Simon Fraser University taps 10 for honorary degrees

March 14, 2017

An award-winning poet, a Haida artist, and an internationally acclaimed economist are among 10 distinguished individuals to receive honorary degrees from SFU in 2017.

During the spring convocation ceremonies June 6-9, SFU will confer honorary degrees on:

 The Honourable Jacob (Jack) Austin, a retired Canadian senator and former federal cabinet minister. Recognized for his keen vision and leadership, his legacy includes significant contributions to important Canadian legislation, and to Canada/China relations.

Dionne Brand, a professor and award-winning poet, novelist and essayist whose writing engages intensely with issues of social justice. A former Poet Laureate of Toronto, her writing has garnered many awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award. Photo credit: Jason Chow.

David Gillanders, Q.C., widely cited as one of Canada’s best real estate lawyers. As founding chair of the SFU Community Corporation, Gillanders led the development of UniverCity, which is now emulated worldwide as a model of sustainable community building.

James Hart, an accomplished Haida artist and master carver. His jewelry, prints, totem poles and sculptures are displayed around the world. His significant contributions to Northwest Coast art have been recognized with many awards, including the Order of B.C.

Dr. James Cameron Hogg, a physician, researcher and educator. His drive, innovation and leadership have revolutionized the medical community’s understanding and treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

Asma Jahangir, a prominent Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist. She has worked tirelessly to champion the human rights of women, children and the poor in Pakistan and S.E. Asia, and has served as a United Nations Special Rapporteur.

Miloon Kothari, an architect and internationally recognized human rights advocate. His work has led to the establishment of new global tools and standards for addressing housing and land rights. His work has also influenced housing-rights law and policy-making worldwide.

At the fall convocation ceremonies October 5-6, the recipients will be:

Ivan Coyote, an award-winning storyteller and author, and a strong advocate for Canada’s LGBTQ2S community. The author of 11 critically acclaimed books, Coyote is also an educator and renowned live performer.  Photo credit: Sarah Race Photography.

Mariana Mazzucato, an internationally acclaimed economist and professor. Her research is challenging and changing political discourse on the state’s role in driving innovation. She advises governments worldwide and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Economics of Innovation.

Robert (Bob) Arthur Williams, an urban planner and former provincial MLA and cabinet minister. His leadership, inspiration and action over the past 60 years have helped to improve and transform B.C.’s rural and urban communities, and the lives of its citizens.