Fall 2014 Honorary Degree recipients

October 09, 2014

During convocation ceremonies October 9-10, many of the SFU students eligible to graduate will walk across the convocation stage to accept their degrees from President Andrew Petter. Joining them will be two distinguished individuals who will receive SFU honorary degrees recognizing their outstanding achievements.

Sir Mason Durie
Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa
Thurs. Oct. 9, 9:45 a.m.

Sir Mason Durie, a member of the Rangitane and Ngati Kauwhata (Maori) tribes in New Zealand, is a respected expert on indigenous and Maori development. A psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Massey University, Durie has devoted much of his career to pioneering community and family mental health programmes with a particular focus on indigenous communities. An inaugural member of the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation, he has served as chair of the National Health Committee and Commissioner for the New Zealand Families Commission. Durie has published many articles on indigenous development, Maori self-determination, Maori health, mental health, and the links between good health and wider societal attitudes, including discriminatory practices and the impacts of affirmative action. He has authored five books—all dealing with aspects of indigenous and Maori development. Passionate about developing an integrated approach to family wellbeing, he has also played a significant national role in Maori tertiary education and Maori health workforce development. In 2010, Durie was knighted for services to public health and to Maori health. He is married to Arohia and they have four children, 14 grandchildren, and a great granddaughter.

Ahmed H. Zewail
Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa
Fri. Oct. 10, 9:45 a.m.

Ahmed Zewail is the Linus Pauling Chair professor of chemistry and physics, and director of the Center for Physical Biology at Caltech. In 1999 he won the Nobel Prize for developing the field of femtochemistry, and more recently developed 4D electron microscopy for the direct visualization of matter in space and time. Zewail’s other honours include 50 honorary degrees, and more than 100 international awards. He has published some 600 articles and 14 books and is known for his effective public lectures and writings on science and global affairs. For his leadership role in world peace, he has received, among others, the Top American Leaders Award from The Washington Post and Harvard University. In 2009, U.S. President Obama appointed him to the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and in the same year he became the first U.S. science envoy to the Middle East. Subsequently, the Secretary-General of the United Nations invited Zewail to join the UN Scientific Advisory Board. Recently, the Egyptian president appointed him to his Council of Advisors. Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the government established the ‘Zewail City of Science and Technology’ as the national project for scientific renaissance.

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