Honorary degree recipients

Honorary degrees have been awarded at UVic since its inaugural convocation in 1964. An honorary degree is the highest honour the university can bestow for distinguished achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts and public service. See the full list of honorary degree recipients.

Senate confers honorary degrees based on the recommendations of a nine-member committee on honorary degrees and other forms of recognition. That committee, in turn, bases its selections on nominations invited from UVic faculty, staff, students and alumni.

After the Convocation ceremony, the honorary degree recipient's relationship continues with UVic. He or she becomes a member of convocation, and can participate in the governance of the university by electing a chancellor and four members of Senate. Honorary degree recipients are also encouraged to attend future Convocations and remain active alumni of the university.

 

Sti'tum'at Ruby Peter, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 10 | 10:00 am

Sti'tum'at Ruby Peter of the Quamichan First Nation has dedicated her life to documenting, teaching and revitalizing the Hul'q'umi'num' language. As a young woman, Sti'tum'at saw a shift in her community from speaking Hul'q'umi'num' to English. Concerned by this trend, she and her three sisters approached UVic in 1970 to develop Indigenous teacher training. The women’s push to acquire the literacy and linguistic skills needed for their work led UVic to develop the first community-based programs in North America to support Indigenous Language teaching, including the Native Indian Language Diploma Program (NILDP) and the Native Indian Language Teacher Training Program (NILTT).

In addition to teaching students at many levels, Sti'tum'at has a long history of research on the Hul'q'umi'num' language, including her co-authored Cowichan Dictionary (1995), the most extensive work of its kind. She also served as a language consultant and translator for dozens of projects and is still actively engaged in partnerships between universities and the Hul'q'umi'num' Language and Culture Centre. Sti'tum'at’s knowledge spans not only the elements of language needed to communicate in Hul'q'umi'num', but also cultural teachings related to traditional stories, weaving, dance and longhouse ceremonies.

STOLȻEȽ John Edward Elliott Sr., Honorary Doctor of Education (DEd)

June 10 | 2:30 pm

STOLȻEȽ John Elliott is a respected Elder from the W̱JOȽEȽP Tsartlip First Nation who played a pivotal role in the preservation and revitalization of the SENĆOŦEN language. He is a historian, mentor, language warrior, traditional knowledge keeper and a gifted teacher. He taught at the ÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School for 40 years, immersing students from kindergarten to Grade 10 in the SENĆOŦEN language. He now teaches adult students who are working on their education degrees through UVic and the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board. Over the years, he also taught classes and supported many projects at the University of Victoria and Camosun College focusing on Indigenous knowledge, culture and language revitalization.

 In 1999, STOLȻEȽ co-founded FirstVoices, a ground-breaking online Indigenous language archiving and teaching resource. He paved the way for the Tribal School to employ nine full-time SENĆOŦEN immersion teachers from pre-school to Grade 5. He served for many years as a member of the BC First Nations Education Council sub-committee on language and on the board of First Peoples' Cultural Council.

 STOLȻEȽ continues to model the Coast Salish teachings of humility and of honouring the Elders and his ancestors. He is tireless in his service to the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people.

Joe Gallagher, k̓ʷunəmɛn, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 11 | 10:00 am

Joe Gallagher, k̓ʷunəmɛn of Tla’amin Nation is an outstanding leader and a trailblazer for First Nations self-determination and governance in BC and Canada.

As the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations Health Authority, Gallagher has been instrumental in implementation of the BC First Nations Health Governance structure created through a tripartite partnership between BC First Nations and Federal and Provincial governments. Alongside other First Nations leaders, past and present, Gallagher advances the shared vision of “healthy, self-determining, and vibrant BC First Nations children, families and communities.” This work, a first for Canada, led to the formation of the First Nations Health Authority, a wellness organization driven by the First Nations holistic and traditional perspective of health and wellness. Gallagher's leadership paved the way for the BC Minister of Health, all six Health Authority CEOs and BC’s health regulators to sign on to the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility in health services for First Nations and Aboriginal people in BC.

