Mr. Chancellor,

UBC Killam Professor Emeritus William New is an internationally recognized literary critic, editor, anthologist, poet and children’s writer who has made an extraordinary contribution to the creation and appreciation of Canadian literature and Canadian literary history.

When he joined UBC as an assistant professor in 1965, Canadian literature was little more than a curiosity, and not deemed worthy of advanced academic study. Such perceptions changed, thanks in overwhelming measure to his unflagging efforts over the course of the next 50 years, during which time he led the campaign at UBC to make a significant and lasting contribution to the creation and imaginative reading of Canada’s national literatures.

In the course of conducting award-winning teaching and research, he opened up hitherto unexamined areas of Canadian and Commonwealth literature, authoring and editing over 40 scholarly and critical books and hundreds of reviews, articles, and editorial columns. He worked tirelessly to support the research and writing of countless graduate students, and frequently served as a jury member on Canada Council and Governor-General’s award committees.

But as wide-ranging as his accomplishments have been, perhaps the most compelling and enduring example of his dedication to the field began in 1966 when he became assistant editor of the review publication, Canadian Literature, working with distinguished friends and colleagues to produce the seminal critical journal, and subsequently serving as its editor from 1977 to 1995.

His work to ensure a prominent place for Canadian literature within the wider realm of Canadian studies has been recognized through numerous awards and distinctions, including his installation in 2007 as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his dedication to advancing Canadian literature and literary history at universities across this country, I ask you to confer the degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Professor William Herbert New.



Mr. Chancellor,

In this 100th anniversary year of the UBC School of Nursing, I am honoured to present Peggy Chinn, a nurse scholar and activist who has pushed boundaries in social justice advocacy and scholarship, including the rights of women and children, ethnic and racialized minorities and the LGBTQ community.

After completing graduate studies at the University of Utah, she embarked on a remarkable career as a champion of critical social theorizing and feminist research that has been applied to addressing structural inequities which differentially affect the health of various populations.

She has held faculty positions at leading U.S. Nursing schools, including her current position as Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut. Through over four decades of prolific work as an editor and author, she has influenced generations of aspiring nurse scholars and leaders. Her work is ongoing, as she continues to support and mentor nurse scholars globally, and to inspire a social justice perspective across the discipline.

Although she has no formal connection to UBC, she has been a highly influential force in shaping the scholarly career direction of many UBC faculty members, including those who have achieved international recognition for critical theorizing and action implementation in issues of aboriginal health, violence against women, LGBTQ health and health inequities.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her extraordinary achievements, contributions and influence, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Peggy L. Chinn.


Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

Hanna Holborn Gray is at once an eminent scholar and a pioneering role model for women in academic leadership.

She was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1930 and as young child immigrated to the United States with parents who were part of a generation of academics that fled Nazi Germany prior to 1939. She demonstrated academic excellence at an early age, enrolling at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania at the age of 15.

After graduating, she travelled to Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar, with special interests in European church and political history in the Renaissance and Reformation. She subsequently earned a Ph.D. from Harvard and taught there for a time before accepting a faculty appointment at the University of Chicago.

Her ascent to prominence as an administrator began with her appointment as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in 1972, and later as a professor of history and the Provost at Yale University in 1974. She then served as Acting President of Yale for just over a year before returning to the University of Chicago to begin a 15-year term as President, thereby becoming the first female president of a major American university.

But this was far from a culmination point in her leadership journey. Her service to various institutions has been extensive, and includes the boards of Harvard University, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University, among others.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of a lifetime of scholarly achievement and leadership service, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Hanna Holborn Gray.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

As a journalist and anchor with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for more than 30 years, Ian Hanomansing has become one of the most trusted household names in Canadian journalism.

After graduating from the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University, he began his broadcasting career at radio stations in Moncton and Halifax, and then joined CBC in Halifax in 1986. His assignments soon took him to Toronto and eventually to Vancouver, where he was a national reporter for fourteen years. He was then appointed as the anchor of various investigative news programs, including Canada Now, CBC News Now, and The National.

As a reporter he undertook many challenging assignments, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and San Francisco earthquake, the 1992 Los Angeles riot and the Hong Kong handover in 1997. On the lighter side he covered seven Olympic Games, the most recent in Sochi in 2014.

He also developed and hosted a series of innovative live specials, including Downtown Drugs in 1998, which explored the problems and potential solutions in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and 2005's Crime on the Streets, broadcast from the prison cells of Manitoba's Stoney Mountain Institution, a program which won a Justicia Award from the Canadian Bar Association for Excellence in Legal Journalism.

His other national awards include the 2008 Gemini for Best News Anchor and the 2016 Canadian Screen Award for Best National News Anchor.

I am pleased to also note his volunteer service to UBC, as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate School of Journalism.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of his distinguished achievements within the profession of journalism, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Ian Harvey Hanomansing.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

Dr. Phil Gold is a revered professor of Medicine, Physiology and Oncology at McGill University, a former Physician-in-Chief at Montreal General Hospital, and one of this country’s most distinguished medical scientists.

In 1965, he and a colleague co-authored a seminal paper on their ground-breaking discovery of carcinoembryonic antigen, the first clinically-useful human tumour marker and one that is found in 70% of cancer patients. It was a concept-shifting discovery and helped shape the modern era of cancer immunology and tumour markers. This marker remains the most frequently used blood test in oncology around the world today.

The impact of this discovery, along with other work in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Montreal General Hospital, led to the establishment of the McGill Cancer Centre in 1974, where Dr. Gold was the inaugural Director, andwhich has evolved to become one of the top cancer research institutes in the country.

He is also an inspirational teacher.  It has been said that his love for teaching, combined with his passion for medicine and science, has drawn universal admiration from his students. He has been instrumental in establishing national programs aimed at inspiring the next generation of clinician-scientists, and he has raised extraordinary sums of money for the McGill medical community.

Among countless awards and distinctions, he is a recipient of the Gairdner Foundation International Award; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Quebec, and a laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of his distinguished scientific achievements, and for his extraordinary contributions as a physician, teacher, leader and humanitarian, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. Phil Gold.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

In addition to making extraordinary contributions to her city and to her university, UBC alumna Carol Lee has also served as an exemplary role model for women in business and community leadership.

After graduating from the Sauder School of Business, she earned a Harvard MBA, and then turned her attention to numerous business and volunteer pursuits.

As founder and chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and the Chinatown Revitalization Committee, she has been instrumental in bringing lasting benefits to the area and to preserving the area’s culture and heritage. Her work has also contributed to attracting vibrant new businesses to the area.

These include her own enterprises, such as Linacare Cosmetherapy, which she co-founded in the same building that once housed her grandfather’s dry goods and furnishing store. In addition, her thriving restaurants provide gathering places for community members and serve food that is central to their traditions and culture.

She has also served her university as highlighted by her membership on the Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board as well as the Strategic Advisory Council for two UBC presidents.

Her guidance has also been sought by the federal government, as exemplified by her role as a member of the Economic Advisory Committee to Canada’s Finance Minister, and as a board member of the Perimeter Institute and the Asia-Pacific Foundation.
Strong, determined and accomplished, yet humble with respect to her remarkable achievements, she exemplifies the values and strengths of our finest graduates and community builders.

It is in this context, Mr. Chancellor, that I ask you to confer the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Carol Anne Lee.



Mr. Chancellor,

Sadhu Binning is a Canadian Punjabi-language author, editor, educator and influential advocate for Punjabi literature, culture and language in Canada.

As a UBC faculty member from 1987 to 2008 in the Department of Asian Studies, he played a major role in developing the Punjabi language program's original curriculum materials and pedagogical models that remain widely used today.

During a five decades-long literary journey, he has written numerous books in both English and Punjabi, including books of stories, poetry, plays and a novel, as well as translations, research and edited works, and for many years served as editor of the Punjabi Literary magazine Watan - “Homeland”. His works are included in more than fifty anthologies published in Canada and India.

He has also taken a leadership role in organizations to further advance Punjabi literature and language education in British Columbia and Canada. These include the Punjabi Cultural Association, the Punjabi Literary Association and the Punjabi Language Education Association, which was formed in the early 1990s to advocate for the teaching of Punjabi in British Columbia schools. He has also served on the Advisory Committee for the Vancouver-based Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature and sat on the BC Arts Board from 1993 to 1995.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of tireless leadership and immense contributions to Punjabi language and literature at this university and throughout our province and country, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Sadhu Binning.



Mr. Chancellor,

Ali Kazimi is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, author and media artist, whose films have been celebrated at festivals around the world.

He is also Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Arts in the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University. His body of work tackles complex issues of race, social justice, migration, history and memory.

In particular, his work has grappled with the South Asian immigrant experience in Canada, and perhaps most compellingly in the 2004 film Continuous Journey, which recounts the 1914 incident in which the Komagata Maru, a vessel filled with South Asian immigrants, was turned away in Vancouver Harbour.

His engaging and haunting film about the Komagata Maru takes on the history of the ship, the experience of its passengers, and the reality of anti-Asian racism in Canada in the early decades of the twentieth century as well as its relevance today.

He has also engaged interculturally with Canadian Indigenous experiences, such as in the pioneering and influential documentary, Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas, about a self-described urban Iroquois photographer.

He has earned numerous accolades for his work, including Best Director from Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival, a Golden Gate Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Golden Plaque from the Chicago Film Festival and a Golden Conch from the Mumbai International Film Festival. In addition, he very recently received a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts for Lifetime Achievement.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his achievements as an author and filmmaker, and for casting a light on the gaps in race, indigeneity and immigration history in this country, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Ali Asghar Kazimi.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

Dr. Jeffrey Koplan is an internationally renowned public health leader and the Vice-President for Global Health at Emory University.

A 26-year veteran and former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Koplan began his public health career in the early 1970s as a member of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He has worked on a wide range of major public health issues, including infectious diseases such as smallpox, SARS, pandemic influenza and HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as the Bhopal chemical disaster, and the health toll of tobacco and chronic diseases.

He has pursued numerous collaborative initiatives in China and since 1980 has made more than 50 visits on projects for the World Bank, World Health Organization, CDC and China’s Ministry of Health. He played an active role in the design of the Chinese Public Health System, including the creation of the China Center of Disease Control, contributions for which he received the 2013 Friendship Award, China’s highest honor for a non-citizen.

Dr. Koplan is a graduate of Yale University, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and the Harvard School of Public Health.  He is board-certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians and a member of the United States National Academy of Medicine.

He is also a co-founder of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, has served on numerous advisory groups in the U.S. and abroad, and has written more than 230 scientific papers.

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of extraordinary contributions to humankind and to public health education and research, I ask you confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. Jeffrey Powell Koplan.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

Recognized for his success and integrity in the business community, UBC alumnus Edwin Leong also exemplifies extraordinary accomplishment and thoughtful humanity in his philanthropic endeavours.

Shortly after completing his Bachelor of Science degree from UBC and his Master’s degree from the University of Toronto, he founded Hong-Kong-based company, Tai Hung Fai Group, which has grown into one of Hong Kong’s most prominent property investment and development companies.

By pursuing a business strategy anchored in the core value of building a harmonious future, Tai Hung Fai is widely recognized as an innovative leader in urban redevelopment and community revitalization.

Along the way he pursued equally extraordinary aspirations in global citizenry. Focused primarily on children and the elderly, his Foundation supports a collaborative global network of researchers whose accelerated expertise improves the lives of people at both ends of the life course.

One of the most compelling examples of his philanthropic vision is the Henry G. Leong Mobile Integrative Health Centre, which provides free health-screening and monitoring services to disadvantaged senior citizens in Hong Kong. Conversely, through the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, he has provided tuition fees and living expenses for hundreds of under-privileged high school and post-secondary students.

He also ensures exceptional opportunities for young scholars at Cambridge University, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Toronto and at UBC.

It must also be noted that, only last year, his transformational gift to UBC enabled the Faculty of Medicine to establish the Edwin S.H. Leong Healthy Aging Program.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his extraordinary record of translating success in business into even greater fortune for humankind, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa upon Edwin S.H. Leong.


Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

Leona Sparrow is a triple UBC alumna, a former UBC senator and multi-sport varsity athlete.  She is also a member of the Musqueam Indian Band and one of its most longstanding and influential leaders.

She has served on the Musqueam Council, as the Director of Treaty, Lands and Resources, and as the designated liaison between Musqueam and UBC.  A tireless advocate and champion for First Nations, she has contributed to the work of numerous Aboriginal service providers’ boards and committees, including the Vancouver Child and Family Services Society and the New Relationship Trust.

She has also been instrumental in supporting UBC’s transformation in its understanding and respect for Indigenous history, culture, traditions and knowledge.

Her guidance has been critical in UBC’s efforts to improve and expand its relationship with Musqueam and with other First Nations communities, and to the framing of UBC’s engagement with the Truth and Reconciliation process locally and nationally.

She has served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs for more than ten years and from 1993 to 2003 was an appointed member of UBC Senate. She has also served on advisory boards for the Peter A. Allard School of Law, from which she graduated, the Museum of Anthropology, and serves as a member of the Board of Governor’s Indigenous Engagement Committee.  In all instances, her guidance has facilitated a new and far more effective approach to working with First Nation communities, based on respect and productive collaboration.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her leadership, service to her community, and of her thoughtful contributions that will continue to help guide the University’s future, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Leona Marie Sparrow.



Mr. Chancellor,

Pervez Hoodbhoy is one of Pakistan’s foremost scholars of Physics as well as one of its most revered public intellectuals and global citizens.

He is currently the Zorah and Z.Z. Ahmad Distinguished Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Forman Christian College-University in Lahore. Prior to this, he taught physics for four decades at Quaid-e-Azam University, widely regarded as the leading public university in Pakistan.

In addition, he has been an influential advocate for regional and global nuclear disarmament and the safety of nuclear weapons and reactors, issues of great significance amidst a background of troubling instability between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir region.

A complementary endeavour for Professor Hoodbhoy has been the defense of scientific rationality in the face of growing religious intolerance in Pakistan, where he has campaigned tirelessly to promote secular education and to combat radicalizing and militant religious education.

His expertise and counsel have been widely sought both within his country and beyond its borders, highlighted by his recent service as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs.

Not surprisingly, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kalinga Prize for science popularization from the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Joseph A. Burton Forum Award from the American Physical Society.

I am pleased to also note that in recent years he has played an inspirational role here at UBC at the Liu Institute for Global Issues.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his courageous and insightful contributions to the science of Physics and to the cause of peace, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy.



Mr. Chancellor,

Keiko Mary Kitagawa’s advocacy for equity and justice has left a transformative legacy at this university, and indeed, throughout British Columbia.

Her commitment to ending racism and legalized discrimination were forged when she and her family were among the more than 22,000 Canadians of Japanese descent uprooted and incarcerated during and after the Second World War.

Throughout her adult life she has been a tireless community leader, speaker and educator on behalf of advocacy organizations too numerous to mention.

Among the notable examples is her participation for more than 25 years as a member of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association to raise funds and advocate for human rights.

Since 2014 she and her husband Tosh have served on the Community Council of the Landscapes of Injustice project at the University of Victoria, a SSHRC-supported multi-year research project on the histories and legacies of the displacement and dispossession of Japanese Canadians during and after the war.

But her work was most poignantly highlighted here at UBC when she initiated a process to retroactively grant degrees to the 76 Japanese Canadian students who had been unable to complete their education due to forced removal and internment in 1942. These efforts ultimately led to the conferral of honorary undergraduate degrees to each of them on this very platform in 2012, and helped to launch the new Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies programs in the UBC Faculty of Arts.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her leadership and unwavering commitment to social justice, it is with equal measures of pride and gratitude that I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Keiko Mary Kitagawa.


Mr. Chancellor,

Jim Mann has been acknowledged as perhaps the single-most influential person in Canada for reducing the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and for promoting an inclusive society in which persons with dementia can make an active and meaningful contribution.

Diagnosed with dementia in 2007, he has used his business background as a marketer and communicator to affect how the affliction is understood and how persons with dementia are heard at the policy level.

Always leading by example, he has been an active member of numerous boards and research initiatives, including the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada Board of Directors and as co-chair of a Canada-wide advisory group that has led to the development of both an ethical framework and a guide for engaging people with dementia in meaningful research.

He is also one of an eight-person working group that developed the Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia, and one of two members with dementia on the 14-member Federal Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia, which was responsible for the release of Canada’s first National Dementia Strategy in 2019.

Here at UBC he has been a leading voice on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Research on Personhood and Dementia and has contributed in various ways to interdisciplinary research within the schools of Social Work, Nursing, and Population and Public Health.

As part of the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics he was invited to be a visiting community research partner in where he focussed on dementia research and issues of consent and ethics.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his wide-ranging and inspiring contributions to enhancing understanding and care of persons with dementia in Canada, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Jim Mann.


Mr. Chancellor,

Sarah Morgan-Silvester is without doubt one of this country’s most skilled and inspirational role models in business and community leadership. As Chancellor Emeritus and a former governor of this university, she is particularly well-known to fellow UBC alumni, and universally admired for her many contributions.

Indeed, her wide-ranging expertise and thoughtful leadership experience across corporate, academic, and non-profit sectors have made a lasting impact to every community and collective she has served.

Well known for championing diverse and inclusive environments, particularly for women, she served in an escalating series of senior leadership positions for HSBC Bank Canada, overseeing a wide spectrum of banking and financial services.

She has served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards, including as inaugural Chair of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Chair of B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre Foundation; Chair of Grosvenor Americas, and as a board member of Canadian Western Bank; the David Suzuki Foundation National Business Advisory Council, the C.D. Howe Institute and the Vancouver Foundation.

As UBC Chancellor and member of the Board of Governors from 2008 to 2014, she dedicated herself to building the foundation for a lasting culture of commitment between the university and its alumni community. She was also a member of the start an evolution campaign cabinet, providing strategic advice and serving as a philanthropic ambassador during the enormously successful campaign to raise $1.5 billion and double the number of alumni engaged in the life of the university.

Not surprisingly, she has been formally recognized with a long list of awards and citations, including the Influential Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award; WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award; Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Order of British Columbia.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her vision, skill and dedication to transforming communities across British Columbia and beyond, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Sarah Morgan-Silvester.


Mr. Chancellor,

For close to forty years, Tracy Porteous has been one of Canada’s most active and influential leaders in the movement to end gender-based violence.

She has worked tirelessly to form ground-breaking not-for-profit societies and build strategic alliances with traditional and non-traditional partners to effect important changes in policy, funding, and legislation.

In British Columbia she is best known as the founding Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC, a provincial association supporting over 300 programs and initiatives that respond to sexual and domestic violence, child abuse, and criminal harassment.

She is also the founding Co-Chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada, a national organization whose main purpose is to educate and respond to gender-based violence at the national level, including working with educational institutions and key organizations to ensure cross-sectoral collaboration.

In 2015 she began work to develop a national policy on gender-based violence for the Canadian Football League and has since worked on its implementation by overseeing training to every CFL player, coach and staff member.

She continues to provide advice and analysis to all levels of government in BC and other regions of Canada, and has been called upon to meet with anti-violence delegations of governments across the world, highlighted by her participation as a delegate and speaker at the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women.

Her numerous awards include two Governor General of Canada medals, in 1992 and 2014, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of an extraordinary career in a critically important sector of community service, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Tracy Porteous.


Mr. Chancellor,

Teesta Setalvad is an Indian civil rights activist and author who has made extraordinary contributions in support of marginalized populations plagued by communal violence.

After graduating from Bombay University in 1983, she began a career as a reporter for the Mumbai editions of The Daily and The Indian Express newspapers. Her first brush with communal violence came when she covered the 1984 Hindu-Muslim riots that shook the region around the city of Bhiwandi in the state of Maharashtra, the state's worst communal outbreak since partition.

Approximately 10 years after embarking upon an award-winning career in journalism, she left the profession to sharpen her focus on civil rights activism, working to expose majoritarianism and religious fanaticism, both in India and in other parts of the world.

She has also been influential on issues related to the rights of women, religious minorities, Indigenous persons and the LGBTQ community. Her work in education pioneered KHOJ, a unique program for a plural India programme.

She is perhaps best known, however, for playing a prominent role in the campaign for justice for the victims of the 2002 massacre of thousands of Muslims in the state of Gujarat. As a co-founder and secretary of the influential non-governmental organization Citizens for Justice and Peace, she played a key role to facilitate representation and assistance for those impacted by the National Citizens Register, which rendered almost two million people as non-citizens in the state of Assam. Her work has enriched Indian human rights jurisprudence, especially Victimology, within Indian Courts.

Not surprisingly, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including the 2003 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her leadership and influence in the protection of civil and human rights, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Teesta Setalvad.



Mr. Chancellor,

Tantoo Cardinal is a celebrated Canadian actor of First Nations and Métis descent who has been widely recognized for her contributions to the growth of Indigenous performing arts in Canada.

Throughout a career highlighted by more than 120 roles on stage, television, and film, she has broken barriers for representation of Indigenous peoples and has challenged negative stereotypes in an authentic and convincing manner.

Her most famous screen roles include multiple Academy Award winner, Dances With Wolves; Academy Award nominee, Legends of the Fall, and more recently, her U.S. television role on Stumptown, a crime drama series that debuted in 2019 on ABC TV.

Her latest feature film, Falls Around Her, was directed by Anishinaabe filmmaker Darlene Naponse and premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Her achievements have made her a recipient of numerous industry awards, including a Gemini Award; an ImagiNATIVE Film Festival People’s Choice Award; the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s Earle Grey Award for lifetime achievement.

An influential advocate for the environment and for Indigenous people, she has been further recognized with four honorary degrees and as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her artistic achievements and her contributions to the growth and development of Indigenous performing arts in Canada, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Tantoo Cardinal.


Mr. Chancellor,

The first-ever principal dancer of Chinese Canadian heritage at the National Ballet of Canada, Chan Hon Goh is celebrated as one of the most prolific artists of her generation, and has led an extraordinary career as a dancer, director, educator, executive producer, author and entrepreneur.

In 2010, upon retiring from a performing career of more than 20 years, she became the Director of the Goh Ballet Academy and Youth Company Canada. Forever advocating for the Arts, she serves as a jury member for prestigious international competitions and her national masterclass tour supports the development of dance talents across the country. As guest-instructor and choreographer, she works with the most renowned companies in the world, and since 2009 she has been the Executive Producer of Goh Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition.

She is also the Artistic Director of Global Dance Challenge, which offers thousands of young dancers a platform to annually showcase their work to renowned choreographers and directors.

Contributing her time to ensuring opportunities for emerging artists, she is the President of the Goh Ballet Canada Society, a non-profit organisation which enables professional performance presentations. She also established the Chan Hon Goh Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for equal access to the art form for those less fortunate. Additionally, she donates her expertise to various other non-profit boards including the Canadian Cancer Society and she is a founding member of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council.

Some of her recent awards include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, and the New Pioneers Arts Award.  In 2019, she was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her achievements and contributions to the cultural fabric of Canada, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Chan Hon Goh.


Mr. Chancellor,

Lawrence Hill is one of the most recognized authors in modern Canadian literature. A son of American immigrants - "a Black father and a white mother" - he grew up in the predominantly white suburb of Don Mills, Ontario in the sixties and was influenced by their work in the human rights movement.

His first two novels were Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, and his first non-fiction work to attract national attention was the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. His third novel, The Book of Negroes, attracted widespread international attention, winning The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Canada Reads and other awards. The Book of Negroes television mini-series, which he co-wrote with director Clement Virgo, attracted millions of viewers, and won eleven Canadian Screen Awards.

His highlighted non-fiction work includes Blood: The Stuff of Life, the source of his 2013 Massey Lectures and for which he received the Hamilton Literary Award for non-fiction. His feature essay, Act of Love: The Life and Death of Donna Mae Hill, appeared in The Globe and Mail in 2018 and contributed to a national discussion about medically assisted dying.

He is an honorary patron of Crossroads International and has volunteered with The Black Loyalist Heritage Society, Book Clubs for Inmates, Project Bookmark Canada, The Ontario Black History Society, and the Writers’ Union of Canada.

He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Laval University and a Master’s in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph, he has received nine honorary degrees and numerous awards and citations, including his appointment in 2015 to the Order of Canada.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his achievements as an author, and for his contributions to exploration of subjects concerning race and identity in Canada, I ask you to confer the degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Lawrence Hill.


Mr. Chancellor,

Douglas Johnson is not only one of Canada’s most accomplished rock musicians, he is also a gifted composer who has contributed to artistic initiatives that promote environmental and humanitarian interests.

He is best known as a founding member and keyboardist of Loverboy, one of the most successful groups in the history of Canada’s recording industry, with multiple Juno Awards and global sales of over 15 million albums. He is also an accomplished jazz and classical pianist, equally at ease playing the music of Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans as works by Chopin and Beethoven.

His lifelong humanitarian interests propelled his involvement in the famous 1985 Canadian charity single, Tears Are Not Enough, to support Ethiopian famine relief. He subsequently wrote and produced Action Speaks Louder Than Words in support of Food Banks Canada.

As a prolific composer of soundtracks for documentary films and television, he has focused primarily upon productions concerning Indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability, including the critically acclaimed APTN series Native Planet and Power to the People. He also composed the soundtrack for the feature-length documentary RiverBlue, a ground-breaking film that garnered numerous festival awards in 2017 for its critical examination of the global garment industry and its impact on population health in Asia.

As a volunteer, he is well known in the Surrey-White Rock region where he makes his home and where he lends time and financial support to numerous charities, including youth choirs and music education for underprivileged children.

Extraordinarily, prior to the pandemic, he performed over 60 shows a year with Loverboy, which in 2009 was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of a long and eclectic career in music, and for his contributions to humanitarian and community service, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon Douglas Johnson.



Mr. Chancellor,

Dr. Tasuku Honjo is a renowned Japanese physician-scientist and a Distinguished Professor and Deputy Director-General of the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study. He is best known for his work in discovering a critical pathway in the immune response to cancer cells, for which he and American immunologist James P. Allison were jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Their discovery has contributed to the discovery of mechanisms and proteins critical to the regulation of immune responses, ultimately leading to the development of novel immunotherapies against cancer.

His long and extraordinary journey as an immunologist began in 1966 when he graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Kyoto University. During subsequent graduate studies, he received fellowships to study at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, where he carried out his inaugural research on the immune response.

After receiving his Ph.D. in Medical Chemistry from Kyoto University, he joined Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and later moved to the Osaka University School of Medicine, where he became a professor in the Department of Genetics. It was there that he conducted breakthrough research that revealed the mechanism of immunoglobulin class switching, whereby B cells switch their antibody production from one antibody type to another.

In 1984 he returned to Kyoto University, where several years of research with colleagues ultimately opened the way for the development of cancer immunotherapies which were approved for the treatment of melanoma and certain other cancers.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has been distinguished with countless other prestigious awards, both in his home country and abroad.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of achievements that have forever shaped the landscape of Immunology, and of Medicine more broadly, we are pleased to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. TASUKU HONJO.




Mr. Chancellor,

For more than 30 years, Shashi Assanand has been a visionary pioneer in antiviolence and immigrant settlement and support throughout the Lower Mainland.

She is best known for her work as the founder and executive director of the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society. The Society is founded upon her compassionate vision for a free and confidential service that provides trauma-informed and culturally responsive support to immigrant, refugee and visible-minority women, children and families who face domestic violence. Since its inception in 1991, the Society has provided counselling and support to over 43,000 immigrant and refugee women and children experiencing family violence.

She has played numerous other pivotal roles with the same objectives in mind. These include participating in numerous advisory bodies, committees, panels, community boards and government agencies at provincial and national levels. Her work also includes research projects, ensuring the voices of immigrant women are heard in developing policies and programs that affect the vulnerable among them, all the while creating equal access to all and advancing an egalitarian society.

She has been recognized with numerous awards and honours, highlighted by the 2002 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2014 and the Order of British Columbia in 2020.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her inspirational efforts to make British Columbia a model for Canada and the world for antiviolence and immigrant settlement, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon SHESHLATA ASSANAND.



Mr. Chancellor,

Irwin Cotler is one of Canada's foremost scholars and practitioners of constitutional and comparative law, and he has written upon and intervened in landmark Charter of Rights cases in the areas of free speech, freedom of religion, minority rights, peace law and war crimes justice.

A former Member of Parliament and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, he is the Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University.

As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, he initiated the first-ever comprehensive reform of the Supreme Court appointment process; appointed the first-ever Indigenous and visible minority justices to the Ontario Court of Appeal; initiated the first-ever law on human trafficking, and crafted the Civil Marriage Act, the first-ever legislation to grant marriage equality to gays and lesbians. He also issued Canada's first National Justice Initiative Against Racism and Hate and made the pursuit of international justice a government priority.

As an international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler has been referred to as "Counsel for the Oppressed" and "Freedom's Counsel." Indeed, he has served as Counsel to prisoners of conscience including Andrei Sakharov, Natan Sharansky, and Nelson Mandela. He has also served on the international legal teams of many dissidents and political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo.

His awards and distinctions, too numerous to mention, include his membership as an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the National Order of Quebec, a Member of the Privy Council, and Avocat Emeritus of the Quebec Bar.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of a lifetime of achievement as a scholar and protector of freedom and human rights, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon IRWIN COTLER.



Mr. Chancellor,

Heather Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic leader, a scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology, a leader in public policy and the promotion of science, and an accomplished businesswoman.

In 1994 she was appointed as Vice-President, Research and International Relations, at the University of Toronto. In 2003 she became the first woman to be appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University � a role in which she served with great distinction for over a decade.

Her leadership skills span multiple sectors. She was a founding member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada, co-founder of research-driven innovation centers in Toronto and Montreal, and a founding director of Genome Canada. Her contributions include authoring "Growing Ontario's Innovation System: The Strategic Role of University Research" for the Government of Ontario, and co-authoring "Research Universities and the Future of America" for the U.S. National Research Council.

She aided the Government of Switzerland as a member of the Swiss National Science Foundation's International Review Panel and served on Ireland's International Commission on a Framework for an Overarching Policy for Research and Technological Development. She has advised the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, the President's Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a broad array of Canadian scientific and policy initiatives.

She is currently Chair of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Chair of the Gairdner Foundation, and a director of Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service and extraordinary leadership, I ask you to confer the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon HEATHER MUNROE-BLUM.



Mr. Chancellor,

For over 30 years, Elder Roberta Price has shared her leadership, wisdom and teachings at UBC and throughout the Lower Mainland to assist both Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to achieve improved outcomes in health care.

A member of the Coast Salish Snuneymuxw and Cowichan Nations, she has been instrumental in helping to create shared spaces for both Indigenous and Western approaches to healing and health. Her ongoing involvement and leadership in research projects have been key to the continued work of decolonizing health care and creating cultural safety and equity for Indigenous patients.

