media release

SFU announces 2015 Honorary Degree Recipients

March 11, 2015

Gloria Chu, Ceremonies and Events, 778.782.4643,
Carol Thorbes, University Communications, 778.782.3035,


A nuclear disarmament specialist, Vancouver’s first homeless advocate and a celebrated Canadian poet are among the distinguished individuals to receive honorary degrees in 2015 from Simon Fraser University.

During convocation ceremonies June 9-12, SFU will confer honorary degrees on:

  • Nini Baird, chair of the Knowledge Network Corporation Board, the TELUS Fund and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, and a member of the Order of Canada, who was recognized in 2013 as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women.
  • Lorna Crozier, an award-winning poet, essayist and professor emeritus who has authored 18 poetry books and two children’s books, and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and an officer of the Order of Canada.
  • Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij, the team behind three award-winning Metro Vancouver restaurants, including the world renowned Vij’s Restaurant. They have co-authored two acclaimed cookbooks and are active in sustainable agriculture and business mentorship.
  • Judy Graves, Vancouver’s first advocate for the homeless, is a humanitarian who has devoted her life to bringing a safe home, nutritious food and clean water to those in need.
  • Maggie Ip, an award-winning teacher and volunteer who is the founding chair and now patron of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., one of Canada’s largest multilingual and multicultural social service organizations.
  • Ken Lum, an artist, educator and SFU alumnus who is renowned worldwide for his conceptual and representational art, including the iconic Monument for East Vancouver that overlooks False Creek Flats.
  • Deepa Mehta, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director and producer whose work in film has attracted significant recognition, including the Governor General’s award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
  • Jennifer Allen Simons, an award-winning educator, thought leader and nuclear disarmament specialist, and the founder and president of The Simons Foundation, which aims to advance positive change through education on peace, disarmament, international law and human security.

At the October convocation ceremonies, Oct. 8-9, the recipients will be:

  • Harry Gray, a prize-winning chemist who is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and founding director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology.
  • Sut Jhally, an award-winning professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, executive director of the Media Education Foundation, and a prolific filmmaker and author.
  • Bill Nye, scientist, educator and television performer “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is CEO of The Planetary Society, and was recognized in 2010 with the Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association.
  • Nancy Turner, an acclaimed ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist who has collaborated with First Nations peoples for more than 40 years to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats.

As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.  SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


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

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