Before becoming a First Nations leader in health systems transformation, Gallagher was chief negotiator in his own nation’s treaty negotiations though the Sliammon Treaty Society. He also served as Director of Programs at Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, BC Region, where he played a crucial role in promoting telehealth initiatives. Gallagher brings over 25 years' experience in community development, intergovernmental affairs and negotiations.

Gallagher is a University of Victoria alumnus, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1987 while playing for the UVic Vikes men’s soccer team. Gallagher continued his soccer career as a member of Team BC soccer at the 1993 North American Indigenous Games. He is an inspirational leader who champions a holistic and traditional perspective of health and wellness that acknowledges and includes an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

In February of 2018, Gallagher was awarded the Leadership in Quality Award by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. The BC Coroners Service has also recognized Gallagher for his advocacy on behalf of his late niece, Makara. This prompted the coroner’s service to launch their own ongoing journey of Cultural Safety and Humility, which has led to systemic changes for all children and families in BC.

Neil Gold, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 11 | 2:30 pm

Neil Gold has had a profound impact on the way law is taught in Canada through his innovative approaches and inspired teaching. He challenged students, legal educators and practitioners to become thoughtful, engaged citizens and leaders prepared to contribute to the betterment of a rapidly changing global society. Gold, a professor emeritus with the University of Windsor, was an early innovator in experiential learning, notably in clinical legal education.

In 1975, Gold was recruited to the UVic Faculty of Law as a member of its founding group of law professors and became the Founding Director of the Law Centre Clinical Law Program. This was the first clinical program in Canada to provide law students with a full-time intensive experiential learning opportunity. The program provided advice and representation to numerous disadvantaged people each year in a fully integrated legal services environment—combining the services of the local bar, the Community Action Group as well as social support services through UVic’s School of Social Work.

Gold has made many other contributions, including developing innovative teaching techniques. He argued that legal education must include the teaching of lawyering skills such as interviewing, counselling, drafting, negotiation, mediation and litigation processes. He also pioneered the blending of interdisciplinary expertise and learning in the delivery of legal services. Gold collaborated with the UVic School of Social Work so that a social worker and students would also work at the Law Centre alongside law students.

Gold has been a prolific writer and speaker on legal education.

Andy Lamb, Honorary Doctor of Education (DEd)

June 13 | 2:30 pm

Andy Lamb is a pioneering marine naturalist who co-authored the authoritative species identification guides for waters of the Pacific Northwest. His books—Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest (1986 and 2010), and Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest (2005)—have sold thousands of copies and are essential resource materials for any marine enthusiast, be they recreational divers or leading researchers.

Lamb, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of British Columbia in 1971, received his National Association of Underwater Instructors certification in 1967 when diving was in its early days and few people ventured underwater. He worked for the Vancouver Aquarium and the West Vancouver Laboratory of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in various roles including aquarist, fish culturist and educator. He was named a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society to honour his contributions.

Throughout his career and in retirement, Lamb has been an enthusiastic and tireless educator. He influenced thousands of students through the marine-life identification course and programs at the Vancouver Aquarium. He continues to volunteer his time, participating in local education events where he often dives to create a mini aquarium exhibit to teach people–especially children—about marine life.

Simon Asher Levin, Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc)

June 14 | 10:00 am

Simon Asher Levin is a pioneer and world leader in mathematical biology, an interdisciplinary area which broadly applies mathematical models and computational tools to understand and answer questions in many areas of biology, including ecology, epidemiology, environmental studies and evolution.

After graduating with higher degrees in mathematics, Levin began his career at Cornell University, where his interests broadened to include biology and especially ecology. He applied his mathematical insights to understanding a variety of biological systems, including modelling disease, population dynamics and community processes.

 Levin’s research focuses on the evolution of diversification, the mechanisms sustaining biological diversity in natural systems and the implications for ecosystem structure and functioning. More recently, his attention has been directed to the evolution and ecology of collective behaviour, from the movements of flocks of birds and schools of fish to human decision-making. He is concerned with improving policymaking to address global environmental challenges and the creation of more collaborative social systems. Levin has received many awards, including the National Medal of Science, an honour bestowed by the President of the United States.

