media release

Eight SFU associates receive B.C.’s highest honour

May 30, 2014


Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035,

Eight British Columbians associated with Simon Fraser University will be among 25 fellow British Columbians formally receiving B.C.’s highest honour, the Order of British Columbia (OBC), at an investiture ceremony on Nov. 6. Their awards have just been announced.

The ceremony for recipients and invited guests will take place at Government House in Victoria.

The SFU-associated recipients are as follows:

Hal Weinberg, SFU professor emeritus, kinesiology, is nationally renowned for his on-going contributions to research on brain function related to information processing. His research is intended to benefit a wide range of people, from those in high-stress jobs to cognitively disabled children to those with brain injuries. Weinberg, elected Anmore’s first mayor in 1987, championed its development as a small independent municipality in B.C.

Douglas Coupland, O.C., D.Litt, R.C.A., a 2007 SFU honorary degree recipient, is a celebrated novelist, playwright and visual artist. The author of 14 works of fiction and four works of non-fiction is best known for his 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, which popularized the terms "Generation X" and "McJob." His books have been published in 35 languages and sold on every continent. He has won or been a finalist for numerous literary awards, including the B.C. Book Prize and the Giller Prize.

Bob Rennie, a 2012 SFU Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award recipient, is a successful real estate marketer and one of Canada’s most astute, ambitious and passionate art collectors. Rennie received the Chancellor’s award for his role in bringing Vancouver’s Woodward’s redevelopment and SFU’s new home for the School for the Contemporary Arts to fruition. Rennie has also offered widespread philanthropic support to a wide array of public services and facilities in B.C. and Canada, such as hospitals and other institutions.

Jane Hungerford, a 2004 SFU Distinguished Community Leadership Award recipient, has raised millions of dollars for crucial research and services for the people of British Columbia and beyond. For more than 40 years the volunteer, fundraiser and community leader has focused her volunteer efforts on health care, education, environmental conservation and social services. Thanks to her leadership, game-changing research at the B.C. Cancer Agency has led to targeted therapies for ovarian and lymphoid cancers, a comprehensive BrainCare BC program and advanced clinical tests for acute myeloid leukemia, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancers. Her contributions have also helped finance world-first discoveries of the genetic makeup and subtypes of breast cancer.

Peter Bentley, O.C., Hon. LL.D., a 2007 SFU President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award recipient, has been an industrial leader in British Columbia, and a Canadian spokesperson for our world-renowned forest industry. Bentley led Canfor, one of B.C.’s largest homegrown enterprises, as CEO from 1975-1995 and continues to serve as director. His long tenure at the helm of one of the most significant contributors to the B.C. economy has made an indelible impact on the province’s prosperity and touched the lives of tens of thousands of people who built their lives around a career at Canfor. Bentley served as chancellor at the University of Northern British Columbia from 2004 to 2007.

Leslie Diamond, a 2009 SFU co-recipient, along with her husband Gordon, of the SFU President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award, is a philanthropist and community volunteer. The long-time financial supporter of many organizations is a director of the Diamond Foundation, a founding member of the United Way’s Women in Philanthropy and a trustee of the University of British Columbia’s Dean of Arts Advisory Board. She is a member of the B.C. Women’s Hospital Council of Governors, Women Moving Millions (U.S.), and trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (U.S.) and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She is co-chairing, with her husband, the Council of 50 for SFU. She was instrumental in the founding of the Vancouver Friends for Life Society’s Diamond Centre for Living and is an honorary board member of the centre.

Lorne Segal, the son of Joseph Segal, after whom SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business is named, is a community philanthropist and business leader. Acknowledged by community, business and philanthropic leaders across Canada for his ability to engage and motivate others, Segal has inspired a generation of new philanthropists through his personal generosity, leadership and kindness. The president of Kingswood Properties Ltd. is a director of the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the SFU Dean’s External Advisory Board, Segal Graduate School of Business and Beedie School of Business. He is also chair of Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Courage to Come Back Awards.

Rudolph North, C.M., B.Comm. Hon. LL.D., a 2006 SFU honorary degree recipient, is a philanthropist, humanitarian and business leader who has used his success and leadership skills to better his community. A third-generation Vancouverite and a founding partner of Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management, North has combined business success with social responsibility to support many initiatives, including environmental research and habitat conservation. Through his creation of the North Growth Foundation, he has supported B.C.’s universities and charities as big as the United Way and as small as Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House. He helped establish Science World and the Bill Reid Foundation, and supports the Nature Trust of British Columbia.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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