A trio of honorary degrees

- Mike McNeney

Fall Convocation ceremonies will include three honorary degree presentations. The university’s highest award—based on exceptional achievements in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts or public service—will be bestowed upon an internet architect, a computer science pioneer and a leading advocate for arts in education.

Their Convocation addresses will be available online at http://bit.ly/v51Uaa as soon as possible after the respective ceremonies.

Dr. Andrew Bjerring

Honorary Doctor of Science (10 a.m., Nov. 10)

Combining scientific and technological knowledge, Dr. Andrew Bjerring has been a key factor in Canada taking its place in the international realm of “big science.” Bjerring, the founding president of CANARIE (Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network), is largely responsible for building the country’s internet support for advanced research and education.

In 15 years at the helm of the network, Bjerring advocated for the growth, development and funding of CANARIE as an essential resource.

CANARIE has had an impact on UVic’s participation and leadership in high-energy physics, astronomy, climate science and ocean research. The vast amounts of data generated by these projects could not have been supported and shared without the high-bandwidth capabilities of the CANARIE network.

Post-retirement, Bjerring continues to lend his expertise and experience to a number of prominent boards and councils. He is a founding director Ocean Networks Canada, the agency created by UVic to manage and develop the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS ocean observatories.

Dr. Calvin C. “Kelly” Gotlieb

Honorary Doctor of Engineering (2:30 p.m., Nov. 10)

Known as the “Father of Computing in Canada,” Dr. Kelly Gotlieb joined the faculty of the University of Toronto in 1945 to develop the area of study now known as computer science. He taught the first graduate computer science course and, two years later, in 1952, co-founded the first computer centre in the country.

Gotlieb began his work when well-established file systems, data structures, databases, and computing methods, algorithms and processes were yet to be developed. Co-authoring High-Speed Data Processing, he introduced basic computer terminology such as “loop” and “in-line.”

When the UofT acquired the first electronic computer in Canada, Gotlieb led the decision to select the “FERUT” system, a parallel machine with parallel stores, which he astutely considered state-of-the-art compared to the first computer, the UNIVAC, used by the US Census Bureau.

Later in his career, he became the founding chair of the UofT’s Department of Computer Science, which at the time was the home to the only computer science doctoral program in Canada. Among other recognition, Gotlieb is a member of the Canadian Information Productivity Awards Hall of Fame with such luminaries as Alexander Graham Bell.

Dennis Tupman

Honorary Doctor of Laws (10 a.m., Nov. 9)

Dennis Tupman is regarded as Canada’s greatest ambassador and advocate for music education.
Born in Victoria, he attended the Provincial Normal School (for student teachers) before going to the University of British Columbia for his bachelor and master of education degrees. He taught music, English and math in Kitimat from 1957–71 before becoming district principal for the performing arts at the Vancouver School Board.

Tupman has been a role model for teachers, administrators and communities through his defense of the value of arts in the community. His advocacy led him, at various times, to be president of the BC Music Educators Association, the Canadian Music Educators Association, and the BC Choral Federation. He has adjudicated numerous music festivals throughout the province.

His past honours include the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Arts Leadership, a crowning achievement on a career that was defined by his belief in all of the arts—not only music—as integral to a well-rounded education.

In retirement, Tupman continues to be a regular contributor to Canadian Music Educator magazine, and he plays alto saxophone his hometown “100 Mile House Community Band.”

In this story

Keywords: honorary degrees, award

People: Andrew Bjerring, Calvin C. “Kelly” Gotlieb, Dennis Tupman

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