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Thirteen to receive honorary degrees during McGill’s 10 spring convocations

Get out the cameras, it’s the season for convocation. Nearly 5,000 students are set to graduate from McGill this spring during 10 on-campus ceremonies. McGill also plans to pay homage to community leaders at its convocations by conferring honorary degrees on 13 individuals: from pharmaceutical titan Jean Coutu to Concordia Rector Frederick Lowy. Read on for convocation times and locations:

John William Michael Bliss, Honorary Doctor of Letters

Health Sciences Convocation, May 23, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Michael Bliss is a professor of history at the University of Toronto and senior fellow of Massey College. Professor Bliss has authored ten critically acclaimed books, including William Osler: A Life in Medicine. An Ontario native, he is a member of the Order of Canada.

Frederick H. Lowy, Honorary Doctor of Laws

Health Sciences Convocation, May 23, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Since 1995, Frederick H. Lowy has been rector and vice-chancellor of Concordia University. From 1974 to 1995, the McGill alumnus worked as a psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto, where he also served as psychiatry department chair, faculty of medicine dean and founding director of the Institution’s Centre for Bioethics. He was also the first chair of Canada’s Tri-Council Working Group on Ethics of Research on Human Subjects. Dr Lowy is an Officer of the Order of Canada and is vice-president of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec.

Morris J. Fish, Honorary Doctor of Laws

Law Convocation, June 1, 9:30 am, Pollack Hall, 555 Sherbrooke Street W.
A McGill graduate, Justice Morris J. Fish has been a criminal and public law jurist in Quebec’s Court of Appeal since 1989. Before then, Justice Fish practised and taught criminal law, notably at the University of Ottawa, Université de Montréal and at his alma mater. In 1990, he became a founding member of McGill’s Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law, where he’s served as chairman for the past five years, and was central to realizing the construction of the Gelber Law Library.

William Cosgrove, Honorary Doctor of Science

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Convocation, June 1, 2:30 pm, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd.
William Cosgrove is an environmental crusader who has dedicated his 45-year career to helping improve water quality around the globe by: outlining the environmental impacts of the James Bay hydroelectric project, serving as a water resources specialist for the World Bank and as director of the Water Vision Unit of the World Water Council.

Maurice Strong, Honorary Doctor of Science

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Convocation, June 1, 2:30 pm, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd.
Call Maurice Strong a global reformer. A Toronto resident, Strong currently serves as the United Nations’ undersecretary-general and senior advisor to the UN secretary-general and the president of the World Bank. He advises principally on institutional reform and is rector of the United Nations University for Peace. He has also presided over Petro-Canada, Power Corporation and the Canadian International Development Agency. He is a member of the Order of Canada and holds honorary doctorates from 41 universities.

Jean Coutu, Honorary Doctor of Science

Management and Religious Studies Convocation, June 6, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Jean Coutu is the man behind Canada’s second largest pharmaceutical retailing network. Since hanging his moniker over his first store in 1969, Jean Coutu has turned his namesake company into one of North America’s top 10 pharmaceutical chains. By 1990, Coutu had also turned his business acumen to philanthropy. He launched the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation, which funds everything from substance abuse programs to international aid for countries, including Haiti and Africa.

Harvey Cox, Honorary Doctor of Divinity

Management and Religious Studies Convocation, June 6, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
A Pennsylvania native, Harvey Cox has helped set the North American agenda for the modern study of religion. He has authored several books examining religion, including The Secular City, which sold nearly one million copies and was translated into 14 languages. Since 1965 he has taught at Harvard University, where he is the Thomas Professor of Divinity and chairman of the Religion and Society department.

Bernard Lamarre, Honorary Doctor of Science

Engineering and Music Convocation, June 7, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Born in Chicoutimi, Bernard Lamarre was president and CEO of Lavalin Limited, a large-scale engineering firm whose projects included the completion of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium tower. From 1993 to 1997, he was also president of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec. An arts supporter, he has been chairman of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for over ten years.

William C. Leggett, Honorary Doctor of Science

Science Convocation, June 8, 10 am, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
William Leggett is principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University, a position he took on in 1994. A McGill graduate, he also served his alma mater between 1970 and 1994 as: professor, chair of the biology department, dean of science and vice-principal (academic). A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Leggett’s research produced the first climate-based model to predict quota allocations in commercial fisheries.

Richard H. Tomlinson, Honorary Doctor of Science

Science Convocation, June 8, 10 am, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Richard Tomlinson will forever be remembered as McGill’s multimillion-dollar man. A McGill graduate, Tomlinson made history last year by giving his alma mater $64 million, the largest single gift ever made by an alumnus to a Canadian university. A former chemistry professor, specializing in molecular diffusion and flow to nuclear chemistry, he also taught at McMaster University for four decades. Named emeritus professor in 1988, Dr Tomlinson founded Gennum Corporation, now one of the world’s largest makers of microchips.

Mark M. Starowicz, Honorary Doctor of Letters

Arts Convocation, June 8, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
A long-time CBC radio and TV documentary producer, Mark Starowicz has worked for several shows, including "As It Happens" and "The Journal." Since 1997, the McGill alumnus has been the head of CBC documentaries and has overseen the CBC’s popular series, "Canada: A People’s History."

Gérard Bouchard, Honorary Doctor of Laws

Arts Convocation, June 8, 2 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
Gérard Bouchard is a social sciences professor at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. A Quebec native, his research on collective identity and the growth of the state is internationally recognized. He also specializes in population genetics and founded the Institut universitaire de recherches sur les populations, which he directed until 1998. His many books include Quelques Arpents d’Amérique : Population, économie, famille au Saguenay (1838-1971) and Genèse des nations et cultures du Nouveau Monde. He is the recipient of a Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction (2000).

Edward Zigler, Honorary Doctor of Laws

Continuing Education Convocation, June 6, 7 pm, Tomlinson Fieldhouse: 475 Pine Avenue W.
An expert in child development, Edward Zigler is a Yale University psychology professor, head of Yale’s Child Student Center (psychology section) and director of Yale’s Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy. He is the author, coauthor or editor of over 30 books. His many honours include awards from the American Psychological Association and honorary doctorates from several universities.

The following McGill faculty members have been promoted to professor emeritus:

  • Peter Daly, Emeritus Professor, Department of German Studies
  • John M. Fossey, Emeritus Professor, Department of Art History and Communication Studies
  • J. Richard Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, Department of Pediatrics
  • Kresimir Krnjevic, Emeritus Professor, Department of Physiology
  • Arak Mathai, Emeritus Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Michael Perceval Maxwell, Emeritus Professor, Department of History
  • Beverley E. Murphy, Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Dennis Osmond, Emeritus Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Michel Paradis, Emeritus Professor, Department of Linguistics
  • Albert Schachter, Emeritus Professor, Department of History
  • George Szanto, Emeritus Professor, Department of Art History and Communication Studies
  • John Christopher Taylor, Emeritus Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Hershey Warshawsky, Emeritus Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Michael Anthony Whitehead, Emeritus Professor, Department of Chemistry