Spring 2014 Honorary Degree recipients

June 10, 2014

During convocation ceremonies June 10-13, many of the 5,200 SFU students eligible to graduate will walk across the convocation stage to accept their degrees from President Andrew Petter. Joining them will be four distinguished individuals who will receive SFU honorary degrees recognizing their outstanding achievements.

David Baines
Doctor of Letters
Honoris Causa
Tuesday, June 10, 2:30 p.m.

Armed with an MBA and a background in commercial banking, Vancouver Sun securities columnist David Baines devoted 25 years and 3,887 columns to exposing illegal and unethical investment deals. His journalism not only saved money for investors, but also prompted regulators to take enforcement actions against perpetrators and in some cases, adopt new securities rules to curb repeat abuses. For his efforts, he was sued 20 times for alleged libel, and faced character assassination as well as physical threats and a contract on his life. In one case, he turned the tables, suing a group of promoters for libel and winning the largest libel award in B.C. history. He continued to expose wrongdoing until his retirement in 2013. Baines also received many accolades, most notably four National Newspaper Awards, more than any other reporter or columnist in Western Canada. In 2013 the Jack Webster Foundation presented him with its Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award, B.C.’s most prestigious journalism award.

Kim Campbell
Doctor of Laws
Honoris Causa
Wednesday, June 11, 2:30 p.m.

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell PC, CC, OBC, QC served as Canada’s 19th and first female Prime Minister in 1993. Among her previous cabinet portfolios she was Canada’s first female Justice Minister and Attorney General and the first female Defence Minister of a NATO country. Campbell has since been highly engaged in academia, international relations and women’s issues. She is a founding member of the Club of Madrid, an organization of former heads of government and state working to promote democracy, and a member and chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders. She served as president of the International Women’s Forum and in 2008 was inducted into its Hall of Fame. In 2010 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada for her distinguished contributions to global democracy, international co-operation and women in politics, and in 2012 she received the Order of British Columbia. She has just been appointed the founding chair of the new Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta.

Steven Pinker
Doctor of Science
Honoris Causa
Thursday, June 12, 2:30 p.m.

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature. Currently the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received seven honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature. He is chair of the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time and The New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year, and is listed among Prospect magazine’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

John Maeda
Doctor of Fine Arts
Honoris Causa
Friday, June 13, 9:45 a.m.

John Maeda is a graphic designer, computer scientist, academic and author. Currently a design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, he works with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies to build design into their company cultures. He has spent his career exploring the intersection of graphic design, computer science, education and leadership. A former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, he also spent 13 years as professor and head of research at the MIT Media Lab. He chairs the eBay Design Advisory Board, sits on the boards of Sonos and Wieden + Kennedy, and is a member of the TED Braintrust. He was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership. In 2008 Esquire magazine named him one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. He has received a variety of international awards for his creative work, including the White House National Design Award and induction to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

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