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Rite of passage

Ten honorary degrees conferred during convocation ceremonies

By Memorial University

Memorial University’s spring convocation ceremonies will see more than 2,000 degrees, including more than 300 graduate degrees, awarded during May and June with 11 sessions in Corner Brook and St. John’s.

Memorial will also recognize 10 people for their leadership in cultural, academic and social spheres with the awarding of honorary degrees.

Convocation takes place at the Corner Brook Civic Centre on May 19 and will proceed at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre from May 30-June 3.

Dr. Vianne Timmons, who became president on April 1, 2020, will be installed as president and vice-chancellor at the Friday, June 3, session at 3 p.m. Installation is the ceremonial endowment of powers and responsibilities of the office of president.

For further information about convocation, please visit the convocation website.

Ceremonies will be broadcast live online at www.mun.ca during each session of convocation. Webcasts will be viewable 10 minutes prior to the start of each session. The recorded broadcasts will be archived on Memorial’s convocation website for future viewing.

Preparations are also underway to hold postponed convocation ceremonies in St. John’s and Corner Brook. Public health restrictions meant Memorial was unable to hold in-person convocation events for students who graduated in spring 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021. These graduates, as well as those who were unable to attend the fall 2021 in-person convocation due to COVID-related restrictions, are invited to participate in special ceremonies in Corner Brook on May 19 or in St. John’s from June 21-22, 2022.

The full convocation schedule for May 30-June 3 can be found below.


While spring convocation highlights Memorial’s newest graduates, it is also an opportunity to recognize leading cultural, academic and social leaders.

An honorary doctor of laws degree will be conferred upon educator and historian Patricia (Patty) Way during the May 19 session of convocation in Corner Brook.

At the St. John’s sessions of convocation, honorary degrees will be awarded to the following deserving individuals.

  • Derek Green, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Neurosurgeon Falah Maroun
  • Shane O’Dea, long-time English professor and public orator
  • Master furniture maker Michael Paterson
  • Businesswoman Iris Petten, former chair of Memorial’s Board of Regents
  • Ross Reid, former member of Parliament, democracy advocate and international volunteer
  • Janet Rossant, eminent biologist and former head of the SickKids Research Institute in Toronto
  • Author and social business innovator Barbara Stegemann, and
  • Annette Verschuren, chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., a Canadian energy storage development company

Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, previously announced to receive an honorary degree on Friday, June 1, is unable to attend spring convocation. Her honorary degree will be conferred at a future date.

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

Spring 2022 convocation schedule

Monday, May 30, at 7 p.m.

Shane O’Dea, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of arts (honours)
Bachelor of arts (surnames A-N)
International bachelor of arts

Tuesday, May 31, at 10 a.m.

Michael Paterson, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of arts (surnames O-Z)
Bachelor of science (honours)
Master of arts
Master of gender studies

Tuesday, May 31, at 3 p.m.

Dr. Janet Rossant, doctor of science, honoris causa

Bachelor of science
Master of science

Wednesday, June 1, at 10 a.m.

Iris Petten, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of commerce (honours)(co-operative)
Bachelor of commerce (co-operative)
Master of applied science
Master of applied statistics
Master of employment relations
Master of environmental science
Master of health ethics
Master of maritime management
Master of marine studies
Master of applied ocean technology
Master of occupational health and safety
Master of public health
Master of science in fisheries science
Master of science in management
Master of science in medicine
Master of science in pharmacy
Master of social work
Master of technology management

Wednesday, June 1, at 3 p.m.

Barbara Stegemann, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of business administration (honours)
Bachelor of business administration
International bachelor of business administration
Bachelor of music (honours)
Bachelor of music
Master of business administration
Master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship
Master of music

Wednesday, June 1, at 7 p.m.

Justice Derek Green, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of physical education (honours)
Bachelor of physical education
Bachelor of recreation (honours)
Bachelor of recreation
Bachelor of kinesiology (honours)
Bachelor of kinesiology
Bachelor of kinesiology (co-operative)
Bachelor of human kinetics and recreation (honours)(co-operative)
Bachelor of human kinetics and recreation (co-operative)
Bachelor of technology
Bachelor of maritime studies
Master of physical education
Master of science in kinesiology
Doctor of philosophy
Doctor of psychology

Thursday, June 2, at 10 a.m.

Dr. Falah Maroun, doctor of science, honoris causa

Bachelor of social work
Doctor of medicine
Doctor of pharmacy

Thursday, June 2, at 3 p.m.

Annette Verschuren, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of engineering
Master of engineering

Friday, June 3, at 10 a.m.

Ross Reid, doctor of laws, honoris causa

Bachelor of science in nursing
Master of nursing

Friday, June 3, at 3 p.m.

Installation of Dr. Vianne Timmons as president and vice-chancellor

Bachelor of music education
Bachelor of special education
Bachelor of education (post-secondary)
Bachelor of education (intermediate/secondary)
Bachelor of education (primary/elementary)
Master of education
Master of arts and education (education and francophone literatures and cultures)

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