Plummer, Huston among McGill honorary degree recipients

Published: 8 May 2006

Seventeen highly accomplished individuals, including acclaimed actor Christopher Plummer, author Nancy Huston, diplomat James Bartleman and civil aviation pioneer Pierre Jeanniot, will receive honorary McGill University degrees during this year's spring convocation ceremonies, May 29-June 6.

McGill University honorary degree recipients, spring 2006:

(In order of presentation)

Michael W. Apple, Doctor of Letters
Monday, May 29, 10 am, Faculty of Education and Library and Information Studies

Considered one of the most important educational scholars of the 20th century, Michael W. Apple has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association, among other honours, for his influence in democratizing educational research, policies and practices. He is the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of such seminal books on education as Ideology and Curriculum and Official Knowledge.

Hon. James K. Bartleman, Doctor of Letters
Monday, May 29, 10 am, Faculty of Education and Library and Information Studies

The Honourable James K. Bartleman, distinguished diplomat and Ontario's 27th lieutenant-governor, is of Anishnawbe ancestry and a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation. He spent 35 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, including postings as ambassador to the European Union, to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to Israel, to Cuba, and as high commissioner to Australia. He recounted his peripatetic life in the memoir On Six Continents (2004). He was also a foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. James Bartleman is the first member of a First Nation to be named lieutenant-governor of Ontario.

Pierre Jean Jeanniot, Doctor of Science
Monday, May 29, 2 pm, Desautels Faculty of Management

A recognized leader in international civil aviation, Mr. Jeanniot has helped make the skies a safer place, having been instrumental in the development of the "black box" flight data recorder. A former president and chief executive officer of Air Canada, he oversaw the privatization of the airline during the 1980s, and served as director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from 1993 to 2002. He was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 1989.

Dominique Schnapper, Doctor of Laws
Monday, May 29, 7 pm, Centre for Continuing Education

Dominique Schnapper is a sociologist and educational director at France's École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales who has devoted the past ten years of her career to tackling issues related to nationalism and regionalism. Described as courageous and sometimes iconoclastic in her views, she is a champion of education as a critical means of social integration in today's increasingly multicultural societies.

Balkrishna Doshi, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, May 30, 10 am, Faculty of Engineering

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi is an architect, educator and academic. He worked with celebrated Swiss architect Le Corbusier in Paris in the early 1950s and, in 1978, established the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design, internationally recognized as a pioneer of low-cost housing and sustainable community design. Through the foundation, he has collaborated with the McGill School of Architecture on a number of successful projects.

Lorne Trottier, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, May 30, 10 am, Faculty of Engineering

Lorne Trottier is the co-founder of Matrox, a world-renowned computer graphics, video and imaging company headquartered in Montreal. A two-time McGill graduate, Mr. Trottier is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering and a governor emeritus. Since establishing the Trottier Family Foundation in 2000, to promote science, technology, education, health care and third-world economic development, Mr. Trottier has made major contributions to many academic and health care institutions. The Lorne M. Trottier Building, opened at McGill in 2003, houses cutting-edge research and labs for science and engineering.

Victor A. McKusick, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, May 30, 3 pm, Faculty of Medicine/Health Sciences

A physician, researcher and University Professor of Medical Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Victor A. McKusick is widely acknowledged as the "father of genetic medicine." Dr. McKusick has led the world in searching for and mapping genes related to inherited diseases and in laying the foundations for the Human Genome Project. Dr. McKusick has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians.

Helen K. Mussallem, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, May 30, 3 pm, Faculty of Medicine/Health Sciences

Over the course of a career spanning more than six decades, Helen Mussallem accomplished for the nursing profession in Canada what Florence Nightingale did for Britain. Dr. Mussallem's 1957 tour of hospital-based nursing schools across the country prompted major reforms in nursing education in Canada, as teaching programs were moved out of hospitals and into universities. She had earned her own Bachelor of Nursing degree from McGill in 1947, later becoming the first Canadian nurse to obtain a doctorate in nursing education.

Ursula M. Franklin, Doctor of Science
Wednesday, May 31, 10 am, Faculty of Science "A"

Ursula Franklin has combined a career in science with a lifelong commitment to promoting peace and social justice. A Holocaust survivor, she came to Canada from her native Germany in 1949, eventually becoming the first female professor in the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science at the University of Toronto. Her advocacy work is credited with influencing the United States' decision to ban above-ground testing of nuclear weapons.

Roger F. Tomlinson, Doctor of Science
Wednesday, May 31, 2 pm, Faculty of Science "B"

Motorists who rely on computerized navigation systems to find their way around can thank Roger Tomlinson for helping to point the way. After earning a Master of Science degree from McGill in 1961, he began developing the geographic information system (GIS) that today allows drivers to locate their destination at the push of a button and astronomers to map out entire galaxies. His achievements have earned him the Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and made him a member of the Order of Canada.

Louise Fréchette, Doctor of Laws
Wednesday, May 31, 6 pm, Faculty of Law

Named in 1998 as the first deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, Louise Fréchette has had a key role in sustaining the UN's peacekeeping operations and organizing the UN Secretariat. Throughout her lengthy career as a civil servant and diplomat, Mme Fréchette has achieved an international reputation as a champion of humanitarian assistance, environmental issues, AIDS relief and international security.

Donovan W.M. Waters, Doctor of Laws
Wednesday, May 31, 6 pm, Faculty of Law

Donovan Waters is a leading international expert in trust law and the author of several texts, including The Law of Trusts in Canada. Before joining McGill's Faculty of Law in 1967, he had taught at the Universities of Oxford, London, Chicago and Saskatchewan. He was appointed Gale Professor of Law at McGill in 1974, leaving three years later to teach at the University of Victoria, where, in 1996, he was named an emeritus professor. With an international reputation as an expert on common law and equity, Professor Waters twice represented Canada at the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

Christopher Plummer, Doctor of Letters
Thursday, June 1, 10 am, Faculty of Arts "A" and Faculty of Religious Studies

One of the world's foremost Shakespearean actors, Christopher Plummer has delivered acclaimed performances as King Lear, Macbeth and Othello's Iago, but is perhaps best known to film buffs as Baron Von Trapp in Rogers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. He has appeared in more than 100 films and has won two Tony Awards for theatre and an Emmy for the television series The Moneychangers. He has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, was awarded the Governor General's Lifetime Achievement Award in the Performing Arts and is a companion of the Order of Canada.

Nancy Huston, Doctor of Letters
Thursday, June 1, 10 am, Faculty of Arts "A" and Faculty of Religious Studies

Known and respected as much for her scholarly non-fiction as for her literary fiction, Nancy Huston is an award-winning author who is equally at home writing in English or French. Indeed, even though she lacked a full command of the French language until she was in her early 20s, her first novel, Les Variations Goldberg, which was written in French, was awarded the Prix Contrepoint and was shortlisted for the Prix Fémina. Since 1980, she has published more than 20 books and received the Governor General's Award and Prix Canada-Suisse for her book Plainsong.

Morris Halle, Doctor of Letters
Thursday, June 1, 2 pm, Faculty of Arts "B"

A world authority on linguistics, Morris Halle spent 45 years on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he and Noam Chomsky founded MIT's graduate linguistics program in 1961. As co-authors in 1968 of a study on the sounds of speech, Halle and Chomsky shed considerable light on the mechanics of language, including the predictability of the sounds of English words. Retired since 1996, he is currently working on a book exploring the nature of poetic verse.

Ida Haendel, Doctor of Music
Monday, June 5, 10 am, Schulich School of Music

Ida Haendel began studying violin at the Warsaw Conservatory in Poland at age four in the early 1930s. Before the start of World War II, her family moved to London, where she became known as a child prodigy, playing for British troops under often horrid conditions. One of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Ms. Haendel is revered for her legendary performances with the world's greatest orchestras and conductors, including Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta. She was made a commander of the British Empire in 1991.

George A.O. Alleyne, Doctor of Science
Tuesday, June 6, 2:30 pm, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
(Macdonald campus)

Sir George A. O. Alleyne is chancellor of the University of the West Indies, special envoy to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region and Director Emeritus of the Pan-American Health Organization. A Barbadian national and internal medicine specialist, he has published more than 150 articles in scientific journals on nutrition, renal biochemistry and clinical medicine. He was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990.

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