British Columbia’s most senior practicing woman lawyer Constance Isherwood, Q.C., former UBC president Stephen J. Toope and multiple award-winning screenwriter Hart Hanson are among the five influential leaders receiving honorary degrees during spring graduation ceremonies at UBC’s Vancouver campus.
Other honorees include an eminent art collector and a folk and world music champion.
UBC awards honorary degrees in recognition of substantial contributions to society at the provincial, national or international levels. The five recipients will receive their degrees during the Spring Congregation ceremonies, held in Vancouver May 20-22 and May 25-27.
UBC’s Okanagan campus will honour paleontologist Phil Currie and astrophysicist Sara Seager during their Spring Convocation ceremonies, June 4-5.
Fall Congregation will be held in Vancouver November 25-27. Honorary degree recipients will be Windle Trust executive director Marangu Njogu, mathematician Hugh Possingham, atmospheric scientist Susan Solomon and occupational therapy professor Rachel Thibeault.
The 2015 spring honorary degree recipients:
Gary Cristall is a champion of folk, traditional and world music. He co-founded the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 1978 and was its artistic director for 17 years. He served as Program Officer in Ottawa for the Canada Council for the Arts from 1994 to 2000, and promoted a new funding model that recognized Canada as an Aboriginal and multicultural nation with a range of traditions.
Hart Hanson has written and produced some of televisions’ most successful shows, including Bones, Stargate SG-1 and Judging Amy. A 1987 graduate of UBC’s Program in Creative Writing, now in its 50th year, he is actively engaged in working with apprentice screenwriters. Hansen has become one of the most respected voices in Hollywood, with four Gemini Awards to his name.
Constance Isherwood, Q.C. is the most senior practicing woman of the Bar in B.C., at 95 years of age. A member of the UBC Law Class of 1951, she was the first woman law graduate to win the prestigious Law Society gold medal. She is Chancellor to the Anglican Dioceses of B.C. and past-president of the B.C. government’s Family and Children’s Services Commission.
Uno Langmann is a renowned art dealer who has been a champion of under-recognized Canadian artists, including many First Nations artists who have gone on to prominence. A member and past-president of the Canadian Antique Dealers Association, he has generously donated many valuable works of art to a variety of public galleries and institutions.
Stephen J. Toope, director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, is an internationally recognized legal scholar and educator. He has represented Western Europe and North American on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002 to 2007, and served as UBC president from 2006 to 2014.