Cindy Blackstock, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Tuesday, November 13 | 10 a.m.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitxsan First Nation, is a social activist, social justice pioneer and dedicated advocate for Indigenous children. Blackstock (PhD) has 30 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children's rights. Blackstock is a professor in McGill’s School of Social Work and an Adjunct Professor and Director of the First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Centre at the University of Alberta. Blackstock also serves as Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

Blackstock’s work included proving that First Nations children on reserves receive far less funding for services compared to other children in Canada. Blackstock and her advocacy group battled for years to win a ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering the federal government to equitably fund First Nations child welfare and implement Jordan's Principle, a child-first policy to ensure First Nations children can receive the public services they need when they need them. Over 111,000 services have been provided to children in need under Jordan's Principle since the ruling in 2016. 

Her promotion of culturally based equity for First Nations children and families and engaging children in reconciliation has been recognized by the Nobel Women's Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others. Blackstock is in demand as a public speaker and has written more than 60 publications. She serves as a Commissioner for the Pan American Health Organization Commission on Health Equity and Inequity.

Judith Guichon, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Tuesday, November 13 | 2:30 p.m.

Judith Guichon is a strong voice for sustainable farming and ranching in British Columbia. Before being appointed BC’s 29th Lieutenant Governor in 2012, she owned and operated Gerard Guichon Ranch Ltd. in the province’s Interior. Guichon's family had owned land in the Nicola Valley since 1878 and maintained a tradition of farming, ranching and related community service.

Guichon’s contributions include serving as president of the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association; as a member of the Provincial Force on Species at Risk; as a part of the Ranching Task Force of BC and the British Columbia Agri-Food Trade Advisory Council; as a member of the Fraser Basin Council of British Columbia; and as the director of the Grasslands Conservation Council of BC. She and her family have long promoted holistic management, an approach to farming that seeks to preserve ecosystems, maintain plant species, protect water quality and reduce use of fossil fuels.

Guichon received the Order of BC in 2012. In her role as Lieutenant Governor, Guichon developed priority programs reflecting her background of stewardship, including creating Stewards of the Future, which aims to reconnect high school students with the natural world.

Peter Moss, Honorary Doctor of Education (DEd)
Wednesday, November 14 | 10:00 a.m.

Peter Moss, Emeritus Professor at University College London, is renowned for his international work in early childhood education and the relationship between employment, care and gender, especially parental leave policies.

Moss coordinated the European Commission’s expert group on childcare and other measures to reconcile employment and family responsibilities. The group’s work resulted in more than 30 published reports and gained an international reputation for its breadth and quality.

In 2004, Moss co-founded the International Network on Leave Policies and Research, which today brings together experts from 40 countries with a shared interest in a policy area that has become a central issue in today’s welfare state.

Moss co-edited for a decade the book series Contesting Early Childhood, which provides an important platform for alternative voices and new ideas in the field of early childhood education. The series builds on previous work Moss had undertaken with UVic Prof. Alan Pence, including the seminal book: Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Moss has had a direct influence, through personal presentations and publications, on the curricula of the UVic School of Child and Youth Care, particularly its early years stream. His ideas also influenced the British Columbia Early Learning Framework, which guides the provision of early childhood services in the province and is recognized internationally for its emphasis on diversity.

Mitsuko Shirai, Honorary Doctor of Music (DMus)
Wednesday, November 14 | 2:30 p.m.

Mitsuko Shirai is regarded as one of the world's great interpreters of the German lied, a form of poetic art song that is set to classical music. She was born and raised in Japan and began her vocal studies there at the Musashino Music Academy in Tokyo. She received a grant to continue her training at the Hochschule der Künste in Stuttgart, Germany.

