Former Canadian prime ministers Joe Clark and Paul Martin and iconic singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are among those receiving honorary degrees from UBC this year. Others who will receive the degrees at the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia include a philanthropist for Buddhism studies, a globe-trotting husband-and-wife ethnobotanist team and a beloved symphony conductor.
The university awards honorary degrees in recognition of substantial contributions to society at the provincial, national or international levels. Most of the 10 degrees will be awarded during the Vancouver campus Spring Congregation (May 23 to May 30) and three will be awarded during Fall Congregation (Nov. 21 to Nov. 23).
2012 individual recipients are as follows (Note: Paul Martin, Bramwell Tovey and Mike Wingfield will receive their degrees at Fall ceremonies).
Dominic Barton is the global managing director at management consultancy McKinsey & Company. He led McKinsey’s Korean office from 2000-2004 and is known for his extensive writings on global commerce, development and reform, among them the 2007 book entitled China Vignettes: An Inside Look at China.
Joe Clark was elected prime minister of Canada in 1979, defeating Pierre Trudeau and ending16 continuous years of Liberal government. Clark served twice as leader of the opposition and national leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Currently, he is a professor of practice for public-private sector partnerships at McGill University and is also president of Joe Clark and Associates, an international consulting firm.
Robert Hung Ngai Ho is a well-known philanthropist who in 2005 helped UBC to establish the Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program, the first of its kind in North America. As well, Ho has made major contributions to B.C. healthcare, supporting research on prostate cancer and ovarian cancer as well services for mental health and addiction.
Memory Elvin-Lewis and Walter Lewis credit their success as world-class ethnobotanists to their teamwork and ability to engage communities as a couple. Travelling the world, they have shed light on the medicinal properties of plants, particularly those in the Amazon rainforest.
Paul Martin served as Canadian prime minister from 2003 to 2006. His achievements include a 10-year, $41 billion dollar plan to improve health care and reduce wait times, agreements with the provinces and territories to establish a national early learning and child care program, and creating a new financial deal for Canada’s municipalities. Currently, Martin co-chairs a two hundred million dollar British-Norwegian poverty alleviation and sustainable development fund for the 10-nation Congo Basin Rainforest.
Sophie Pierre has won accolades for her bold and inspired leadership as the elected chief of St. Mary’s Indian Band in Cranbrook, B.C., a position she has held for 30 years. Pierre turned a former residential school into the St. Eugene Mission Resort, providing inspiration and economic success.
Buffy Sainte-Marie is an iconic singer-songwriter whose contributions include ballads such as “Until It’s Time for You to Go” and war protest songs such as “The Universal Soldier.” She is also renowned for her innovative work as a visual artist and art educator, as well as her passionate advocacy for indigenous peoples.
Bramwell Tovey has been the respected and much-appreciated music director of the Vancouver Symphony since 2000. He is often invited as guest conductor with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. A Grammy-awarded composer, Tovey is also a recorded jazz pianist and award-winning music director.
Michael Wingfield’s pioneering research uncovered some of the most important pathogens of trees grown commercially in South Africa and elsewhere in the world. His work has helped to reduce losses to industry, communities and environmental organizations.
UBC’s Vancouver campus will have a separate ceremony on May 30 to award special honorary degrees to students whose studies were disrupted by internment in 1942. Information about this ceremony will be announced separately. For background: http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2011/11/16/ubc-to-recognize-japanese-canadian-students-affected-by-internment-during-world-war-ii/
UBC’s Okanagan campus holds its Convocation ceremony on June 7, and will award honorary degrees to Ross Fitzpatrick, a retired member of the Canadian Senate, and filmmaker Deepa Mehta.
For ceremony schedules visit: www.graduation.ubc.ca