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Honorary Degree Recipients for 2008

by NationTalk on April 9, 2008726 Views

April 8, 2008

A forest industry pioneer, BC’s “Man In Motion,” and a visionary Nisga’a educator will be receiving honorary degrees from UNBC at the 2008 Convocation ceremony on May 30.

Jacob McKay is a founding member and current Chair of Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a (WWN), the Nisga’a post-secondary institution that works closely with UNBC to deliver university programming in the Nass Valley, north of Terrace. WWN is the latest in a series of successes the Nisga’a have achieved with respect to education. In the 1970s, Mr. McKay oversaw the construction of the Nisga’a Elementary-Secondary School in what was then the first Aboriginal school district in Canada. He also managed the construction of four Nisga’a health centres.

To access a high-resolution photo of Mr. McKay, please contact Rob van Adrichem at (250) 960-5622 or email vanadric@unbc.caPeter Bentley is Chairman of the Board for Canfor and has served as a member of the Board for the past 42 years. He was also Canfor president for 20 years, starting in 1975. Mr. Bentley is a former Chancellor of UNBC and has been instrumental in establishing the Bentley Centre on campus, the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre, and the University’s Downtown BMO Bank of Montreal Centre.

To access a high-resolution photo of Mr. Bentley, please contact Rob van Adrichem at (250) 960-5622 or email

Rick Hansen grew up in Williams Lake and received global attention in 1985 when he wheeled 40,000km through 34 countries to raise awareness of the potential of people with disabilities and funds for spinal cord injury research. Today, he is President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, which has generated more than $200 million for spinal cord injury-related programs and initiatives. Mr. Hansen is a former world-class athlete, winning three world championships and competing for Canada at the 1984 Olympics.

To access a high-resolution photo of Mr. Hansen, please contact Erin McMillan at (604) 709-6324 or email

Honorary degrees are awarded by the University in recognition of distinguished achievement in scholarship, governance, the arts, research, teaching, business, and other forms of service to the public. Past recipients of UNBC honorary degrees have included Haida artist Bill Reid, author Denise Chong, and former Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo. In 2004, ten UNBC founders also received honorary degrees to recognize the University’s tenth anniversary.

It’s expected that more than 800 UNBC students will graduate this year and receive their degrees during Convocation. Two ceremonies will be held this year, with both taking place at the new Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.

For more information about Convocation 2008 CLICK HERE.

Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC – 250.960.5622

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