Quick Links

McGill to recognize fourteen outstanding individuals with honorary degrees


Published: 20 Apr 2007

Prominent philanthropist Marcel Desautels, Montreal Gazette editorial cartoonist Terry Mosher and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales president Lise Bissonnette are among the 14 exceptional individuals who will be recognized with honorary degrees from McGill University during this year’s spring convocation ceremonies, May 25 to June 1.

Prominent philanthropist Marcel Desautels, Montreal Gazette editorial cartoonist Terry Mosher and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales president Lise Bissonnette are among the 14 exceptional individuals who will be recognized with honorary degrees from McGill University during this year’s spring convocation ceremonies, May 25 to June 1.

McGill University honorary degree recipients, spring 2007:
(In order of presentation)

William C. Campbell, Doctor of Science
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Friday, May 25, 2:30 p.m.
(Macdonald campus)

Dr. William C. Campbell’s work in the development of antiparasitic drugs has revolutionized the control of parasitic diseases in humans, animals and plants. Besides his monumental contributions to the development of antiparasitic medicines, Dr. Campbell has made major contributions to our understanding of the biology of human and veterinary filarial parasites, of trichinella spiralis and trichinellosis, and of the cryopreservation of parasite species. He also participated in the major clinical program for controlling River Blindness in Africa. A former executive director of parasitology at Merck & Co. Inc., he is currently a professor of parasitology at Drew University in New Jersey.

Daniel Dennett, Doctor of Science
Faculty of Science “A,” Monday, May 28, 10:00 a.m.

Among the most influential philosophers of his time, Daniel Dennett, professor of philosophy and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, has authored more than 300 academic papers and 11 books examining the philosophy of mind. Many leading experimental biologists, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists cite Dennett as a significant influence and inspiration. At the forefront of evolutionary theory, specifically the biological evolution of free will and morality, he has received numerous fellowships, including two Guggenheims, a Fulbright, and one from the Centre for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Robert J. Zamboni, Doctor of Science
Faculty of Science “B,” Monday, May 28, 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Robert J. Zamboni, a former vice-president of research at Merck & Co. Inc., graduated from McGill University with a Ph.D. in organic synthesis. A pharmaceutical chemist, Dr. Zamboni has dedicated his career to applying science to the betterment of humankind. One of his most crucial contributions has been the discovery and development of a leading anti-asthma drug that has helped millions worldwide. His expertise in drug discovery has resulted in numerous compounds in clinical development and over 114 publications and 28 patents. He is currently an adjunct professor of chemistry at McGill University.

Sir John Daniel, Doctor of Letters
Centre for Continuing Education, Monday, May 28, 7:00 p.m.

Sir John Daniel is a world-renowned authority in open and distance learning in higher education. He was knighted in 1994, in recognition of his leading role, over three decades, in the development of new types of educational delivery such as open education, e-learning and distance learning. After his 2001 appointment to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as assistant director-general for education, Sir John joined Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in 2004 as president and chief executive officer. He is past-president of both the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE). He has served as vice-president of Athabasca University, vice-rector of Concordia University, president of Laurentian University and vice-chancellor of the UK’s Open University.

Les Vadasz, Doctor of Science
Faculty of Engineering, Tuesday, May 29, 10:00 a.m.

As co-founder of Intel Corporation, Les Vadasz has made remarkable contributions to the information technology industry. As an innovator and pioneer in the development of much of the technology that we regard as commonplace today, Mr. Vadasz has been described as “the ultimate engineer.” He led the Intel design teams that helped develop the first DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip as well as Intel’s first general purpose microprocessor. He served as Intel’s director of engineering, as general manager of Intel's microcomputer component division and as president of Intel Capital, the investment unit he helped establish in 1991.

Adel Sedra, Doctor of Science
Faculty of Engineering, Tuesday, May 29, 10:00 a.m.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Adel Sedra is a leading and influential electrical engineer, teacher and author. His microelectronics textbook has sold more than 800,000 copies and consistently ranks at the top of the Oxford University Press bestseller list. In addition to being highly regarded as an educator, he is also known as a visionary administrator. Before joining the University of Waterloo, Dr. Sedra served as provost for nine years at the University of Toronto.

Marcia Boyd, Doctor of Science
Health Sciences - Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, Tuesday, May 29, 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Marcia Boyd, a practising dentist involved in educating and providing care to underserved populations, has greatly contributed to the improvement of dental education and the advancement of the field of dentistry in North America. In addition to having developed a number of instruments for the evaluation of clinical and academic competency, she led several initiatives to establish admission standards for Canadian dental schools, serving the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada for 20 years. She is professor emerita at the University of British Columbia, where she once served as acting dean.

Robert G.E. Murray, Doctor of Science
Health Sciences - Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, Tuesday, May 29, 2:00 p.m.

Professor Robert G.E. Murray’s scientific discoveries have placed Canadian microbiology on the international stage. For five decades, his contributions to the discipline have secured his place as a world leader in the basic sciences of bacteriology and microbiology. His research contributed to our understanding of the life and times of microbes, a topic of ever-increasing importance in the 21st century. As head of the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario (1948-1974), Prof. Murray is credited with broadening the university’s base of microbial research by including virology, immunology and molecular biology as disciplines. He has been decorated with the Coronation Medal, the Centennial Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and was named an officer of the Order of Canada.

Lise Bissonnette, Doctor of Letters
Faculty of Education, Wednesday, May 30, 10:00 a.m.

