media release

Media Advisory: SFU Spring Convocation set for June 12-15

June 07, 2018

Photos:  (honorary degree recipients)

Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3035,    

More than 4,600 students are eligible to graduate during Simon Fraser University’s Spring Convocation ceremonies June 12–15.

Members of the media are welcome to attend all ceremonies. A media viewing area is located on the south end of Convocation Mall, just above the stage area.

There will be two ceremonies daily at 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Each ceremony begins with a procession into Convocation Mall led by members of SFU’s six-time world champion pipe band. Honorary degrees are then conferred at the start of the convocation ceremonies.

WHAT: SFU Spring Convocation
: June 12–15, 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (all four days)
: Convocation Mall, SFU’s Burnaby campus

Media parking is available in the upper level of the Central Parkade (see map:

During convocation, honorary degrees will be conferred on six distinguished individuals whose exceptional professional and voluntary contributions, at home and around the world, exemplify citizen engagement:

  • Michael Francis, doctor of laws, honoris causa (June 13 at 9:45 a.m.), is a chartered accountant, innovator and leader who has devoted much of his life to community engagement. A chair emeritus of SFU’s Board of Governors, he has made significant contributions to business, education and the arts in B.C. and Canada.

    Ceremony: Beedie School of Business
  • Dorothy Grant, doctor of fine arts, honoris causa (June 13 at 2:30 p.m.), a Haida fashion designer, has combined her artistic and business acumen to create a new era of contemporary fashion design that evokes self-respect and pride for First Nations culture.

    Ceromony: Beedie School of Business and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Madeleine Thien, doctor of letters, honoris causa (June 14 at 9:45 a.m.), is a Canadian author who has won Canada’s top literary awards. These include the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction, for her novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing. It was also shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

    Ceremony: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Ashok Khosla, doctor of laws, honoris causa (June 14 at 2:30 p.m.), is an internationally known pioneer in environmental sustainability. He develops conceptual frameworks and global systems for promoting a sustainable future that have had profound impacts in India and around the globe.

    Ceremony: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  •  Crystal Pite, doctor of fine arts, honoris causa (June 15 at 9:45 a.m.), is a globally renowned Canadian choreographer. Pite’s creations, sought by companies such as the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet, are celebrated as being masterfully crafted and profoundly human.

    Ceremony: Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology
  • Stanley Zlotkin, doctor of science, honoris causa (June 15 at 2:30 p.m.), Stanley Zlotkin is a paediatrician, professor and internationally acclaimed advocate for children's health. He has developed a micronutrient powder that is helping to improve the health of millions of infants and children in the developing world.

    Ceremony: Faculty of Education; Faculty of Health Sciences

Note that ceremonies for the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Environment will be held on June 12 at 9:45 am and the Faculty of Science at 2:30 p.m.

Among the graduating students:

  • Daniel Dixon (June 12, 9:45 a.m.), will receive his bachelor of applied science a year later than most of his engineering science buddies—but he’s okay with it. After an extra year of co-op experience at Tesla, he has gone on to land a job with a generous six-figure salary and a signing bonus—this one, at Apple.
  • Anat Feldman (June 13, 2:30 p.m.), has earned an SFU Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialization, which has led to a new role and career path after spending 16 years as a scientist. She is now a senior business-development officer at STEMCELL Technologies Canada Inc.
  • Jody Warren (June 14, 2:30 p.m.), survived a severe stroke at age 23 during her undergraduate studies. Left with extensive damage, including the loss of her right arm, Warren persevered through an extended recovery period to complete her BSc in biology in 1999 and an MA in criminology in 2007. This week, the Métis alumna, who is focusing on forensic entomology, will receive her PhD.
  • Oghenowede (Ede) Eyawo (June 15, 2:30 p.m.), discovered during his PhD research that the death rate for people on antiretroviral therapy, the drugs that treat HIV infection, dropped by about 96 per cent between 1996, when the drugs were introduced, and 2011-2012. And he found significant declines over this period in death rates among HIV-positive individuals from HIV/AIDS, liver diseases and drug abuse and overdoses.


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 more than 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 Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 145,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


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

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