Shirai is one of the most frequently recorded lieder singers of modern times. She is distinguished not only by her many stellar concert performances and recordings, but also by her illustrious teaching career. For over 27 years she has been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, one of the top professional music institutions in Germany, where she has attracted major talent from around the globe. She has conducted numerous workshops in Germany, Austria, Finland, the United States and in Japan. Many of her students have become the bright lights of today's concert stages.

The mezzo-soprano has received many awards, medals and orders of merit for her extraordinary achievements. For example, her native Japan awarded her the “Shiju Hosho" (the Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon), a distinction given to only five musicians over the past 50 years. In addition, she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) in 2010.

Joseph Arvay, QC, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 11 | 2:30 pm

One of the country’s most influential lawyers, Joseph Arvay’s advocacy – often on behalf of deeply disadvantaged members of society – has shaped the meaning and impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Arvay was lead counsel representing, pro bono, Gloria Taylor in the case of Carter v. Canada, which led to the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling that allows physician-assisted suicide in Canada.

He led the legal team that represented Insite, the medically supervised injecting facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, when it won a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision allowing it to remain open after years of federal government opposition.

Arvay’s other notable cases include his work as counsel in the case that struck down laws preventing same-sex marriage, and he represented an organization of sex trade workers in their successful attempt to overturn some of the criminal laws relating to prostitution.

His most recent accomplishment was in having the BC Supreme Court strike down Canada’s laws allowing solitary confinement in federal prisons where he again acted pro bono.

In a career that has been defined by his personal integrity, skill and humanity, Arvay has been consistently cited by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the most influential members of the profession for his commitment to civil rights and social justice. He has been an architect of change in Canadian society.

Amb. Nicholas Kuhanga, Honorary Doctor of Education (DEd)

June 15 | 10:00 am

Ambassador Nicholas Kuhanga is one of modern Africa’s leading educational pioneers, a political leader and diplomat.

As a young man Kuhanga was inspired by Julius Nyerere who, as the United Republic of Tanzania’s first president (from 1964-85) and a fellow teacher, identified the need for adult education in a country in which many had grown up during the colonial period without formal schooling.

Kuhanga joined the University of Dar es Salaam and was a leader in the implementation of a network of regional learning centres across the country that could be accessed by anyone without previous schooling. He was also elected to Nyerere’s government, serving as a member of parliament from 1965-80. He held the posts of minister of manpower development and minister of education, during which time a campaign was launched to provide schools for all Tanzanian youth.

In 1980, Kuhanga was named vice-chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam and oversaw a decade of program expansion. Kuhanga then became the founding vice-chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania and he was an advisor to more than a dozen universities in Tanzania and Africa.

He was named Tanzania’s ambassador to what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1991-95. He is the father of eight children, one of whom resides in Victoria.

Sandra Richardson, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 14 | 2:30 pm

As CEO of the Victoria Foundation, Sandra Richardson exemplifies the meaning of leadership in community and social development.

Since taking charge of the Victoria Foundation in 2001, Richardson has been instrumental in growing the foundation’s assets under administration from $20 million to $357 million. As a result, the foundation delivers approximately $1 million each month in grants to organizations that support community development in Victoria and B.C.

Since 2005, the Victoria Foundation has issued its annual Vital Signs report on the quality of life in Victoria. The report is now relied upon by local governments, community groups, and charitable funders when they determine priorities and make funding allocations. More than 50 other community groups in Canada and internationally have developed similar publications based on Vital Signs and Richardson’s initiative.

Other community programs developed under Richardson’s guidance include the Every Step Counts walking and running program for people who experience barriers related to housing or mental health, and the Smart and Caring physical literacy program for children.

The programs have led to quality of life improvements for more than 5,000 participants and the initiatives have been adopted in communities across Canada.  

Richardson has been a key advisor and committee member for university-community engagement efforts at UVic.

Robert Waisman, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)

June 13 | 2:30 pm

Robert Waisman was one of the “Boys of Buchenwald” before he was freed from the World War II concentration camp, eventually emigrating to a new life in Canada where he built a successful career and dedicates himself to Holocaust education.

