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Activist and survivor of Hiroshima bombing among honourees at Waterloo’s convocation

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A leading figure in the organization that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize will be among the recipients of honorary doctorates at the University of Waterloo’s convocation next month.  Close to 5,800 students will receive their degrees at 12 different ceremonies.

Setsuko Thurlow, an activist for peace and disarmament, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and address convocation during the Faculty of Arts ceremony at 2:30 p.m. on June 13. When the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize, Thurlow accepted the award with ICAN’s executive director. She is a spokesperson for survivors of the Hiroshima bombing and has spent much of her life advocating for a ban on nuclear weapons.

The University will award the other nine honorary doctorates at the following ceremonies:

Applied Health Sciences — Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 10 a.m.

Sandra E. Black will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and address convocation. A distinguished clinician scientist, Black is known around the world for her contributions to brain health. Her work in the area of dementia and stroke is at the forefront of advances in diagnosis, clinical assessment and treatment.

Environment — Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

David R. Miller will receive an honorary Doctor of Environmental Studies degree and address convocation. He is a leading advocate for sustainable urban economies and green jobs. Miller is currently North American regional director of the C40, a group of the world’s cities committed to addressing climate change. Miller was president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, and is a former mayor of Toronto.

Science — Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

Curtis J. Richardson will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and address convocation. He holds the John O. Blackburn Distinguished Professorship at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. He has led significant advances in the fundamentals of wetland science and advocated for the need for high-quality science in science-based policies and regulations in professional practice.

Science — Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Jo Handelsman will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and address convocation. She is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and the director of the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery. Handelsman also served as associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2014 to 2017.

Mathematics — Friday, June 15, 2018 at 10 a.m.

David I. McKay will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics degree and address convocation. McKay, a Waterloo alumnus, is president and CEO of RBC, Canada’s largest bank. He helped transform the bank’s retail division and introduce new technology that has enabled RBC to adapt and evolve to rapidly changing consumer demands. He champions Canada’s innovation ecosystem and is leading RBC’s support for and partnerships with universities, startups and accelerators.

Anand Pillay will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics degree. His research is in model theory, a branch of mathematical logic, to which he has made profound and lasting contributions. He has been the William J. Hank Family Chair in mathematics at the University of Notre Dame since 2013.

Mathematics — Friday, June 15, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Robert Tibshirani, a Waterloo alumnus and among the top statisticians today, will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address convocation. His work has shaped the future directions of theoretical and applied statistics. He is a full professor at Stanford University, where he holds appointments in the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences and Statistics.

Engineering — Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10 a.m.

Dean Kamen will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree and address convocation. An inventor, entrepreneur and advocate for science and technology education, he founded FIRST, an organization dedicated to helping young people discover the wonder and rewards of science and technology. 

Engineering — Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Patrick G. Awuah, Jr. will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree and address convocation. He is the founder and president of Ashesi University College, a private, not-for-profit institution in Ghana. Awuah is contributing to a renaissance in Africa by educating a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders in Africa. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the McNulty Prize. 

All ceremonies take place in the Physical Activities Complex (PAC) on the Waterloo campus. For more information, please visit the website for spring convocation 2018.

Members of the media are required to confirm their attendance with the media contact below.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at uwaterloo.ca.

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Media Contact:

Pamela Smyth

University of Waterloo

519-888-4777
www.uwaterloo.ca/news

@uWaterlooNews

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