Getting ready for spring convocation

Student experience

Getting ready for spring convocation

Queen’s is preparing for convocation ceremonies in May and June to celebrate graduating students and recognize the contributions of 10 honorary degree recipients.

By Communications Staff

May 23, 2023


Queen’s is getting ready to celebrate the class of 2023 during spring convocation ceremonies. A highlight of the academic year, this spring’s festivities kick off May 26 with one ceremony in Grant Hall and continue with six ceremonies in the Leon’s Centre happening between June 20-23. Graduating students from six faculties and schools will be walking the stage.

Ten leaders and luminaries from a wide range of fields will be earning honorary degrees from the university alongside them. The bestowing of honorary degrees is a prized convocation tradition, and this year’s recipients have made significant impacts on society in areas including law, education, music, politics, cancer research, engineering, and community and youth mentorship. All recipients were chosen by the Queen’s community for their outstanding achievements in their fields as well as their immense contributions to local, national, and global communities.

“Convocation ceremonies are a milestone for our graduating students and a meaningful time of year for the entire Queen’s community,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “I look forward to celebrating the class of 2023 and recognizing the profound impacts this year’s honorary degree recipients have had on our society.”

Honorary degree recipients, Spring 2023

Grant Hall convocation ceremony
May 26, 2023, 10 a.m

Elizabeth A. Eisenhauer  

Photograph of Elizabeth A. EisenhauerElizabeth Eisenhauer obtained her MD from Queen’s in 1976 and subsequently received fellowships in Internal Medicine and Hematology from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada. From 1982 to 2012, she was Director of the Investigational New Drug Program of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (now the Canadian Cancer Trials Group) where her major responsibilities lay in identifying and bringing into clinical trial novel cancer agents. Her major research interest has been the evaluation of new anti-cancer agents. In that role she coordinated over 170 phase I, II, and III trials which were conducted in institutions in Canada, the US, and Europe. Several of these trials have led to the identification of new cancer agents now used in clinical practice. For her contributions to cancer research and patient care, she has received several awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, Officer of the Order of Canada, and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award. 

Natan Obed  

Photograph of Natan ObedNatan Obed is the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). He was first elected in 2015 and was acclaimed to his third consecutive term in 2021. He grew up in Nain, the northernmost community of Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador). He graduated from Tufts University in 2001. President Obed is the national spokesperson for Inuit in Canada and serves as Vice-President of Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada as well. As ITK President, he implements the direction set out by Inuit Leadership from the four regions of Inuit Nunangat — the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut. 

Leon’s Centre convocation ceremonies – June 20-23

June 20, 3 p.m.

Caroline Hargrove  

Photograph of Caroline HargroveCaroline Hargrove is currently Chief Technology Officer at Ceres, overseeing the development of next generation fuel cell and green hydrogen technology. She is also a non-Exec Director at Zedsen, a med-tech start-up developing non-invasive sensors for detecting and monitoring breast cancer tumours. She started her career as a lecturer in Applied Mechanics at Cambridge and then moved to work in Formula 1 for McLaren Racing, where she spent 10 years developing simulations and the first F1 simulator.  She then became a founding member of McLaren Applied Technologies, a company set up to exploit McLaren F1 technology and expertise to new markets and eventually became its CTO until she left in 2018.  She subsequently spent 3 years at Babylon Health as its CTO, developing AI tools to support primary care health. Hargrove is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), was a Visiting Professor at Oxford from 2015-2018 and holds a PhD in Applied Mechanics from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Applied Math and Mechanical Engineering) from Queen’s. She received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for services to Engineering in 2020. 

June 21, 10 a.m.

Jody Wilson-Raybould  

Photograph of Jody Wilson-RaybouldThe Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, PC, OBC, KC was raised to be a leader. The daughter of a hereditary chief and Indigenous leader, she always knew that she would seek leadership roles and responsibilities. As a lawyer, an advocate, and a leader among Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, she’s built a strong reputation as a bridge builder and champion of good governance and accountability. She shares her unique perspective as both a community and political leader on topics such as Indigenous rights and reconciliation, democracy and governance, leadership, and justice. Wilson-Raybould was first elected as a Member of Parliament for the new constituency of Vancouver Granville in 2015. She was then appointed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada making her the first Indigenous person to serve in this portfolio. In January 2019, she was appointed the Minister of Veterans Affairs of Canada and Associate Minister of National Defence, positions she held until her resignation from cabinet in February 2019. During the 2019 election, Wilson-Raybould was re-elected as an Independent Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville, making her Canada’s first ever female Independent MP elected and the only elected Independent in the 43rd Parliament. Wilson-Raybould is the national #1 best-selling author of “Indian” in The Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, which was a finalist for The Writers' Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy and Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

June 22, 10 a.m.

