Mohawk conductor John Kim Bell among those to Receive Honorary Degree from Laurier
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Five other prominent Canadians will also be honoured at June convocation
Apr 24/08| For Immediate Release
Contact: Kevin Crowley
Associate Director, News & Editorial Services
Wilfrid Laurier University
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WATERLOO, ON — An Oscar-nominated actor and a former federal cabinet minister are among six people who will receive honorary degrees at Laurier’s spring convocation ceremonies June 4-6 in Waterloo and June 11 at the university’s Brantford campus.The honorary degree recipients are:
• John Kim Bell, born in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, is a conductor, composer and pianist. After conducting Broadway musicals such as A Chorus Line and Cats, he was appointed Apprentice Conductor of the Toronto Symphony, making him the first person of Aboriginal heritage to conduct a symphony orchestra. Concerned about the state of reserves across Canada, he established the Canadian Native Arts Foundation in 1985. Later renamed the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the organization is the largest charity serving Aboriginal people in Canada. Bell will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the June 11 convocation in Brantford.
• Graham Greene, a member of the Oneida First Nation from the Six Nations community near Brantford, is an Oscar-nominated actor. Best known for playing the role of Kicking Bird in the 1990 film Dances With Wolves, Greene has also appeared in films such as Thunderheart and The Green Mile, and in television series such as Northern Exposure. He has also performed on stage at the Stratford Festival. A Gemini Award-winner, in 2004 he received the Earle Grey Award for lifetime achievement. Greene will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the June 11 convocation at Laurier Brantford.
• Dr. Lloyd Axworthy is the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. Previously, he had a distinguished 27-year career in politics, serving as a member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and later as a Member of Parliament and a federal cabinet minister. He has a strong interest in foreign affairs and a commitment to human rights, the protection of children and nuclear security. He is a member of the Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, an international agency hosted by the UN Development Programme. Axworthy will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Arts’ June 6 convocation in Waterloo.
• Dr. Robert Rosehart served as president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University from 1997 to 2007, and previously served as president and vice-chancellor of Lakehead University for 13 years. Under his guidance, Laurier saw unprecedented growth and development, including significant increases in the number of undergraduate and graduate programs and the creation of the Laurier Brantford campus. Rosehart will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the School of Business and Economics’ June 5 convocation in Waterloo.
• Dr. Lorna Marsden was president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University from 1992 to 1997, and president and vice-chancellor of York University from 1997 to 2007. A sociologist, academic and former politician, she was appointed in 1984 by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau to the federal Senate, where she served for eight years. Marsden has received numerous awards and is a Member of the Order of Canada. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree June 5 at the Faculty of Music and Faculty of Science convocation ceremony.
• Fred Nichols is Dean of Students Emeritus at Wilfrid Laurier University. His distinguished career at Laurier spans more than 35 years. A tireless advocate for the university, Nichols was instrumental in establishing the Students’ Union and he co-founded BACCHUS, an alcohol-awareness program that has spread to campuses across the country. Nichols’ commitment has extended beyond campus boundaries as a member of several service groups and as an active community volunteer. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Arts’ June 6 convocation ceremony.