April 25, 2012



AA Bronson, Trevor Manuel among honorary degree recipients for spring convocation


Hamilton, Ont. April 25, 2012Renowned Canadian artist AA Bronson and South African politician Trevor Manuel are among the prominent figures who will receive honorary degrees at McMaster University’s spring convocation.



AA Bronson (Doctor of Letters) will receive his honorary degree during the Humanities and Arts & Science convocation on June 11. Bronson rose to fame as a member of General Idea – a Toronto-based contemporary art collective featuring Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. The trio was active for nearly three decades prior to Partz and Zontal’s deaths in 1994, with much of their late work focusing on the mounting global AIDS crisis. Bronson currently lives and works as a solo artist in New York City, where he has founded and directs the NY Art Book Fair and the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice.



Trevor Manuel (Doctor of Laws) will receive his honorary degree at the afternoon Faculty of Social Sciences convocation on June 14. Born in 1956 during the height of South African apartheid, Manuel was labeled “coloured” or mixed race under the country’s racial classification system. A passionate young leader with revolutionary ideals, he spent much of his adolescence in and out of prison before making a transition to federal politics in the late-1980s. Manuel served as Finance Minister between 1996 and 2009, and worked alongside former President Nelson Mandela for several years. He currently chairs the National Planning Commission of South Africa.



Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their lifelong contributions in public service, education and scholarship, creative and performing arts and efforts within the McMaster community. More than 5,000 students will graduate from the University in May and June this year, and all convocations will be held at Hamilton Place (10 MacNab St. S.)



Below is the full list of honorary degree recipients for spring 2012 convocations:



Faculty of Health Sciences (Excluding Nursing)

Friday, May 18, 2:30 p.m.

  • Michael Cousins (Doctor of Science), president of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and professor and head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management at the Royal North Shore Hospital at the University of Sydney.


Faculty of Humanities and the Arts & Science Program

Monday, June 11, 2:30 p.m.

  • AA Bronson (Doctor of Letters), a celebrated Canadian artist currently living and working in New York City. Bronson has been hailed for his involvement in punk, queer theory and AIDS activism, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.


Faculty of Science (Biochemistry; Biology, Biology and Mathematics, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geoscience, Kinesiology, Molecular Biology, Neural Computation; Psychology, Behaviour & Neuroscience)

Tuesday, June 12, 9:30 a.m.

  • Yves Bréchet (Doctor of Science), a professor of materials science at the Grenoble Institute of Technology (INP), and a senior research professor at the Institut Universitaire de France. Brechet is also a member of the International Scientific Council of Arcelor-Mittal.


Faculty of Science (Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Mathematical Science, Mathematics & Statistics, Medical and Health Physics, Physical Sciences, Physics)

Tuesday, June 12, 2:30 p.m.

  • Gary R. Davis (Doctor of Science), leader of the team which developed the Fabry-Perot subsystem for the Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS). Davis also helped coordinate Canada's participation in the UK-led SPIRE instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory.


Faculty of Business

Wednesday, June 13, 9:30 a.m.

  • Terry O’Reilly (Doctor of Laws), author of the best-selling book The Age of Persuasion, and co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television – one of the most successful audio production companies in the world. O’Reilly also hosts the award-winning marketing series The Age of Persuasion on CBC Radio.


Faculty of Social Sciences (Geography, Gerontology, Health Studies; Psychology, Behaviour & Neuroscience, Social Work, Sociology)

Thursday, June 14, 9:30 a.m.

  • Raymond Currie (Doctor of Laws), a renowned researcher in the areas of urban sociology, sociology of religion, alcohol abuse, mental health facilities, single mothers and quality of education in high schools and universities. The Statistical Society of Canada honoured Currie with the Lise Manchester Award in 2010 for his leadership and vision.


Faculty of Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Kinesiology, Labour Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies)

Thursday, June 14, 2:30 p.m.

  • Trevor Manuel (Doctor of Laws), selected by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” in 1994, he has received numerous international awards in recognition of his political accomplishments in South Africa.


School of Nursing and Medical Sciences Radiation Program

Friday, June 15, 9:30 a.m.

  • Nancy Edwards (Doctor of Science), past recipient of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing National Award for Excellence in Nursing Research, the YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award and the Elizabeth McWilliams Miller Award for Research Excellence, among other honours.


Faculty of Engineering

Friday, June 15, 2:30 p.m.

  • Kurt Strobele (Doctor of Science), chairman and CEO of Hatch Ltd. Strobele has more than 32 years of experience in metallurgical plant design, project and construction management, and is a past recipient of the L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Alumni Award from McMaster University.



McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 156,000 alumni in 140 countries.






For more information please contact:



Andrew Baulcomb

Office of Public Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 23585




Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869