Honorary degree recipients

February 21, 2002, vol.23, no.4

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Eight individuals known for their contributions to B.C. and Canada will be awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees by Simon Fraser University at convocation ceremonies to be held in June and October.

Carole Taylor - A passion for politics and a desire to contribute to society inspired one of Canada's best known former broadcasters to do an about-turn in her career path. Carole Taylor, whose insightful coverage of politics as a CBC and CTV journalist made her name a household word in the 1970s, was appointed chair of the CBC/Radio-Canada's board of directors in 2001. Taylor's talents as a conciliator, leader and broker dedicated to bringing government and business together to serve community interests, first surfaced in her journalistic coverage of politics and international events. Taylor honed those talents while helping opposing interests reach a consensus on controversial issues during her terms as a Vancouver city councilor and a chair of the Vancouver Port Authority. Her keen understanding of corporate governance issues is now being tested, as she helps Canada's public broadcaster redefine its relevance in economically unstable times. Taylor's appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada and landmark achievements in politics and business prove she's up to the task. She overhauled the Vancouver Port Authority's governance structure, revolutionizing the relationship between management and the board. As the current chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade, Taylor is leading a community-wide effort to revitalize the partnership between business and its surrounding community.

Tong Kooi Ong - A flair for business and computers has led SFU alumnus Tong Kooi Ong to become one of the university's most successful and accomplished alumni in the fields of finance, banking and real estate development. Tong, who is from Malaysia and attended SFU as an international student, earned both a bachelor of business admin-istration degree and a master of economics degree at SFU before returning to Malaysia. There, he used his business expertise and interest in technology to introduce electronic banking in Malaysia, propelling his company, Phileo Allied, into one of that country's major banking and brokerage firms. Since selling his ownership in Phileo Allied, Tong has returned to Vancouver and to the SFU community. He is a valued member of the SFU business faculty's management of technology MBA business council and has established the Tong prizes in entrepreneurship for management of technology MBA students. As well, he is a sponsor of the New Ventures British Columbia business plan competition, an SFU business initiative.

Victor Ling - Victor Ling has had a hand in saving lives. The world renowned cancer researcher's discovery of P-glycoprotein, a protein that resists anti-cancer drugs, revolutionized cancer therapy and research into chemotherapy resistance. Ling's groundbreaking research has not only helped scientists unravel the genetic basis of cancer but also given hope to cancer sufferers who don't respond well to existing cancer treatment. As the vice-president of research at the British Columbia Cancer Agency and the co-director of the Genome Sequence Centre at the agency, Ling has attracted and inspired scientists and clinicians. Their work, in turn, has earned the cancer agency a reputation for producing the best cancer outcome in Canada. Ling's relentless exploration of the language of cancer cells has already led to him being awarded every major cancer research prize in the world. The doctoral graduate of the University of British Columbia is a fellow of the Order of British Columbia and the Royal Society of Canada. Ling also has an honorary degree from Newfoundland's Memorial University.

Cornelia Oberlander - In presenting Vancouver's Cornelia Hahn Oberlander with the Order of Canada in 1990, Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn recognized her as “Canada's premier landscape architect, known for integrating her designs in the overall architectural project with the natural environment, yet always adding a unique new vision and dimension.” After graduating from Smith College and Harvard, Oberlander designed low-rent housing projects and playgrounds throughout Canada, including the Children's Creative Centre at Expo '67 in Montreal. Vancouver is greener and more livable because of Oberlander's landscapes at Robson Square, the downtown public library, and UBC's Museum of Anthropology. Today, Oberlander collaborates with world-renowned architects to design environmentally responsible landscapes such as the C.K.Choi building and the Liu Centre at UBC. Her most recent projects include Canada's future embassy in Berlin and the New York Times' new headquarters on 42nd Street in New York.

Shirley Tilghman - A role model for women in science, Shirely Tilghman is outspoken about the career-family conflict faced by female scholars. Despite the challenges, the newly appointed president of Princeton University successfully combined a distinguished career in biomedical science with a parallel career as the single mother of two children. After receiving her BSc in honours chemistry at Queen's University in Ontario, Tilghman went on to complete a PhD at Temple University in 1975. She is a consummate educator and researcher: she won the President's award for distinguished teaching at Princeton in 1996, and served as a member of the National Research Council (USA) committee that laid the foundation for the Human Genome project. She was also a founding member of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome project initiative, a massive research program that is revolutionizing the way biomedical research is performed.

Rosalie Segal - A special member of the Simon Fraser University community, Rosalie Segal will be awarded an honorary degree at the June convocation ceremony. Segal, who is well-known and respected in B.C. for her generosity and philanthropy, has quietly been assisting SFU students with special needs for more than 20 years. Her personal commitment to enhance the educational experiences of students with special needs began with projects to support individual students. In 1982, she broadened that commitment to establish the Rosalie Segal endowment for students with special needs. Since then, 74 students have received assistance from the fund and by special intervention from Segal. In addition to her personal contributions, Rosalie Segal has been a partner in the many fundraising activities that her husband, chancellor emeritus Joe Segal, has undertaken on behalf of the university. Segal's contributions to her community have been recognized with many citations, including the United Way's award of distinction and, most recently, the Variety Club's Golden Heart community achievement award.

Theodore Maiman - Two-time Nobel prize nominee Theodore Maiman pioneered the field of photonics when he invented the world's first operational laser in 1960. Today, lasers are found in all aspects of life, from supermarket scanners to surgical procedures. A Californian by birth, Maiman received his doctorate in physics from Stanford University in 1955, and then went on to work at the Hughes research laboratories, where he developed, demonstrated, and patented the laser that eventually earned him world-wide recognition. In 1999, he relocated to Vancouver where he has been an enthusiastic participant in the local scientific and high-tech community. Maiman is now lending his considerable expertise to SFU. He has agreed to help create a foundation and curriculum in photonics engineering in the school of engineering science. As one nominator observed, Maiman's “international prestige and contacts will help foster international recognition of SFU scientists in particular, and the burgeoning photonics industry in general.”

Angus Reid - “A shrewd businessman, an invaluable Canadian and a true Westerner,” according to his nominator, those are the defining qualities of Angus Reid, former chairman and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Ipsos-Reid Inc., Canada's premier market and social opinion research firm. Reid is now a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Issues at the University of British Columbia and president of Angus Reid Strategies, a Vancouver-based global consulting company specializing in marketing and public affairs. Reid has earned an international reputation for his ability to identify the consumer trends that impact society, determine how they will affect the specific issues of his audiences, and present his findings in an informative, insightful and user-friendly fashion. In the last two decades, Reid's high-profile, international company has provided part-time and career employment to many SFU students and graduates, and has welcomed students from the co-op education program.

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