May 10 , 2011




Paul Martin, Buzz Hargrove among honorary degree recipients for Spring convocation



Hamilton, Ont. May 10, 2011Former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin and former Canadian Auto Workers national president Buzz Hargrove are among the prominent figures who are to receive honorary degrees at McMaster University’s Spring convocation.


Martin, who is to address social sciences graduands at the afternoon convocation June 16, served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2006.  A lawyer and business executive, Martin was first elected to Parliament in 1988, and while serving as Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002 recorded five budget surpluses.


Hargrove, who is to speak to the afternoon social sciences convocation earlier the same day, started as an auto worker in Windsor and went on to become national president of the CAW, a post he held from 1992 to 2008, when he led the union through a period of tremendous upheaval in the auto sector. Hargrove is now external director of the Centre for Labour-Management Relations in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.


Approximately 5,400 students will graduate in May and June this year. Honorary degree recipients are recognized for contributions in such areas as public service, education and scholarship, creative and performing arts, and for work within the McMaster community.


Convocation will take place at Hamilton Place.  Where two or more people are listed as honorary degree recipients, an asterisk indicates the recipient who will address the convocation.


Here is a list of honorary degree recipients for Spring 2011 convocations:


Faculty of Health Sciences

Friday May 20, 2:30 p.m.

     *Dr. Jack Gauldie (Doctor of Science), a McMaster professor of pathology and molecular medicine, pioneer in gene therapeutics and international expert in the molecular forces at play in inflammation and immunity.


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

Tuesday June 14, 9:30 a.m.

     *Dr. Francis (Frank) Plummer (Doctor of Science), scientific director of Canada’s  National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, a Canada Research Chair in Resistance and Susceptibility to Infections, and a global leader in HIV/AIDS research.


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

Tuesday June 14, 2:30 p.m.

     *M.S. Swaminathan (Doctor of Science), an Indian agricultural scientist and world leader in sustainable agriculture and food security. He received the first World Food Prize in 1987.


Faculty of Business

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

     *Suzanne Labarge (Doctor of Letters), retired vice-chairman and chief risk officer at RBC, who earned her undergraduate degree in economics at McMaster and her MBA at Harvard Business School. Labarge is a member of McMaster’s Board of Governors.


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

Thursday June 16, 9:30 a.m.

     *Basil (Buzz) Hargrove* (Doctor of Laws), former national president of the Canadian Auto Workers and now at Ryerson University’s Rogers School of Management.

     *Dr. Harry Waisglass (Doctor of Laws), the first director of McMaster’s Labour Studies Program and former Director-General of Research and Information at the Canadian Department of Labour.


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 16, 2:30 p.m.

     *The Rt. Hon. Paul Martin (Doctor of Laws) 21st Prime Minister of Canada, 2003 to 2006.


School of Nursing and Medical Radiation Sciences

Friday June 17, 9:30 a.m.

     *Sister Simone Roach (Doctor of Laws), an influential educator in nursing who established the first code of ethics for nurses in Canada.

Faculty of Engineering

Friday, June 17, 2:30 p.m.

     *Gary Purdy (Doctor of Science), a distinguished professor of Materials Science and Engineering and former Dean of Engineering who has made major contributions to the study of microstructure development in engineering materials.


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:


Wade Hemsworth

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext 22869