Five To Receive UVic Honorary Degrees

The University of Victoria will award honorary degrees recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of five individuals – in fields ranging from nursing to public sector management – when it holds fall convocation ceremonies on Nov. 10 and 12 in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

Honorary degrees are UVic’s highest form of recognition and are awarded by the university senate based on an exceptional record of achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts, or public service.

Dr. Jean Watson
Honorary Doctor of Science in Nursing (10 a.m., Nov. 10)

Clinical nurses and academic programs throughout the world rely on Dr. Jean Watson’s published works on the philosophy and theory of human caring and the art and science of caring in nursing. A distinguished professor of nursing at the University of Colorado Denver, Watson has authored or co-authored 14 books on topics ranging from empirical measurements of caring, to new postmodern philosophies of caring and healing.

Her approach to “caring science” is interdisciplinary and includes human caring processes, phenomena and experiences. She is recognized as one of the first nurse-theorists to articulate the distinction between nursing and medicine.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Honorary Doctor of Laws (10 a.m., Nov. 10)

Sheila Watt-Cloutier – born in Kuujjuaq, Quebec and raised in the traditional Inuit lifestyle for the first 10 years of her life – is a defender of the human rights of the Inuit, particularly in the face of global climate change.

In 1995, she became president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. The ICC represents 160,000 Inuit living in the Arctic regions of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia. She has become increasingly involved in the climate change debate, arguing that global warming is a violation of the human rights of Inuit who are contending with thinning sea ice, altered migration routes and other changes to their physical surroundings.

Hon. Lorna Marsden
Honorary Doctor of Laws (2:30 p.m., Nov. 10)

Raised in Sidney and a former student of Victoria College, Dr. Lorna Marsden earned her PhD at Princeton before launching an academic and political career that led her to the presidencies of two Canadian universities and an appointment to the Canadian Senate.

Marsden joined the University of Toronto in 1972 where she taught economic sociology. She was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1984 and resigned her seat in 1992 to return to academic life, becoming president of Wilfrid Laurier University that year. In 1997 she accepted the position of president and vice-chancellor of York University, a role she held for 10 years.

Dr. Norman Riddell
Honorary Doctor of Laws (10 a.m., Nov. 12)

In leading the former Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, Dr. Norman Riddell influenced support for post-secondary students in their pursuit of education and training and expanded the foundation’s mandate to include state-of-the-art research on the effectiveness of its programs.

The foundation disbursed nearly $2.5 billion in non-refundable financial support to about 650,000 students across Canada. In addition, UVic collaborated with the foundation on the LE,NONET (pronounced “le-non-git”) pilot project for improving the success rate of Aboriginal students. Support programs coupled with financial aid helped to reduce the withdrawal rate of Aboriginal students at UVic by 67 per cent and improve graduation rates by 20 per cent.

Hon. Kevin Lynch
Honorary Doctor of Laws (2:30 p.m., Nov. 12)

By the time he retired in 2009 as clerk of the Privy Council, secretary to cabinet and head of the public service of Canada, Dr. Kevin Lynch had established a reputation for unfailing energy, a rigorous intellectual capacity, and a commitment to a strong public policy process and public service. Above all, Lynch is recognized for his consistent belief in the power of Canadian research and innovation to become key drivers of a stronger economy.

As deputy minister of Industry Canada, he was central to the inception and implementation of the innovation agenda, which effectively stemmed the brain drain from Canada.

This fall’s recipients will be recognized at each of the four ceremonies (at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Nov. 10 and 12) and their acceptance remarks will be available online ( soon after the ceremonies.

-- 30 --

Media contacts

St. Kerra John (Ceremonies and Events) at 250-721-7632 or

Mike McNeney (Alumni Communications) at 250-721-7642 or

In this story

Keywords: receive, uvic, honorary, degrees

Related stories