Humanitarian Stephen Lewis is among the honourees at the University of Waterloo’s 107th convocation, where more than 2,300 students will receive degrees this week.

More than 1,300 undergraduate degrees and 1,000 graduate degrees will be handed at ceremonies taking place this Friday and Saturday.

Lewis will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws on Friday at 10 a.m., and address convocation about the contributions university graduates make to the world. He is founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. Among his other accomplishments, Lewis was UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, deputy executive director of UNICEF, and Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour for lifetime achievement.

Other highlights of the convocation ceremonies include:

Friday, October 25, 10 a.m.

  • Patrick Harrison is the recipient of the Applied Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award.
  • Jenna van Draanen receives the Applied Health Sciences Young Alumni Award.

Friday, October 25, 2:30 p.m.

  • Professor Leslie Valiant, the T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and
 Applied Mathematics in the Harvard School of Engineering
and Applied Sciences, receives an honorary Doctor of Mathematics degree. He made major advances in complexity theory and in artificial intelligence, and is a recipient of computer science’s most prestigious prize, the Turing Award.
  • The first cohort of students graduate from the Master of Environment and Business program. It is a degree for experienced professionals, taken online and part-time over three years, and allows students to interact with more than 30 guest experts.
  • Carol Fung receives the Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a doctoral program. Her research focuses on distributed computer security, in particular on the design and management of collaborative intrusion detection networks.
  • Andrew Good is the recipient of the K.D. Fryer Gold Medal for high academic standing in mathematics together with good student citizenship.

Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m.

  • Professor Eric Rentschler, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of
Germanic Languages and Literatures and chair of the
 Standing Committee on Film and Visual Studies at Harvard
 University, receives an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s
leading film scholars.
  • The first students receive degrees in the joint Master of Arts in Intercultural German Studies program. It is a joint degree with the University of Mannheim, and students receive a diploma bearing seals and signatures from both universities.
  • Professors John Holmes, Hildy Ross and Michael Ross become distinguished professors emeriti. All are from the Department of Psychology at Waterloo.
  • Ernie Regehr receives the Arts Alumni Achievement Award.
  • Nicole Gadoury is named the recipient of the James D Leslie Prize for outstanding performance in studies by distance education.

Saturday, October 26, 2:30 p.m.

  • Professor Thomas H. Lee, a leader 
in the field of radio-frequency integrated circuit design from Stanford University, receives an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.
  • Jeffrey Luc Glaister receives the Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a master’s program.

For more information on Waterloo's 107th convocation, please visit

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