UBC Reports | Vol.
51 | No. 4 |
Apr. 7, 2005
Distinguished Careers Recognized with Honorary Degrees
By Brenda Austin
A Nobel Prize winner in physics, the director of Canada’s
first midwifery educational program and two acclaimed artists
are among 11 recipients of UBC honorary degrees this year.
The degrees are awarded for distinguished career achievements,
as well as service to UBC and to Canada, and will be awarded
mainly during the Spring Congregation, May 25 to June 1.
University of Illinois professor of physics Anthony J. Leggett
is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature
physics. UBC has benefited from his expertise and intellect
through interactions with TRIUMF, the formation of the Pacific
Institute of Theoretical Physics, and the co-organization
of a Peter Wall Institute workshop at Green College. Educated
at Oxford University, he received the 2003 Nobel Prize in
physics for pioneering work on superfluidity.
Karyn Kaufman, professor of family medicine and head of the
midwifery education program at McMaster University, has provided
outstanding leadership in the development of the midwifery
profession in Canada and internationally. Her work has shaped
the conditions under which UBC will graduate the charter class
of this province’s Bachelor of Midwifery degree this
year. Working collaboratively with governments and diverse
stakeholders over many years, Dr. Kaufman overcame early resistance
within the medical establishment to bring the concept of midwifery
to the wider community.
Raffi Cavoukian, the internationally acclaimed singer and
songwriter, and P.K. Page, one of Canada’s most distinguished
poets, painters and memoirists are two artists UBC will recognize
with honorary degrees this year.
Born in Cairo and an immigrant to Canada in 1958, Raffi,
as he is known to children and adults everywhere, has entertained
and educated since the 1970s. He is the founder and president
of The Troubadour Institute for Child Honouring, an honorary
board member of the David Suzuki Foundation and a member of
the Council of Human Development. The recipient of numerous
awards and honours, including the UN Environment Program Global
Roll of Honour and the Order of Canada, Raffi wrote and performed
Song for the Dalai Lama to honour the Dalai Lama’s 2004
Vancouver visit, and wrote and performed Turn This World Around
for Nelson Mandela in 2000.
Patricia Kathleen “P.K.” Page, came to Canada
from England at an early age and was raised in the prairies
and educated in England, Calgary and Winnipeg. She studied
art in Brazil and New York. Now an octogenarian, she was the
first winner of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia’s
Arts Award, is an Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient
of four honorary degrees from Canadian universities. Page
received the Governor General’s Award for poetry in
1954, and recently won the Terasen Award honoring the foremost
writers in B.C. Her books have been highly praised and her
poetry set to music by eminent composers.
Other distinguished recipients, in alphabetical order, are:
- Peter Brown, former chair UBC board of
Governors, businessman and philanthropist
- Dr. John Hood, vice-chancellor of Oxford
University, business and
- Economics Professor Dr. Robert Lacroix,
instrumental in the design of the Canada Research Chairs
- Reverend Shunmyo Masuno, internationally
acclaimed landscape architect
- Canadian diplomat Carolyn McAskie
- Dr. Shirley Thomson, chair of the Canadian
Cultural Property Export Review Board, who will receive
her honorary degree during Fall congregation
- Dr. Elvi Whittaker, anthropologist and
former UBC professor.
UBC’s Spring Congregation will be Webcast from The
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. For details, visit www.graduation.ubc.ca.