SFU 2020 Honorary Degree Recipients

Simon Fraser University presented 10 prominent citizens with honorary degrees during their 2020 Convocation ceremonies:

Beth Allan | John Borrows | Randy Boyagoda | Sara DiamondVincent Di Lollo | Mariana Mazzucato | Sophie Pierre | Mina ShumGeorge P. Smith | Diane Sowden

Beth Allan, a.k.a. Bif Naked, is a gold and platinum-selling rock star, author, songwriter, human and animal rights advocate. She has released 11 albums, founded her own record label and is one of Canada’s most recognized and well-loved artists. The degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Allan on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Allan's citation
Dr. Allan's video congratulatory remarks

John Borrows is a leading authority on Indigenous, constitutional and environmental law who helped establish the world’s first Indigenous law degree and whose scholarship is having a transformative impact on reconciliation efforts in Canada and around the world. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Borrows on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Borrow's citation
Dr. Borrow's video congratulatory remarks (Spring 2020)
Dr. Borrow's convocation address (Fall 2021) (YouTube)
Dr. Borrow's convocation address (Fall 2021) (Transcribed)

Randy Boyagoda, principal and vice-president of the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, is an award-winning Canadian writer, critic and academic who has made substantial contributions to literature, cultural commentary and social critique. The degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Boyagoda on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Boyagoda's citation
Dr. Boyagoda's video congratulatory remarks

Sara Diamond, SFU alumnus and president of the Ontario College of Art and Design University, is a digital media visionary who has made substantial contributions to art, education and technology policy in Canada. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Diamond on Thursday, October 22 at the Virtual Convocation Ceremony.
 

Dr. Diamond's citation
Dr. Diamond's video congratulatory remarks

Vincent Di Lollo, an internationally recognized leader among cognitive systems researchers and SFU adjunct professor. Vincent Di Lollo's research and publications on brain processes has improved humankind's understanding of perception and cognition. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Di Lollo on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Di Lollo's citation
Dr. Di Lollo's video congratulatory remarks

Mariana Mazzucato, is an internationally celebrated economist and professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London. Named one of the three most important thinkers about innovation, she advises policymakers around the world on innovation-led, inclusive and sustainable growth. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Mazzucato on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Mazzucato's citation
Dr. Mazzucato's video congratulatory remarks

Sophie Pierre, a long-time champion of Indigenous education and economic development, is the former chief commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission and is an accomplished and recognized Indigenous leader in Canada. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Pierre on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Pierre's citation
Dr. Pierre's video congratulatory remarks

Mina Shum, is an award-winning independent Canadian screenwriter, director and producer. Her films have gained international attention, exploring themes of intercultural relationships, gender-roles and identity. The degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Shum on Thursday, October 22 at the Virtual Convocation Ceremony.

Dr. Shum's citation
Dr. Shum's video congratulatory remarks

 George P. Smith, is a Nobel laureate, professor and molecular biologist, renowned for his invention of ‘phage display’ which led to the creation of new drugs to combat diseases like cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s. The degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Smith on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Smith's citation
Dr. Smith's video congratulatory remarks

Diane Sowden is a tireless champion in the struggle against the sexual exploitation of children. Founder of the Children of the Street Society, she has raised awareness and lobbied to change laws in Canada and the Child Protection Act in B.C. to ensure children are safer. The degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was conferred on Dr. Sowden on Thursday, June 11 at the Virtual Convocation Celebration.

Dr. Sowden's citation
Dr. Sowden's video congratulatory remarks