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Fall celebration

Convocation approaches; honorary degree recipients announced

Campus and Community

Memorial University has announced the names of two people to whom it will award honorary doctorates at fall convocation ceremonies in October 2016.

The Corner Brook session of fall convocation will take place at the Arts and Culture Centre on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Long-serving member of Parliament and Senator Patricia (Pat) Carney and William (Bill) Marshall, provincial politician and judge, will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees at fall convocation sessions in St. John’s on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Arts and Culture Centre.

Biographies of all honorary degree recipients follow below.

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.

Some 950 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees during fall convocation. Distinguished retired faculty members who were recently accorded the title professor emeritus/emerita by the university’s Senate will also be recognized at convocation in St. John’s on Oct. 20.

Dr. Ken Barter, School of Social Work, and Dr. Shakti Chandra, Faculty of Medicine, will be honoured at the 10 a.m. session. Dr. Alex Faseruk, Faculty of Business Administration, and Dr. Edgar Goodaire, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, will be recognized at the 3 p.m. session. Dr. Alice Collins, Faculty of Education, and Dr. Beverley Diamond, School of Music, will be recognized at the 7:30 p.m. session.

The distinction professor emeritus/emerita is open only to retired members of the faculty. To be eligible, a person must have served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member at Memorial and must have held the rank of professor upon retirement. The prime criteria for nomination are sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university.

Biographies of honorary graduands

Patricia (Pat) Carney

Patricia Carney

For her distinguished service as a member of the House of Commons and Senate and for her role in the advancement of women in public life, Patricia (Pat) Carney will receive the degree of doctor of laws honoris causa during fall convocation in St. John’s.

Ms. Carney has worked as a business journalist, economic consultant, educator and politician over the course of her career.

She began her writing profession at the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun, where for 15 years she covered B.C. business and national economic affairs.

The author of the best seller, Trade Secrets: A Memoir, Ms. Carney has been a regular contributor to numerous Canadian newspapers, magazines and periodicals.

Recruited by the Progressive Conservative Party to run in the 1979 election, Ms. Carney represented the riding of Vancouver Centre as member of Parliament in the House of Commons from 1980-88, the first Conservative woman elected in B.C.

She served as minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, where she negotiated the Atlantic Accord with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which led to the development of Atlantic offshore oil and gas resources.

As minister of International Trade, she was mandated with the responsibility for the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. As president of the Treasury Board, she initiated a Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service.

She was the first woman appointed to these senior economic cabinet posts. Ms. Carney served in the Senate of Canada between 1990-2008.

She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2011 for her achievements as a journalist, politician and senator in contributing to Canada’s economic and political development.

Ms. Carney has a BA in economics and political science and an MA in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She was an adjunct professor at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning from 1990-99. She was also a member of the UBC Advisory Councils of the School of Journalism and of the Dean of Science.

She holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from UBC and from Simon Fraser University. She is also an honorary member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

William Marshall

William Marshall

For his contribution to public life in Newfoundland and Labrador, in particular his role in ensuring the province receive a share of the wealth from offshore oil, William Marshall will receive the degree of doctor of laws honoris causa during fall convocation in St. John’s.

Mr. Marshall was born in St. John’s in 1935 and lived there all his life.

Educated at Memorial University, the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University, he went on to a distinguished career both in politics and the law. Mr. Marshall was admitted to the bar in 1958 and, for 16 years, from 1970-86, he was the member of the House of Assembly for St. John’s East.

After being appointed to cabinet 1972, Mr. Marshall was instrumental in developing two pieces of legislation — the Public Tendering Act and the Public Service Commission Act — that aimed to reduce patronage in the rewarding of government contracts.

In 1979 he served as president of the Executive Council and later became the minister of Energy. It was in this latter role that he fought tirelessly for provincial power to regulate the Hibernia oil field as well as the Churchill Falls hydroelectric power development in Labrador.

On Feb. 11, 1985, Mr. Marshall was one of the signatories of the Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord, which awarded Newfoundland and Labrador the benefits of offshore oil development, including a $300-million development fund. Memorial University was the first beneficiary of the fund, receiving $27 million to build the Centre for Earth Resource Research in the Alexander Murray (Earth Sciences) building on the St. John’s campus.

Upon leaving politics in 1986, Mr. Marshall was appointed to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Court of Appeal the same year. Notably, while serving in that capacity, he wrote two judgments that freed two men convicted of murder from prison. Both were subsequently acquitted. Mr. Marshall retired from the bench in 2003.

For four decades Mr. Marshall also served as chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Central Newfoundland. In this role, he placed his remarkable gifts and wide-ranging expertise in all legal matters at the disposition of the diocese, pro bono. In recognition of his service, in 2015 Queen’s College conferred on Mr. Marshall the 10th honorary degree in the college’s 174-year history.


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