The youngest of six children, Waisman was born in 1931 in Skarszysko, Poland. At the age of 10, he was a slave labourer in a German munitions factory where a child’s hands were deemed useful in fixing jammed machinery.

Waisman was sent to Buchenwald where he remained until April 11, 1945, when it was liberated by U.S. soldiers. Of his family, only he and his sister Leah survived. After moving to a group home in France, Waisman came to Canada in 1949.

He continued his education, worked in accounting and later found success in business, first in Saskatoon and then Vancouver. He married, became the father of two, and is now a grandfather.

He also became a community leader, philanthropist, a president of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre for Remembrance and Education, and an educator who shares his experiences of hate, racism and indifference with thousands of students each year.

In recent years, he was inducted as an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he met survivors of the residential schools and joined others in calling for the incorporation of the schools' history into the curriculum of BC schools.

David Flaherty, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Wednesday, November 15 | 10 a.m.

In 1993, David Flaherty was appointed as B.C.’s first information and privacy commissioner, serving for six years, writing some 320 orders under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, and putting the province on the map in terms of increased transparency and accountability of public institutions.

He has played a central role in the development of information and privacy law and policy at the national level and, internationally, he has been a crucial figure in discussions surrounding privacy and access to information.

In addition to his contributions to the development of privacy law, Flaherty is an influential legal scholar and patron of the arts.

Starting in 1980, he was at the forefront of a new focus on Canadian legal history (a field that until then had been mostly dominated by the history of English Common Law). In the next decade, a new generation of legal scholars pursued research in all areas and periods of Canadian law. Flaherty was at the centre of that transformation through his work as an historian and editor.

More recently, Flaherty has been a patron of the arts in Victoria through his philanthropy and volunteerism. He led a four-year fundraising campaign that established new rehearsal and office space for Pacific Opera Victoria. From 1999 to 2006 he was a UVic adjunct professor of political science.

Sheridan Scott, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Wednesday, November 15 | 2:30 p.m.

Sheridan Scott’s legal career has been characterized by her professionalism, leadership and technical mastery – skills that have influenced Canadian broadcasting, telecommunications and competition law.

After becoming the first UVic Law graduate to serve as Clerk to Chief Justice Bora Laskin of the Supreme Court of Canada, Scott joined the Canadian Radio and Television Commissioner (CRTC) where, from 1983 to 1992, she served as legal counsel and senior legal counsel. During that time, she was involved in major decisions about long distance competition in telecommunications, cable television rates and an overhaul of national broadcasting regulations.

She joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1993, serving as vice president of regulatory affairs and corporate development where she was involved in the CBC's decision to create its all news French language service. In 1994, she moved to the private sector when she was appointed Bell Canada’s chief regulatory officer, overseeing all activities involving the CRTC, the Copyright Board and the Competition Bureau.

In 2004, the federal government appointed Scott to be Commissioner of the Competition Bureau of Canada - the independent federal agency tasked with the enforcement of the Competition Act.  During her tenure, she was chosen to lead the International Competition Network, representing more than 100 competition agencies from around the world.

On completion of her term at the Bureau in 2009, she joined one of Canada’s top business law firms, Bennett Jones LLP, as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s competition and antitrust practice, advising clients on a complex communication law matters and competition-related public policy initiatives.  

Over the past 30 years, she has been on the board of directors of a number of arts and community organisations as well as professional associations. These include Opera Lyra Ottawa, Canadian Women in Communications, and most recently the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.  She is a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Canadian New Media Special Recognition Award and the University of Victoria Distinguished Alumni Award and was named one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women.

Neil Sterritt, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Tuesday, November 14 | 2:30 p.m.

Neil Sterritt was a driving force behind what is arguably the most important court decision in the history of Indigenous land claims in Canada.

Sterritt was president of the Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council when in 1984 he and a group of elders, frustrated by a lack of progress on land claims in meetings with Canadian first ministers, filed a statement of claim in the Smithers provincial court registry.

