While Spring 2010 Convocation will be a six-day celebration of McGill’s 6,200 graduating students it will also be used to pay tribute to 10 leaders with Honorary Degrees. Giants in their respective fields, this year’s Hon Docs have blazed trails in everything from Chemistry to community service to Condensed Matter Physics.
Although some on this list have never stood in front of a classroom full of students, all are teachers. Their respective careers and lives stand as lessons in dedication, creativity, service and the ability to see the possibilities that lie beyond the horizon. These are people who have made a difference in their community and in the world.
As our graduating students walk across the Convocation stage to accept their respective degrees, they will be inspired by the luminaries with whom they share the podium. This is what potential fulfilled looks like.
Alan Bernstein, Doctor of Science
Health Sciences, June 1, 2 p.m
Dr. Alan Bernstein is a pioneer in cancer research, stem cells and hematopoiesis (the process by which the cellular elements of the blood are formed), and has been instrumental in the transformation and promotion of health research in Canada.
In 2000, Bernstein was appointed the inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) where he served for seven years. Now the executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, Dr. Bernstein oversees the worldwide efforts of researchers, funders, and advocates dedicated to accelerating the development of an HIV vaccine.
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,
May 28, 2:30 p.m. (Macdonald campus)
Jacques Bougie is a Montrealer whose 20-year career at Alcan Aluminum Inc., seven years as its president and chief executive officer, is evidence of his high standards of achievement and merit in industry and community service. As a director serving on various company boards across Canada, Bougie’s experience is renowned.
Bougie’s philanthropic work with the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, and other non-profit organizations has been constant over the years. In recognition of his achievements and contributions, Bougie was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994.
Professor Sir Deian Rhys Hopkin, Doctor of Laws
Centre for Continuing Education, May 31, 6 p.m.
Sir Deian Rhys Hopkin is co-founder of the Association for History and Computing which promotes the use of information technology in the profession of history. Currently, he is Vice-Provost at London Guildhall University and Vice-Chancellor and Chief
Executive at London South Bank University. In these capacities, Sir Deian has championed university/community/business partnerships for the purpose of community development. Sir Deian is a lifelong learner, driven by his commitments to public education and to making a difference in society. He was recently knighted in recognition of his achievements, one of Britain’s highest honours.
Health Sciences, June 1, 2 p.m.
Canada’s first medical geneticist, Frank Clarke Fraser made history in 1950 by founding the earliest medical genetics department in a Canadian hospital, at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Fraser famously analyzed family patterns in a variety of mostly pediatric disorders and malformations and explored the perceptions and attitudes of parents to genetic risk, and contributed to the development of genetic counseling. In 1972, he and McGill’s Dr. Charles Scriver established the Medical Research Council, now the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Medical Genetics Group, the oldest CIHR Group.
Schulich School of Music, June 4, 2 p.m.
Known as one of the world’s great organists, Olivier Latry studied the piano at age seven and the organ at age 12. When he was 19, Latry was titular organist of the Meaux Cathedral and in 1985, he won the competition to become a titular organist of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a position he still holds today.
Since 1995, Latry has taught at the Paris Conservatory and has performed in more than 50 countries on five continents.
Faculty of Science, May 31, 10 a.m.
Douglas Osheroff discovered the superfluid phases of an isotope of Helium, 3He, in graduate school. For his part in this amazing discovery, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996 with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson. After this important achievement, Osheroff continued his career at Bell Laboratories and then at Stanford University.
Among his numerous distinctions, Osheroff is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences.
Faculty of Engineering, June 1, 10 a.m.
As President of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Charles Vest’s advocacy of science, technology and research has spanned four decades. At MIT, Vest has focused on enhancing undergraduate education and diversity and established major new institutes in neuroscience and genomic medicine, and redeveloped much of the MIT campus.
The author of several books, he has been awarded numerous prizes, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 2006 and Drexel University’s 2010 Engineer of the Year award.
Desautels Faculty of Management, June 2, 2 p.m.
A leader in men’s apparel, Herschel Victor is chairman and CEO of Jack Victor Limited, a privately held and family-owned manufacturer of menswear employing approximately 1000 people.
A supporter of an array of philanthropic causes, Victor, a McGill graduate, established the Herschel Victor Foundation in 1982 that created the Herschel Victor Scholarships for students entering the Desautels Faculty of Management. In honour of his late brother, Herschel contributed to the establishment of the Arthur Victor Movement Disorder Endowment Fund at the Montreal Neurological Institute.
In 2009, he established the Christine & Herschel Victor / Hope & Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at the Jewish General Hospital.
Faculty of Science, May 31, 2 p.m.
George McClelland Whitesides is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University. Considered one of the most prominent chemists of our time, Whitesides excels in defining new interfaces between chemistry and biology, engineering, medicine, and nanoscience. His work has enabled many advances in nanoscience and subsequent new electronics, pharmaceutical science, and medical diagnostics technologies.
Whitesides has received numerous prestigious prizes including the U.S. National Science Medal, the Kyoto Prize, the American Chemical Society’s premier award, the Priestley Medal, and, most recently, the inaugural Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences.
Faculty of Law, June 4, 10 a.m.
Reinhard Zimmermann is one of the world’s leading authorities in comparative law and legal history. He serves as Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany. He holds the chair of Private Law, Roman Law and Comparative Legal History at the University of Regensburg.
Zimmermann is a founding member of the World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists, and has significantly contributed to the study of mixed jurisdictions. He is considered to be one of the most influential jurists of our time.