April 15, 2009

McMaster announces honorary degree recipients


Hamilton, ON. April 15, 2009 –Prolific Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn, a world renowned art detective, a pioneer of evidence based medicine and a local activist who has dedicated her life to raising awareness about ALS, are among the distinguished list of those being awarded honorary degrees at McMaster University’s spring convocation.

Approximately 4,500 students will graduate in May and June this year.  Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their contributions in such areas as public service, education and scholarship, creative and performing arts, and for their work within the McMaster community. 

Please note: Convocation will take place at Hamilton Place, unless otherwise noted below.  Where two or more people are listed as honorary degree recipients, an asterisk indicates the recipient will address convocation.

Divinity College

Tuesday, May 19, 8 p.m. (Convocation Hall, McMaster University)

              Nancy Bell, active member of the Baptist church, Doctor of Divinity

              Lois Crofoot, active member of the Baptist church, Doctor of Laws*


Faculty of Health Sciences

Friday, May 22, 2:30 p.m.

             Dr. Alvin Zipursky, chairman and scientific director, The Programme for Global Paediatric Research , The Hospital for Sick Children, Doctor of Science

              Dr. David Sackett, a pioneer of evidence based medicine and founder of the first department of clinical epidemiology at McMaster University, Doctor of Science*


Faculty of Humanities/Arts & Science (Art, Art History, Classics, Communication Studies, Comparative Literature, Multimedia, Music, Peace Studies, Philosophy, Theatre and Film Studies, Women’s Studies)

Monday, June 8, 9:30 a.m.

              Bruce Cockburn, Canadian folk/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter, Doctor of Letters*

              Shirley Elford, celebrated Canadian artist and glass blower, Doctor of Letters


Faculty of Humanities (Graduands in a single or combined program with majors in  Humanities programs not included in the morning ceremony)

Monday, June 8, 2:30 p.m.

              Maurizio Seracini, a world renowned diagnostician of Italian art, Doctor of Letters*

              Maximilien Laroche, one of Haiti’s foremost intellectuals, working in the areas of Haitian, Quebec and American studies, Doctor of Letters


Faculty of Science (Biochemistry, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geoscience, Kinesiology, Molecular Biology, Neural Computation, Psychology, Science)

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

              Herbert M. Jenkins, professor emeritus of psychology at McMaster University and the first director of the Arts & Science program, Doctor of Laws

              Peter Nicholson, inaugural president and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, Doctor of Laws*

Faculty of Science (Graduands in a single or combined program with majors in Science programs not included in the morning ceremony)

Tuesday, June 9, 2:30 p.m.

              Sir Martin J. Rees, president of the Royal Society, Doctor of Science

Faculty of Business

Wednesday, June 10, 9:30 a.m.

              Charles Coffey, retired executive vice president of government affairs and community development, RBC Financial Group, Doctor of Laws*

              John Howard, founder of Megalomaniac Wines, Doctor of Laws

Faculty of Social Sciences (Anthropology, Geography, Labour Studies, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology)

Thursday, June 11, 9:30 a.m.

              Philip Awashish, Cree political leader and advisor to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Doctor of Laws

              James Bartleman, former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Doctor of Laws*


Faculty of Social Sciences (Graduands in a single or combined program with majors in Social Science programs not included in the morning ceremony)

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

              The Honorable R. Roy McMurtry, former Chief Justice of Ontario, High Commissioner to Great Britain and Attorney General for Ontario, Doctor of Laws*

              Robert Fitzhenry, director of the Woodbridge Foam Corporation, Doctor of Laws


School of Nursing/Faculty of Science (Medical Radiation Sciences Program)

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

              Dr. Yasmin Noorali Amarsi, Foundation Dean, College of Nursing & Midwifery, East Africa, Aga Khan University , Doctor of Science*

              Elizabeth Grandbois, diagnosed with ALS and passionate activist who has raised awareness about the disease, Doctor of Laws.


Faculty of Engineering

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

              Gilles Patry, former president of the University of Ottawa, Doctor of Laws*

              Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, Doctor of Science


McMaster University’s guidelines for awarding of honorary degrees are available at http://www.mcmaster.ca/univsec/policy/HonoraryDegrees.pdf

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.



For more information please contact:

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext 22869