They turned to the courts to give substance to Aboriginal treaty rights and self-government based on their laws, traditions and governing structures. The subsequent trial lasted 374 days and Sterritt testified for 33 days. Among several precedents set at trial, hereditary chiefs and elders gave testimony in their own language about their culture and relationship to the land.

The case, Delgamuukwu vs. British Columbia, went to the Supreme Court of Canada which, in a 1997 ruling, confirmed the existence of Aboriginal title in B.C. It also ruled that when dealing with Crown land governments are obligated to consult with and may have to compensate First Nations whose rights are affected.

In the early 1980s, Sterritt and other Gitxsan leaders worked with former UVic President Howard Petch to form the successful and innovative First Nations teacher education program that was delivered in Hazelton and at the UVic Faculty of Education.

Barney Williams Jr., Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Tuesday, November 14 | 10 a.m.

Barney Williams Jr., is Nuu-chah-nulth and a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. A registered clinical counselor and a survivor of the residential school system, he was an invaluable contributor to the work of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

From 2008-15, he served as a member of the commission’s Indian residential school survivor committee and provided cultural and spiritual advice to the commissioners.

When he was five, he was removed from his home and taken to the Christie residential school in Tofino. Like many of the 150,000 children placed in residential schools, Williams Jr. was punished for speaking his own language and was severely abused.

He suffered post-traumatic stress (nightmares, flashbacks and depression), turned to alcohol and attempted suicide. But in 1966, and still in his early 20s, he began his recovery and has been sober since.

A registered clinical counsellor, he has provided training, healing and workshops for individuals and communities in the areas of mental health, crisis intervention and addictions. He assisted in the development of a counseling diploma program at Malaspina University College.

Williams Jr. served for 60 years as the traditional keeper of the beach for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. He is also an elder-in-residence at UVic and provides advice on the university’s role in reconciliation.

Murray Farmer, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
June 15 | 2:30 p.m.

Murray Farmer’s contributions to the quality of life in Victoria include his community and business leadership and extensive volunteer efforts. A member of UVic’s 1968 graduating class, he served as UVic chancellor from 2009 to 2014 prior to his six years on the board of governors. He was an early proponent of Ocean Networks Canada at UVic, and the NEPTUNE and VENUS ocean observatories.

Joy Kogawa, Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
June 12 | 2:30 p.m.

Joy Kogawa’s classic novel Obasan – a semi-autobiographical account of Japanese Canadians sent to internment camps at Slocan during World War II – is considered by the Literary Review of Canada to be among the most important books in Canadian literature. Obasan had a pivotal role in the redress movement that led to the official apology offered by the federal government in 1988.

Photo credit:Raymond Lum

Brian Lo, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
June 14 | 2:30 p.m.

Brian Lo’s 36-year career in the banking industry (mostly with CIBC’s Vancouver Chinatown and downtown branches) built bridges between the corporate sectors of B.C. and Asia. As a member of the board of governors from 1995 to 2001 he helped to strengthen UVic’s presence in Asia through fundraising and new partnerships with Asian educational institutions.

Christina Munck, Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc)
June 15 | 10 a.m.
Christina Munck is a co-founder and vice-president of two conservation organizations that are making a significant impact on our understanding of the coastal environment through non-profit, community-based research. She and her husband, Eric Peterson, created and funded the Quadra Island-based Tula Foundation and the Hakai Institute. Their interests in sustainability and conservation extend to UVic where they are contributors of the Environmental Law Centre and the Environmental Law Centre Clinic, Canada’s first curricular concentration in environmental law and sustainability.
Paul Nicklen, Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc)
June 16 | 10 a.m.

Nicklen’s stunning images, often featured in National Geographic, bring attention to the impact of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems. Nicklen, a UVic alumnus, is also co-founder of SeaLegacy, a group of photographers, filmmakers and media experts who use visual storytelling to bridge scientific data and human emotion. His Instagram account has more than three million followers.

Timothy Vernon, Honorary Doctor of Music (DMus)
June 13 | 2:30 p.m.

