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Celebration day

Memorial University holds fall convocation ceremonies

By Memorial University

Fall convocation will be celebrated on Oct. 20 at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.

About 1,000 degrees will be awarded, Earl Ludlow will be formally installed as chancellor and honorary degrees will recognize the accomplishments of Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, the first woman president of the University of PEI, along with Verafin co-founders, Brendan Brothers, Jamie King and Raymond Pretty, for their strong connections to Memorial and achievement of exceptional business success.

Honorary degree recipients are chosen by the Senate, the university’s academic governing body, after careful examination of the grounds for their nomination. The honorary doctorate is designed to recognize extraordinary contributions to society or exceptional intellectual or artistic achievement.

The awarding of honorary doctorates, an important feature of Memorial’s convocation, serves to celebrate both the individual and the university as well as to inspire graduates, their families and guests.

Retired faculty members recently accorded the title professor emeritus/emerita by the university’s Senate will also be recognized at convocation. Dr. Noreen Golfman, Dr. June Harris, Dr. Ursula Kelly, Dr. Thomas Michalak and Dr. William Montevecchi will be honoured at the 7 p.m. session.

Mr. Ludlow will be installed as chancellor at the 10 a.m. session.

For more information about fall convocation 2022, including modifications to the ceremonies and related services due to COVID-19, please visit the convocation website.

Ceremonies will be webcast live via the main page of the university’s website.

Dr. Elizabeth Epperly

Elizabeth Epperly is standing on a tree lined street on a sunny day.
Dr. Elizabeth Epperly
Photo: Submitted

Victorian scholar, L.M. Montgomery specialist, author, curator and university administrator Dr. Elizabeth Rollins Epperly was born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Her parents were passionate readers and read aloud to their children for years. A fascination with Montgomery’s writing led her to Prince Edward Island, where she became in 1969 the first student to register at the newly amalgamated University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI).

She graduated with degrees in English literature —a bachelor of arts at UPEI; master of arts at Dalhousie University; and a doctoral degree at University of London, England — specializing in 19th-century British novels and poetry. She taught at Memorial University (where she served as head of English) and UPEI where she founded the L.M. Montgomery Institute, served as UPEI’s first woman president from 1995–98, became a professor emerita of English and was awarded an honorary doctorate.

She published two books on Anthony Trollope before daring, in 1992, to publish The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass, the first full-length critical study of all of Montgomery’s novels. Since then, in addition to dozens of essays and book chapters, she has published books on Montgomery’s photography, scrapbooks, letters and Canadian context.

Dr. Epperly has served as curator for real-time and virtual Montgomery exhibitions and has pursued Montgomery research in Sweden, Japan, Spain, Scotland and China, as well as in the U.S. and Canada.

The biennial international L.M. Montgomery Institute conferences, which she began in 1994, are credited with anchoring Montgomery studies.

Since retiring from UPEI in 2006, she has published more Montgomery books and essays, and mentored students and administrators.

For her commitment to higher education, not only as a pioneering Victorian scholar and authority on L.M. Montgomery, but as a woman leader in academic administration, Elizabeth Rollins Epperly will be awarded the degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa, at the 10 a.m. session.

Brendan Brothers, Jamie King and Raymond Pretty

Brendan Brothers, Jamie King and Raymond Pretty, three graduates of Memorial’s electrical engineering program, founded Verafin in 2003.

Since its founding, Verafin has become a global leader in fraud detection and anti-money laundering software, offering financial crime management solutions to more than 3,000 banks and credit unions.

Last year, it was acquired by Nasdaq, Inc., for a reported US$2.75 billion in the largest Canadian software takeover since 2007.

The deal enables Verafin to continue to grow as an economic and technology trailblazer and give its products even farther reach from the company’s base in St. John’s.

Brendan Brothers

A software engineer, Brendan Brothers has used his expertise to support all aspects of Verafin since its inception in 2003.

Brendan Brothers is in front of a wall with vertical lines. Shadows are in the corners of the image.
Brendan Brothers
Photo: David Howells

With his specialized knowledge of robotics, behaviour-based analytics and probabilistic networks, combined with nearly 20 years of deep-domain expertise in anti-financial crime, Mr. Brothers is considered an industry expert and thought-leader on innovative approaches to combatting fraud and money laundering.

As the head of strategy, Mr. Brothers brings a wealth of experience leading teams across Verafin from product development to sales and marketing.

With a results-driven and customer-centric approach, he guides all areas of the business to ensure alignment of strategic initiatives and product direction to the company’s vision.

Jamie King

An industry expert, technology innovator and lifelong learner with a background in robotics and AI, Jamie King’s leadership led Verafin to become the industry leader in cloud-based, anti-financial crime management solutions.

Jamie King is in front of a wall with vertical lines. Shadows are in the corners of the image.
Jamie King
Photo: David Howells

Since April 2022 Mr. King has served as executive vice-president of Nasdaq’s anti-financial crime business, which provides anti-financial crime management solutions for fraud detection, anti-money laundering and surveillance used by thousands of banks, exchange operators and other financial institutions.

He continues to serve as Verafin chief executive officer, while guiding numerous global teams towards a shared vision to protect the world’s financial interactions.

Raymond Pretty

As chief technology officer at Verafin, Raymond Pretty guides the teams of software engineers, programmers and technology experts that develop the industry’s leading cloud-based, anti-financial crime software platform.

Raymond Pretty is in front of a wall with vertical lines. Shadows are in the corners of the image.
Raymond Pretty
Photo: David Howells

He has dedicated his career to incorporating advanced technologies into innovative products for financial institutions across North America to fight financial crime. He has a comprehensive research background in probabilistic networks, behaviour-based analytics and robotics, and is an expert in money laundering and fraud detection.

Mr. Pretty actively shares his experience and expertise to educate, motivate and mentor new generations of innovators and entrepreneurs in the technology sector.

For bringing his expertise in advanced analytics to his role as Verafin’s product specialist, Brendan Brothers will be awarded the degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa. For bringing his technical background in robotics and artificial intelligence to his role as Verafin’s president and CEO, Jamie King will be awarded the degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa. For his role as Verafin’s chief technology officer and for leading the company’s award-winning team of software engineers and programmers, Raymond Pretty will be awarded the degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa.

They will be recognized at the 3 p.m. session of convocation.

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