local awards and honors, including the Gairdner Award of Canada. He was elected to the membership of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences in 1979. He is a member of a number of scientific societies. Dr. DeLuca has over 1,150 publications in the fields of vitamin D, calcitonin, parathyroid hormone and vitamin A and he has over 250 active U.S. patents plus over 1,200 foreign filings corresponding to the U.S. patents.

For more information on convocation ceremonies visit the University Registrar’s website.