Headlines (News Releases)
Kielburgers among honorary degree recipients at Laurier convocation
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
May 11/11| For Immediate Release
Jennifer Casey, Director, University Relations
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
WATERLOO – Free the Children founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, author and senator General Roméo Dallaire, world-renowned children’s advocate and musician Raffi Cavoukian and former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Louise Arbour are among the nine people receiving honorary degrees during Wilfrid Laurier University’s spring convocation ceremonies in June.
Laurier will hold nine convocation ceremonies in Waterloo the week of June 6-10, and three ceremonies at the Brantford campus June 21-22.
In addition to awarding honorary degrees, the university will bestow two Distinguished Governor Awards, which recognize retiring and retired members of Laurier’s Board of Governors who have given outstanding service to the university. Beverly Harris will accept her award June 9 at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, and John C. McCutcheon will accept his award June 22 at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford.
Honorary degree recipients:
Raffi Cavoukian is known fondly by millions of young fans, parents and educators by his first name: Raffi. Of Armenian descent, Raffi Cavoukian was born in Cairo, Egypt, where he spent his early childhood before emigrating to Canada in 1958 with his family. Raffi became a beloved children's troubadour and advocate for issues affecting children internationally with his award-winning early songs “Baby Beluga” and “Bananaphone.” In recent years, Raffi developed a holistic philosophy called Child Honouring, a practical vision for addressing children's universal needs and restoring planet Earth. In 2009, he founded the non-profit Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island, an educational hub that advances Child Honouring as a universal ethic. He has received numerous international honours including two honorary degrees. He is also a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. Raffi will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree Monday, June 6 at the afternoon convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 2 p.m.
Dr. Neil Arya is committed to the improvement of the health of individuals and populations, both locally and globally, through various educational, curricular, clinical, research, advocacy and other related programs and projects. Dr. Arya is founder and Director of the Kitchener/Waterloo Refugee Health Clinic in collaboration with the Kitchener/Waterloo Reception Centre, where he provides case-specific care to newcomers and those in need of specialized care. He also helped develop the Psychiatric Outreach Project providing mental health care for those homeless or at risk in St. John’s Kitchen in Kitchener. Among his many other honours, Dr. Arya’s humanitarian health work earned him the 2009 College of Family Physicians of Canada Geeta Gupta Award for Equity and Diversity. Dr. Arya will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree Tuesday, June 7 at the morning convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Arthur J. Carty is the former National Science Advisor to the Government of Canada. He received his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Nottingham. He spent two years at Memorial University and 27 years at the University of Waterloo before joining the National Research Council of Canada in 1994. He has more than 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and five patents to his credit. He is a former president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, an honorary fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences, as well as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has received many awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree Tuesday, June 7 at the afternoon convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 2 p.m.
Louise Arbour is an eminent jurist on both the Canadian and the international stage, and one of the world’s foremost advocates for human rights. Born and raised in Quebec, Arbour graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal in 1970. In 1996 she was appointed chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Among her notable achievements in this role was her indictment of Slobodan Milosevic, then-president of Yugoslavia, for war crimes. It was the first time a sitting head of state had been prosecuted for war crimes. In 1999 she became a member of the Supreme Court of Canada and in 2004 accepted the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She is the recipient of countless international and national awards, including being named a Companion of the Order of Canada. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree Wednesday, June 8 at the morning convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Lieutenant General, the Right Honourable Roméo Dallaire is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec, Officer of the American Legion of Merit and Commander of the Order of Military Merit. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. His account of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Shake Hands with the Devil, earned the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Today, Senator Dallaire is a powerful spokesperson for the rights and rehabilitation of child soldiers, for the principles and purpose of the Responsibility to Protect, and for the men and women of the Canadian military who return from war only to endure the agony of post-traumatic stress disorder. Senator Dallaire will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree Wednesday, June 8 at the afternoon convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 2 p.m.
Craig and Marc Kielburger are co-founders of the children’s rights advocacy group Free the Children and recipients of many honours, including the Order of Canada. Through Free the Children’s youth-driven approach, more than one million young people have been involved in innovative programs in more than 45 countries. As the brothers nurtured this organization, Craig earned an executive MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business and Marc completed a degree in International Relations from Harvard, then earned his law degree on a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he specialized in human rights law. The Kielburgers also co-authored several books, including: Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship and the bestselling Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. The Kielburgers will both receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree Thursday, June 9 at the afternoon convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 2 p.m.
Linda Hasenfratz is CEO of Linamar Corporation, Canada’s second-largest manufacturer of precision-machined components for the automotive industry. Hasenfratz joined Linamar in 1990 and was named CEO in 2002. Since she assumed corporate-level responsibilities, Linamar sales grew from $800 million to more than $2.2 billion. A generous donor to several organizations both corporately and personally, Hasenfratz’s commitment to community engagement has placed her on a number of boards, including Board of Governors for the Royal Ontario Museum. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree Friday, June 10 at the morning convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Bishop Michael Pryse is an ordained leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and actively addresses issues of global justice, human rights, international development and issues related to the full inclusivity of all people. In 1959 Bishop Pryse was born in Toronto and subsequently placed for adoption. In 1961 he was adopted and moved to Kitchener, where he eventually graduated from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in 1985 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 1998 he was elected to serve as Bishop of the Eastern Synod, one of youngest pastors in North America to ever be elected to this office. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree Friday, June 10 at the afternoon convocation ceremony at the Laurier Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, starting at 2 p.m.
H. Fisk Johnson is the Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson and the fifth-generation Johnson to lead the family company. H. Fisk Johnson earned his Master of Engineering in 1980, Master of Science in Physics in 1982, MBA in Marketing and Finance in 1984 and PhD in Physics in 1986, all from Cornell University. His family is known for social responsibility and environmentalism, and in the 1990s, the company began developing the Greenlist process for choosing sustainable ingredients for their products. On behalf of the company, Johnson accepted a 2006 Ron Brown Award, a United States presidential award for corporate leadership. Fisk will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree Wednesday, June 22 during the convocation ceremony at Laurier Brantford, starting at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.