Two distinguished McGill alumni will receive honorary degrees at the University’s 2010 Fall Convocation ceremonies. Robert Rabinovitch, former president and chief executive officer of the CBC/Radio-Canada and former chair of McGill’s Board of Governors, and J. John Cohen, a celebrated medical researcher and educator, will be honoured along with some 1,500 graduating students who will receive their diplomas.
Doctor of Laws honoris causa
10 a.m. ceremony
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Robert Rabinovitch has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to public service and shown that success in business can be paired with commitment to community.
A 1964 graduate (BCom) of McGill, Rabinovitch went on to hold a series of senior positions in the Canadian government, including Deputy Minister in the Department of Communications and Under Secretary of State. After leaving the public service in 1987, he was named senior vice-president of Claridge Inc., a private corporation, becoming its executive vice-president and chief operating officer in 1990.
Rabinovitch served as president and chief executive officer of the CBC/Radio-Canada from 1999 to 2007, working to solidify the public broadcaster’s worldwide reputation for integrity and programming excellence.
Committed to the highest standards in the academic world, Rabinovitch served as chair of McGill’s Board of Governors from 1999 to 2009, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). He continues to be very active in the University’s affairs.
J. John Cohen
Doctor of Science honoris causa
2:30 p.m. ceremony
A renowned researcher and educator, John Cohen earned his medical degree at McGill in 1968. After completing his residence at the Royal Victoria Hospital and fellowships at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver and the National Institute of Medical Research in London, Cohen joined the University of Colorado Medical School, where he is currently Professor of Immunology and Medicine.
Cohen’s research group was the first to show that cells have a genetic “suicide program” (apoptosis) by which they can be eliminated from the body and, moreover, that the immune system can induce cancer cells to commit suicide.
As an educator, Cohen has distinguished himself in the classroom and beyond. He has won a University of Colorado Excellence in Teaching Award every year since 1982. He also founded the first Mini-Med School for the general public in 1989. Conceived as a series of lectures mirroring the student experience of medical school, Mini-Med has become an international phenomenon, part of community outreach programs at more than 100 universities in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Malta and Germany.
McGill’s own Mini-Med – Canada’s first – has been a sold-out success since it began in 2001, spawning other programs such as Mini-Music and Mini-Science.