An eminent journalist, author and former publisher of Le Devoir, Lise Bissonnette added to her singular reputation when she became president and general director of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in 1998. Her career in journalism began in 1974 at Le Devoir, where she worked as the parliamentary correspondent in Quebec City, then in Ottawa, before taking on the position of editorialist. From 1986 to 1990, she worked as an independent journalist writing for such publications as The Globe and Mail and L'actualité. In 1990, she returned to Le Devoir, where she served as publisher until 1998. Mme. Bissonnette is the author of several books that have been celebrated by both French and English critics alike. She was elected member of the Academy of Letters and the Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada in 1994. She has been inducted into the Canadian Journalism Hall of Fame, is an officer of the Ordre national du Québec and a member of the Ordre de la Pléiade and the Académie des lettres du Québec.

Marcel Desautels, Doctor of Laws
Desautels Faculty of Management, Wednesday, May 30, 2:00 p.m.

A successful business executive who studied law at the University of Manitoba, Marcel Desautels is also one of Canada’s leading philanthropists, committed to raising the standards for comprehensive business and management education in Canada. After running his own legal practice, Mr. Desautels worked for Great-West Life Assurance Company and the Treasury Board of Canada. In 1971, he was appointed CEO of Creditel of Canada Ltd. Under his leadership, the company grew to serve more than 12,000 corporations across Canada. Creditel was sold in 1996, and the proceeds used to establish the Canadian Credit Management Foundation, a charitable organization, with Mr. Desautels as president and CEO. In 2005, he donated $22 million to McGill’s Faculty of Management. This gift represents one of the largest donations ever made to a business or management faculty in Canada.

Martha Nussbaum, Doctor of Letters
Faculty of Arts “A,” Thursday, May 31, 10:00 a.m.

Martha Nussbaum, The Ernst Freud Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, is a leading philosopher and eminent figure throughout the humanities. Perhaps best known for her work in ancient philosophy, Prof. Nussbaum has significantly contributed to the revival of classical thought in contemporary philosophy while proving that scholarly rigour should not compromise philosophy’s readability or relevance to modern-day life. With several award-winning books and nearly 250 articles to her credit, her vision includes both ancient and contemporary approaches on topics such as gender studies, ethics, women, human development, justice and love.

Christopher Terry Mosher, Doctor of Letters
Faculty of Arts “B,” Thursday, May 31, 2:00 p.m.

Known primarily as one of Canada’s most loved political cartoonists, Christopher “Terry” Mosher is also known by his eldest daughter’s name, Aislin, which he adopted as his nom d’artiste in 1965. After working as an editorial cartoonist at the Montreal Star he moved to The Gazette in 1972, where he continues to work today. Mosher’s daily renditions of the political scene, drawing inspiration from 30 years of constitutional negotiations, accords, referenda and elections, are among the most indelible impressions we have of our living history. Mosher’s incisive, irreverent sketches appear regularly in many Canadian dailies and are syndicated in numerous newspapers and periodicals around the world. He is the recipient of two National Newspaper Awards and in 1985, he became the youngest person inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame. In recognition of his charitable work, particularly his long association with Montreal’s Old Brewery Mission, and his contribution to the world of political cartooning, Mosher was named an officer of the Order of Canada in May 2003.

Jean-Louis Baudouin, Doctor of Laws
Faculty of Law, Friday, June 1, 10:00 a.m.

Justice Jean-Louis Baudouin is known as a driving force in the development of civil law in Canada and one of the most influential private lawyers of his generation in Quebec. For over 27 years, as a professor of the law of obligations at Université de Montréal, he helped generations of students understand civil law and the importance of comparative law. He is a pioneer in his understanding of legal and ethical problems resulting from scientific developments in biotechnology and life sciences. His published works, particularly those on civil liability and obligations, are considered benchmarks in Quebec civil law. Justice Baudouin has held leadership roles in many international scholarly organizations and served as commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Canada. In 1989 he was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal, where he has served with great distinction.

Joseph Rouleau, Doctor of Music
Schulich School of Music, Friday, June 1, 3:00 p.m.

Canadian opera legend Joseph Rouleau has had an extraordinary career as an opera singer and music educator. His performances over the past 50 years have taken him from his native Quebec to the world’s finest stages, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, London’s Covent Garden, and the Paris Opera. With a repertoire that encompasses the bass canon, Mr. Rouleau has sung under the batons of many of the world’s prominent conductors, including Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Georg Solti and Igor Stravinsky. He is a professor emeritus at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he taught for 18 years, and is president of the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada. In 1977, Mr. Rouleau was named officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to grand officer of the Order of Quebec, the order’s highest rank, in 2004.

The above recipients join a pantheon of McGill honorary degree recipients that includes, among others: Sir Frederick Banting (1939); British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1944); President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1944); UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1956); politician and diplomat Adlai Stevenson (1959); Mayor Jean Drapeau (1965); painter Jean-Paul Riopelle (1968), writer Saul Bellow (1973), writer and human rights activist Elie Wiesel (1994), linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky (1998), writer Mordecai Richler (2000), director Atom Egoyan (2003), singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell (2004); and Governor General Michaëlle Jean (2006).

Convocation ceremonies will be held on McGill’s lower campus, with the exception of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences ceremonies, which will be held at the Macdonald campus in Sainte-Anne de Bellevue.

Contact Information

Contact: Cynthia Lee
Organization: McGill University Relations Office
Office Phone: 514-398-6754
Source Site: /newsroom
Classified as: