Fall 2021 Honorary Degree Recipients

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
Claire Bolduc, C.Q.
B. Sc. A. (Université Laval)

Claire Bolduc is a passionate advocate for rural affairs, agriculture and agronomy in Quebec. She is a graduate in bio-agronomy from Université Laval. Her career achievements have inevitably always been associated with the agri-food sector. After graduation, she began her career as an instructor and academic advisor in the CEGEP de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, working with students interested in the agricultural field. Later as vice-president and president of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec, only the third woman in 80 years to hold that position, she ensured that the public’s health and wellbeing were protected by guaranteeing the excellence of agronomic services and the safety of the food supply chain. This was followed by her appointment as Regional Director of the Control Centre for the Ministry of the Environment of Quebec. In this position, Mme Bolduc was responsible for the environmental activities in the region of Abitibi-Temiscamingue and northern Quebec including the mining activities in Nunavik and the environmental impact of hydroelectric projects in Eastmain and Rupert, Quebec.

In March 2008 she was elected President of Solidarité Rurale du Québec (SRQ), a role she held until 2016. SRQ was established in 1991 to promote the revitalization and development of rural areas. In this role she fought to preserve the vitality of rural regions and their importance in the economic development of the province. Her career and experience made her a perfect participant in the consultative and reflective provincial-wide process entitled: Faut qu’on se parle. The mandate of this 2015 provincial initiative, made up of nine members, was to meet with citizens in small and larger groups and to give everyone a non-partisan voice. The citizens were presented with problem statements on ten topics such as democracy, community, education, health and climate and given the opportunity to present solutions. The result of this fruitful exercise was summarized in a publication entitled: Ne renonçons à rien published in February 2017.

Throughout her career and in all her commitments, she has promoted an agriculture that is more respectful of the environment and of people's health. She has strongly advocated for a higher quality of life for rural communities, for their right to be different and to have a voice, in Quebec, in Canada and in the world. These convictions are reflected in her work today as a municipally elected representative in Témiscamingue.

Aside from her professional career, she has spent her life sharing her passion for the agri-food sector. She has accomplished this mission by representing the agrology profession as an executive member on the board of the Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec; as a member of the board of Équiterre and as the Canadian representative on the board of Slow Food International. Claire Bolduc’s life work to champion for the rightful place of the rural sector has been recognized through numerous awards including her appointment, in 2013, as Chevalière to the Ordre national du Québec. Her love for agriculture and le terroir also extends to her personal life- since 1995 she has been co-owner of the Vignoble Le Domaine Des Duc.

Faculty of Arts
Doctor of Letters, honoris causa (D.Litt.)
Andrew J. Cherlin
B.S. (Yale University), M.S., PhD, (University of California at Los Angeles)

Renowned American scholar, sociologist and demographer, Professor Andrew Cherlin is an expert on marriage, cohabitation, and societal trends in family formation. While he began his studies by receiving a bachelor’s degree in engineering at Yale University, he undertook graduate studies in sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles receiving master’s and doctoral degrees. Upon completion of his studies, he joined John Hopkins University with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 1993 he was named the Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Sociology at John Hopkins, a position he held until his retirement in 2021.

Professor Cherlin has studied major sociological and demographic characteristics of families and households as they have changed over the past forty years. He has investigated union formation and dissolution, the effects of family structure on children, and broad trends in family change, including "the deinstitutionalization of marriage," the term he coined for these trends.  His 1978 article in the American Journal of Sociology “Remarriage as an Incomplete Institution” remains a hallmark reference 43 years after its publication. Several of his books have been widely used as course standards, as demonstrated by his 1996 book Public and Private Families which has been republished in seven editions. He participated in several landmark studies such as a longitudinal study of the effects of divorce on children in the United States and Great Britain, and a multi-site study of the impact of the 1990’s welfare reform on children. More recently he has examined social class differences in family life.

Over his career, Professor Cherlin has held key leadership positions in major scholarly organizations: in 1989 he was appointed chair of the Family Section and Population Section of the American Sociological Association, he was named president of the Population Association of America in 1999, and he currently sits on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He has also been extremely engaged and involved in various capacities with the academic community. For example, in the period between 1984 and 2014, he was the Chair or a member of over a dozen advisory councils, panels, and other groups at the National Institutes of Health, and the National Academy of Science.

Professor Cherlin is an exceptional social scientist who has made enormous contributions to our understanding of family and household change, and its impact on and implications for children, social welfare, employment, poverty, care, and health.

Faculty of Engineering
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.)
Gilles G. Patry, C.M., O.Ont., FCAE, FRSC
B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc. (University of Ottawa), Ph.D. (University of California, Davis)

A scholar, engineer and academic leader, Gilles Patry’s career is proof of his profound commitment to quality education and research in institutions in Canada and around the world. Over the years, his research has focussed on the modelling, simulation and control of environmental systems, including water and wastewater treatment facilities. His research culminated in 1991 with the development of GPS-X™, a modular multi-purpose modelling system for the simulation of wastewater treatment plant dynamics. Thirty years later, GPS-X™ remains the industry standard for the mathematical modelling, control, optimization and management of wastewater treatment facilities. GPS-X™ is marketed by Hydromantis, Inc., a firm he created back in 1985. Professor Patry’s paper, “A dynamic model of the clarification-thickening process”, published in 1991, was recognized in March 2006 as one of the 10 most significant, ground-breaking papers in the 40-year publication history of Water Research, the premier scientific journal in this field.

Professor Patry began his career as an environmental engineering consultant before moving to teaching civil engineering at École Polytechnique in Quebec and at McMaster University in Ontario. In 1993, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Ottawa, as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. This was followed by a term as Vice-President, Academic (1997-2001) and finally as President and Vice-Chancellor (2001-2008).

In 2010, he became President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, an independent organization created by the Government of Canada to fund state-of-the-art research facilities in colleges, universities and research hospitals across the country. In 2017, he was appointed Executive Director of the U15 – Group of Canadian Research Universities, an organization that brings together some of the most research-intensive universities in the country to foster the development and delivery of long-term, sustainable higher education and research policies, in Canada and around the world.

A truly accomplished and exemplary leader in Canadian academia, Professor Patry has received many honours and awards, including several honorary degrees. In 2009, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. In 2010, he was appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of the University of Ottawa, Dr. Patry is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

School of Continuing Studies
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)
George D. Schindler
B.Sc. (Purdue University)

George Schindler is President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of CGI, a global information technology and business consulting company headquartered in Montreal. He was appointed President and CEO in October 2016 to lead the development and execution of the company’s “Build and Buy” profitable growth strategy. Today, CGI is one of the global front-runners in helping companies and governments harness the transformational power of technology in our digitally connected world.

Since joining CGI through the company’s acquisition of American Management Systems, Inc. (AMS), he has served in numerous leadership roles across CGI’s operations, including as President of the U.S. business and President of the Canadian business. In prior leadership roles, Mr. Schindler led the company’s portfolio of intellectual property business solutions for banks and was responsible for its operations in the Greater New York region.

From 2006 to 2011, George Schindler also served as President of CGI Federal, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary serving U.S. government clients. He is a prominent business leader who focuses on creating collaborative, inclusive teams within the company and within the communities where CGI consultants live and work. Through the company’s extensive Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, CGI’s consultants partner with clients, educational institutions, and charities to champion digital inclusion for all and to share their expertise through social impact projects. Importantly, under Mr. Schindler’s leadership, the company has announced its climate commitment to be net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

George Schindler has instilled his passion for education and lifelong learning into the day-to-day environment of CGI by actively promoting continuous development within the organisation through CGI’s own “university” and rotational assignment initiatives that promote learning on the job. He has encouraged numerous partnerships with leading universities around the world to support a continuum from research and development to workplace-based application and learning, whether through support for applied research or through the placement of interns and new graduates in the company. He represents the very kind of resilient and versatile lifelong learner and leaders that McGill University fosters.

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