Four honorary degrees to be granted at Spring Convocation

The University of Victoria will confer honorary degrees recognizing achievements and public service to a group of recipients who have made their marks in Canada, China and India during Spring Convocation ceremonies in June.

Eliza Chan (honorary doctor of laws, to be presented at 10 a.m., June 6) graduated from UVic in 1988 with a bachelor of laws degree and has since established an impeccable record of public service and private practice in Hong Kong and Mainland China. She became a member of the University of Victoria (Hong Kong) Foundation in 2002, and she has displayed strong leadership and support of the university’s initiatives in China.

A recipient of the UVic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Chan has also been recognized with China’s Top 100 Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Award and the Bronze Bauhinia Star, conferred by the chief executive of Hong Kong for her contributions to the education and health care sectors.

Dr. Ian D. Clark (honorary doctor of laws, to be presented at 10 a.m., June 5) is a former Rhodes Scholar who rose quickly through the ranks of the federal civil service to become one of Canada’s most respected public servants, contributing significantly to the quality of public sector governance.

Clark’s career has included postings as secretary of the federal treasury board, Canada’s executive director to the International Monetary Fund, and president of the Council of Ontario Universities. He was the first senior official to develop organized links between the federal public service and the academic community in order to improve the public policy-making process, a model that has been replicated across the country.

Dr. Donald B. Rix (honorary doctor of science, to be presented at 2:30 p.m., June 6) is a medical doctor, scientist, entrepreneur and humanitarian who devotes countless hours to improving the lives of British Columbians.

Known as a pioneering “venture philanthropist,” Rix was the founder of MDS Metro Laboratory Services (now LifeLabs), the largest independent medical laboratory in BC. He has been an investor, advisor and board member of companies and organizations engaged in the province’s life sciences sector.

Devoted to his community, Rix has given generously of his time, serving on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver Opera and the United Way. With equal energy, Rix has actively promoted—to senior government officials and the corporate world—the importance of supporting higher education and research.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon (honorary doctor of laws, to be presented at 2:30 p.m., June 5) was raised in the industrial city of Kanpur, India, and became one of the most highly respected world leaders in the areas of civic engagement and governance, and community-based research.

As the founder and president of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), his work has brought greater visibility to the vast network of non-governmental and voluntary associations now known as “global civil society.”

Over the span of some 30 years, his work has focused on strengthening the capacity of grassroots non-governmental agencies in India and other parts of the world. Tandon’s philosophy is that issues of rural development, poverty and exploitation are best addressed in collaboration with the people who have the most knowledge of the issues: the poor and the marginalized themselves.

An honorary degree is the university’s top honour and is awarded by the university senate based on the recipient’s distinction in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts or public service.


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