SFU 2009 Honorary Degree Recipients

The university presented ten prominent citizens with honorary doctorates at its 2009 June and October convocation ceremonies:

Mark Angelo, Burnaby river conservationist, teacher and writer whose work preserving Canada’s waterways—including more than 250 articles and editorials—spans three decades, earning him both an Order of Canada and an Order of British Columbia among numerous accolades. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Mr. Angelo on Wednesday, June 3 at the 9:45 am ceremony.

Dr. Angelo's Citation
Dr. Angelo's Address

Robin Blaser, Vancouver scholar, SFU English professor emeritus and one of North America’s most influential poets, whose lyrical, spirited works earned him a Griffin prize for Canadian poetry, influenced a generation of Canadian bards and inspired countless students.  The degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Blaser during a private ceremony on Thursday, March 12, 2009.

Dr. Blaser's Citation

Victor Gomel, professor and former head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBC, internationally renowned for his pioneering work in reproductive surgery, operative laparoscopy, women’s health; and recognized for the first IVF birth in Canada and creation of the Women’s Health Center at the B.C. Women’s Hospital. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Gomel on Thursday, October 8 at the 2:30 pm ceremony.

Dr. Gomel's Citation
Dr. Gomel's Address

Rafe Mair, former Vancouver lawyer and Kamloops MLA who left government in 1981 and went on to become one of B.C.’s most outspoken and popular broadcast personalities and political commentators. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Mr. Mair on Thursday, June 4 at the 9:45 am ceremony.

Dr. Mair's Citation
Dr. Mair's Address

Djavad Mowafaghian, Iranian-Canadian West Vancouver real estate developer and philanthropist whose outstanding international contributions to human welfare include significant donations to B.C. Children's Hospital and to SFU, to support a new infectious-disease lab and children’s health-policy research. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Mr. Mowafaghian on Friday, June 5 at the 9:45 am ceremony.

Dr. Mowafaghian's Citation
Dr. Mowafaghian's Address

Louise Arbour, Montreal-born former Canadian Supreme Court justice and UN human rights high commissioner who earned an international reputation for her courage and determination as chief prosecutor to the 1990s tribunals examining war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on The Honourable Arbour on Friday, October 9 at the 9:45 am ceremony.

Dr. Arbour's Citation
Dr. Arbour's Address

Stewart Blusson, Vancouver diamond pioneer and philanthropist who has donated more than $100 million to fund Canadian medical research and education, including a record $12-million to SFU to support work in its new Faculty of Health Sciences. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Blusson on Thursday, October 8 at the 9:45 am ceremony.

Dr. Blusson's Citation
Dr. Busson's Address

Richard Henriquez is a major figure in Canadian architecture, winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, six Governor General’s Awards and five Lieutenant Governor’s Awards. He is a founding partner of Henriquez Partners, now the design firm behind the Woodward's redevelopment, which includes the new downtown Vancouver home of SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Mr. Henriquez on Wednesday, June 3 at the 2:30 pm ceremony.

Dr. Henriquez's Citation
Dr. Henriquez's Address

James McEwen, Vancouver biomedical engineer, former adjunct professor in SFU’s School of Engineering Science and inventor of a revolutionary microprocessor-controlled automatic tourniquet system now used during 15,000-20,000 surgical procedures a day in virtually every major hospital in the world. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. McEwen Friday, June 5 at the 2:30 pm ceremony.

Dr. McEwen's Citation
Dr. McEwen's Address

John Willinsky, Toronto-born Stanford University education professor and pioneering "open access" champion who, in 1998, founded the Public Knowledge Project, which has created free online publishing systems, in partnership with SFU Library, that continue to increase the global sharing of research. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Willinsky on Friday, October 9 at the 2:30 pm ceremony.

Dr. Willinsky's Citation
Dr. Willinsky's Address