|The University of Windsor will confer honorary degrees during Spring Convocation ceremonies June 11, 12 and 13 on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the arts, social justice, education and community service.~|
Receiving honorary degrees are:
- Ann-Marie MacDonald, Canadian writer and actress;
- Paul Thistle, physician and humanitarian;
- The Honourable David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario;
- Sheila Watt Cloutier, environmental activist;
- Avis Glaze, Chief Student Achievement Officer of Ontario and CEO of The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat;
- J. Douglas Lawson, community advocate and retired senior partner in McTague law firm.
Ann-Marie MacDonald will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the 10 a.m. June 11 session. She is a Canadian novelist, playwright, actor and broadcast journalist. Her play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) won the Governor General’s Award for Drama, the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Play and the Canadian Authors’ Association Award for Drama. MacDonald won a Gemini Award for her role in the film Where the Spirit Lives, and is well-known for her novels, Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies.
Paul Thistle will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 4 p.m. June 11 session. He currently serves as chief medical officer and chief of staff at Zimbabwe’s Salvation Army Howard Hospital, where he is often the only physician providing health care for up to 250,000 patients. Thistle volunteered as a Salvation Army physician in 1994, following an obstetrics and gynaecology residency at the University of Toronto. He was assigned to Zimbabwe, where he continues to live with his wife and children. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the Howard Hospital, Thistle administers to patients with a spectrum of needs, while conducting research into HIV transmission and treatment.
The Honourable David C. Onley, O. Ont. will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 10 a.m. June 12 session. He took office in September 2007 as Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor and has served as a champion for accessibility and disability issues throughout his career. Onley attended the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law and served as a news anchor, host/producer, science and technology specialist and weatherman during a 22-year career with CityTV and was Canada’s first senior newscaster with a visible disability.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 4 p.m. June 12 session. She is an internationally-recognized human rights and environmental advocate who first linked issues of climate change with human rights while serving as chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. She brought world-wide attention to the plight of the people of Nunavut, many of whom have died or been injured by melting ice and unstable glaciers due to global warning, as well as climbing suicide rates because of the loss of traditional Inuit hunting practices. Watt-Cloutier was a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and received the United Nations’ 2007 Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contributions to Human Development.
Avis Glaze will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 10 a.m. June 13 session. She is currently Ontario’s Education Commissioner and Special Advisor to the Minister of Education. Dr. Glaze has served as Chief Student Achievement Officer of Ontario; CEO of The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and as a Commissioner on the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning. She was chosen by the Canadian government to assist with educational reform in South Africa and has served as Chairperson of the Harry R. Gairey Scholarship Fund, an initiative that provides opportunities for outstanding black students to attend university. Among other honours, Glaze received the Order of Ontario, the African Canadian Achievement Award, the Distinguished Educator Award, the Pace Setter Award and Educator of the Year.
Douglas Lawson will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 4 p.m. June 13 session. He is a strong community and University of Windsor supporter, serving as chair of its Board of Governors during his nine-year tenure as a member of the board. He chaired the Windsor and Ontario Chambers of Commerce, the Association of District Health Councils of Ontario and the Advisory Board to Hospice of Windsor. Lawson served as vice-chair for the Ontario Arts Council and Enwin Powerlines Ltd. and is recognized for efforts to merge Windsor’s hospitals as a member of the Community Health Restructuring Committee of Ontario. He served on the country’s first Press Council, the AIDS Committee of Windsor, and the United Way. Lawson received the Order of Ontario; a 2004 Clark Award from the University of Windsor; the Governor General’s Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Bicentennial Award of Merit from the Law Society of Upper Canada.