The founding artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria, Timothy Vernon has earned the admiration of audiences by virtue of his artistic vision. Under Vernon, POV has become one of the city’s cultural treasures. The company is renowned for the quality of its (often challenging) productions and for bold programming that can range from Handel to contemporary works.

Lynn Conway, Honorary Doctor of Engineering (DEng) 
November 9 | 10 a.m.

Lynn Conway is a computer scientist and engineer who helped to pioneer modern information technology and is a leading advocate for transgender rights.

Conway did foundational research in computer architecture at IBM in the 1960s. The company fired her in 1968 as she underwent gender transition and she had to rebuild her career in “stealth” in a new name and identity.

A decade later she was teaching at MIT, co-authoring with Carver Mead the seminal engineering textbook, Introduction to VLSI Systems, innovating an Internet e-commerce system for rapid silicon-chip prototyping that led to today’s industrial models for microelectronics design and production, and receiving many high honors for that work.

Conway came out upon retirement in 1999 as emerita professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. A tireless voice for trans people, she was included in Time magazine’s 2014 list of 25 transgender people who have influenced American culture.

Darren Entwistle, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
November 9 | 2:30 p.m.

Darren Entwistle is a Canadian telecommunications leader whose entrepreneurial spirit is matched by his commitment to community involvement and corporate social responsibility.

Entwistle became president and CEO of TELUS in 2000, at the age of 37, and began the work of growing it into a global leader in data and wireless services. He helped TELUS navigate industry, regulatory and competitive challenges during the most turbulent period in Canadian telecommunications history.

TELUS has been named one of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers and the company is recognized for its ability to nurture talent and engage its employees. Entwistle spearheaded the company’s development of a customized MBA program for its employees, developed and delivered in partnership with the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School, within the Gustavson School of Business at UVic.

The company has also been recognized internationally for its corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts.

As well, under Entwistle’s leadership, TELUS has embraced philanthropy and organizations that have benefited from the company’s (and Entwistle’s support) include the David Foster Foundation, Children’s Health Foundation in support of Jeneece Place, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s education programs.

Mike Harcourt, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
November 10 | 2:30 p.m.

Mike Harcourt, former premier of BC and mayor of Vancouver, is an effective advocate for sustainability and, largely due to personal circumstances, an advocate for people living with physical disabilities.

Harcourt served as Vancouver’s mayor for six years beginning in 1980, a period highlighted by his participation in planning Expo 86. Harcourt worked with the province to safeguard the city from debt while welcoming 22 million visitors to the world’s fair.

As premier, Harcourt’s legacy includes guiding the province toward new guidelines for forest management, the resolution of land-use conflicts, and a commitment to protecting 12 percent of the province’s land base.

Since leaving politics, Harcourt has intensified his interest in sustainability issues, holding a variety of leadership positions and co-authoring the urban development book, City Making in Paradise.

In 2002 he suffered a severe spinal cord injury. He worked through rehabilitation to regain 80 per cent function. He wrote about his experience (Plan B: One Man’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph). He is involved with the Rick Hansen Foundation, the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, and he has been a key leader in developing a guide to increase the involvement of people with disabilities in BC community life.

Simon Whitfield, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD)
November 10 | 10 a.m.

Simon Whitfield is a four-time Olympic triathlete who reached the pinnacle of his sport and continues to serve as an inspiring role model, particularly for young people.

Whitfield surprised the world when, at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, he earned the first-ever gold medal in the triathlon with a thrilling final sprint to claim gold for Canada. Eight years later, at the Beijing games, he pulled off another unexpected performance, claiming a silver medal.

When Canadian athletes entered the stadium at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in London in 2012, it was Whitfield who was Canada’s flag bearer. It was an honour that recognized his remarkable athleticism but also his grace and commitment to fair play.

Since retiring from competition, and apart from being a devoted father and business owner, Whitfield has remained a powerful ambassador for sport and health. He works with KidSport and PowerToBe, organizations focusing on youth and healthy living programs. He frequently visits schools to talk to students about finding their passions and setting goals.

His community leadership extends to UVic, where he was a strong advocate for the new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA).