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March 5, 2012
The CEO of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will join a long-time advocate for Aboriginal children in northern BC in receiving honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Northern British Columbia. The degrees for John Furlong and Dr. Cindy Blackstock will be part of the 2012 convocation ceremonies on UNBC’s Prince George campus on May 25.Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan Nation, has worked in the field of child and family services for over twenty years on policy, professional development, and research. She has published numerous research papers, articles, and curriculum related to Aboriginal child welfare in Canada, and received several awards recognizing her contributions. Dr. Blackstock has become one of Canada’s leading advocates for improving the lives of aboriginal children through restoration of the essentials of parenting and sound family structure and has developed an international role helping to develop the lives of children in vulnerable populations throughout the world.
John Furlong is most famous for having run the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but he has a history with northern BC going back four decades. As a resident of Prince George in the 1970s, Furlong founded the Northern BC Winter Games, which the City hosted in 1978. He chaired the BC Summer and Winter Games Society and, as Chair of Sport BC, was instrumental in bringing the BC Winter Games to Prince George in 1986. Furlong has always acted true to his belief that sport brings out the best in people. His nomination for an honorary degree in 2012 is particularly relevant in the context of Prince George’s recent successful bid to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Honorary degrees at UNBC are presented to individuals who display the highest levels of achievement in public service, the arts, business, politics, environmental stewardship, and community development. Past recipients have included Rick Hansen, Bill Reid, and Iona Campagnolo. The 2012 recipients will be recognized during the Convocation ceremonies held in the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre at UNBC’s Prince George campus on May 25, 2012. It’s expected that more than 800 UNBC students will graduate this year and receive their degrees during Convocation.
Rob van Adrichem, Vice President External Relations, UNBC – 250.960.5724
Michael Kellett, Communications Officer, UNBC – 250.960.5621
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