Photograph of David BottrillDavid Bottrill  

David Bottrill is a music producer and mixer based in Toronto who has put the merits of diversity at the heart of his vast discography. His work with artists such as Peter Gabriel, Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Muse, I Mother Earth, Crown Lands, and Rush spans genres and generations. He has won three Grammy Awards and sold millions of copies worldwide. Since 2009, Bottrill has also sat on the board of directors for Make Music Matter, a non-profit that uses music and socially conscious art to help heal trauma in marginalized communities around the world and Indigenous communities at home in Canada. Through Make Music Matter, Bottrill has found an outlet for his experience, helping better the lives of others and bringing awareness to the community at large.

Eleanor Daley  

Photograph of Eleanor DaleyBorn and raised in Parry Sound, Ontario, Eleanor Daley received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Queen’s University and holds diplomas in piano and organ from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, and Trinity College, England. She has been the Director of Music at Fairlawn Avenue United Church in Toronto since 1982, during which time she has established a thriving choral program thanks to the continuing support and talent of her choirs. One of Canada’s most successful and gifted composers of choral music, Eleanor is a recognized leader in choral circles the world over. Eleanor has over one hundred and fifty published compositions and has been commissioned extensively. Her works are widely performed, recorded, and aired throughout North America, Great Britain, Europe, South Africa, and the Far East, and are published by fourteen publishing houses in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Eleanor was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2022, was the recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Louis Applebaum Composers Award in 2020, and was the first Composer-in-Residence at the 2005 international choral festival, FESTIVAL 500, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

June 22, 3 p.m.

Photograph of Brent BelzbergBrent Belzberg

Brent Belzberg is founder and senior managing partner of TorQuest Partners, Inc., which he formed in 2002. He has more than 30 years of executive management experience in finance, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and operations. He received a B.Comm. (Honours) from Queen's University in 1972, and a J.D. from the University of Toronto in 1976. He received the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, the Canada 150 Commemorative Medal from the Senate of Canada, and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General. Most recently, in December 2018, Mr. Belzberg was awarded the Order of Canada as a Member (C.M.) for his work as a business leader and philanthropist.

Gloria Epstein

Photograph of Gloria EpsteinIn 1972 Justice Epstein received an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University then attended the University of Toronto law school. Called to the bar in 1979, Justice Epstein practised litigation in two large Toronto law firms before starting a firm of her own – one of the first Toronto-based firms led and owned by a woman. She was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 1993 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2007. Throughout her judicial career, Justice Epstein presided over hundreds of cases, one of the most impactful being the landmark case known as M. v. H., the decision that paved the way for the recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada. While a trial judge, she was appointed by the Premier of Ontario to review the government’s involvement in the lives of the Dionne Quintuplets. In 2007, Judge Epstein received a University of Toronto Arbor Award for volunteerism, and in 2013 she received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award.  She has also been recognized with two other honorary doctorate degrees - from the Law Society of Ontario and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

June 23. 10 a.m.

Paul Finkelstein

Photograph of Paul FinkelsteinPaul Finkelstein is a Queen's alumnus, former Gael cheerleader, TV host, food columnist, front-line teacher, globally celebrated educator, and chef who knows that food can be one of the most powerful tools for change. A chef turned culinary arts teacher, Paul is one of Canada's leading advocates for healthy living through good nutrition and culinary skill training. For "Fink" - as his students, colleagues and legions of fans know him – cooking is an essential skill and the most important one for all Canadians to live a whole and healthy life. Paul spearheaded the creation of the Screaming Avocado, a student-run canteen, which provides healthy, bistro quality made-from-scratch meals by and for students. Other schools across Canada followed The Screaming Avocado model, opening canteens that empower students. A married father of three and grandfather of one, Finkelstein has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Meritorious Service Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, the Premier's Award for Teaching Excellence, the OHI Gold Teacher of the Year Award, Food Canada Food Hero in 2014, the Rotary Paul Wallace Fellow, and Perth County Federation of Agriculture Award.

Kimberly Prost  

Photograph of Kimberly ProstJudge Kimberly Prost graduated as a gold medallist from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. She began her career as a prosecutor and worked for the Canadian Department of Justice for 18 years appearing before all levels of the Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court. For seven years she served as Director of the International Assistance Group which is responsible for extradition and mutual legal assistance matters for Canada. Later in her career, Judge Prost transitioned to an international practice, holding managerial positions with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In July 2006, after election by the United Nations General Assembly, she was appointed to sit as an ad litem judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on a multi-accused trial (Popovic et al) related to events at Srebrenica and Zepa. In June of 2010, Judge Prost was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the first Ombudsperson for the United Nations Security Council Al Qaida Sanctions Committee. After completing a five-year term in that role, Judge Prost served for two years as Chef de Cabinet for the President of the International Criminal Court. In 2017 she was elected as a Judge of the ICC and is currently serving in that capacity having recently completed a two-year term as President of the Trial Division. For over 20 years Judge Prost has taught and lectured for the Queens University International Law Program at Bader College.

Learn more about spring 2023 convocation ceremonies on the Office of the University Registrar website.

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