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UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 3 | Mar. 4, 2004

Eleven to Receive Honorary Degrees

Two Nobel prizewinners, a former federal Cabinet minister, an Olympic rower and a renowned pianist are among the 11 individuals who will receive honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia this year.

Recipients are recognized for their distinguished career achievements and for their contributions to UBC and to Canada. Honorary degrees will be awarded during Spring and Fall Congregation ceremonies.

Daniel Kahneman, a former UBC professor of psychology, earned the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2002. He was honoured for integrating psychological research into economics, particularly concerning human judgement and decision-making under uncertainty. Kahneman currently works at Princeton University.

Sydney Brenner earned the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contribution to understanding the genetic regulation of organ development and differentiation. His work has had enormous influence on genomics and biology and he has been extensively involved with UBC students and faculty at Vancouver's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics.

The Hon. John Fraser is a UBC Faculty of Law alumnus and has served Canada as an elected official since 1972 until he left political life in 1994. His service includes being a member of Parliament, federal cabinet minister and Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1994, Fraser was selected to head the Fraser River Sockeye Public Review Board investigating the salmon fishery. He subsequently represented Canada as Ambassador for the Environment, Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Fraser is active in the environmental movement and is chair of Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council.

UBC alumna and rowing champion Kathleen Heddle won nine world championships and Olympic medals while a member of the Canadian national rowing team from 1987 to 1996. She and rowing partner Marnie McBean are two of the most successful athletes in Canadian Olympic history. Heddle is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Prof. Emeritus Robert Silverman served for 30 years as a UBC professor of piano and was a former director of the School of Music. An internationally recognized pianist and teacher, Silverman has performed with more than 50 symphony orchestras. He earned a Juno Award nomination for his recording of all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas.

Other distinguished recipients are: (in alphabetical order)
Artist and professor of fine arts Iain Baxter; alumnus Larry Bell, former UBC Board of Governors chair and business executive; Dana Brynelsen, an alumna, innovator and advocate for services for young children with disabilities; alumnus, librarian and former UBC senior administrator Samuel Rothstein; aboriginal health expert and advocate Madeleine Dion Stout; internationally influential psychologist and former UBC faculty member Anne Treisman of Princeton University.

All recipients will receive their honorary degrees at Spring Congregation, May 26 to June 2, with the exception of Brenner and Heddle, who will receive their degrees at Fall Congregation.

UBC's Spring Congregation will be Web cast from the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. For details, visit www.graduation.ubc.ca.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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