By way of example, she is Elder-in-Residence with the Aboriginal Wellness Program at Vancouver Coastal Health, works with the Aboriginal Patient Navigators Program to support patients in hospitals and health care centres, and serves on the National Indigenous Council on Diabetes. She also provides traditional and healing services for the Elder Visiting Program at BC Women's and Children's Hospital and at St. Paul's Hospital.

I am pleased to further note that she is currently an adjunct clinical professor in the UBC Department of Family Medicine. In addition, she has long been active in the UBC School of Nursing, providing Indigenous leadership and guidance on research projects about women's intimate partner violence, mental health and equity. She has also served as Elder for nearly 20 years for the Critical Research in Health and Health Care Inequities Initiative at the School, providing wisdom in support of several equity-based and culturally safe research projects.

Appropriately, during its 100-year celebrations in 2019, she was awarded the UBC School of Nursing Centenary Medal of Distinction.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of a long and extraordinary record of service and leadership in health care, I ask you to confer the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Elder ROBERTA PRICE.




Mr. Chancellor,

Esi Edugyan is the Canadian-born daughter of Ghanaian immigrants and has been described by The Globe and Mail as "the most ambitious novelist in Canada."

A graduate of the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University, she is renowned for crafting thoughtful and sweeping historical novels that deal with the legacies of race and displacement, explore the impact of history on the present, and illuminate complicated truths about race and belonging.

Her best-selling work has garnered extensive national and international recognition. Her literary debut, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, borrows insightfully on her parents' experiences and was shortlisted for the 2005 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

Her second novel, Half-Blood Blues, was published in 2011 and shortlisted for four of the most prestigious prizes for English-language fiction: The Man Booker Prize; Scotiabank Giller Prize; Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction. In addition to the Giller Prize, the book also won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

Her most recent novel, Washington Black, was also shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the International Dublin Literary Award.

Notably, Washington Black again took the Giller Prize, making her one of only three authors to have twice earned the distinction. We are pleased to also note that she has been selected to deliver the 2021 CBC Massey Lectures.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her contributions to the cultural fabric of Canada and to public discourse on race relations, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, upon ESI EDUGYAN.




Mr. Chancellor,

Dame Sally Davies is a pre-eminent British medical scientist, whose research, leadership and advocacy in the field of antimicrobial resistance have been the foundation of an international collaborative response to one of the most critical global health challenges. She joined the United Kingdom Civil Service in 2004 and was soon thereafter appointed as Director-General of Research and Development at the Department of Health. In this role, she greatly expanded the National Health Service research base, creating the National Institute for Health Research, now the largest national clinical research funder in Europe.

In 2010 she was appointed as England's Chief Medical Officer, the first woman to ever hold the position. In 2013 she published a ground-breaking report on infectious diseases, which highlighted the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. The result was a national and international call-to-action among G20 nations to address key areas, including stewardship, monitoring and surveillance, and antibiotic development.

She remains an influential advocate of AMR awareness through a variety of mediums, including the publication of her book, The Drugs Don't Work: A Global Threat, and as a member of the new UN Global Leaders Group on AMR.

Her distinctions are numerous, and they include her 2009 appointment as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2020, she became just the second woman, and the first outside the Royal family, to be appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. She is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a member of the US National Academy of Medicine. In 2020, she became the first woman to be appointed as Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her expertise and leadership in global health care, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dame SALLY CLAIRE DAVIES.



Mr. Chancellor,

Dr. Victor J. Dzau is one of the world's pre-eminent leaders in health and medicine, and a trailblazer in translational research. He currently serves as President of National Academy of Medicine in the USA and as Vice Chair of US National Research Council.

A graduate of McGill University's Faculty of Medicine, his accomplishments are both numerous and extraordinary, beginning with professorships and leadership appointments, including Chairs of departments of medicine at Stanford and Harvard Universities and Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University.

An internationally acclaimed scholar in the field of cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his seminal research created the science underlying the class of drugs commonly known as ACE inhibitors, used to treat hypertension and heart failure, saving millions of lives worldwide. He also pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease and was the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules in humans. His pioneering research in heart regeneration led to the Paracrine Hypothesis of stem cell action and his recent strategy of direct reprogramming using microRNA.

As a leader in global health, he has worked tirelessly to develop and engage with major global health initiatives, including the Global Health Risk Framework and the Human Genome Editing Initiative. Most recently, he has provided global leadership in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as a member of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, co-chair of the G20 High Level Scientific Panel on Global Health Security and a principal of the ACT-Accelerator which includes COVAX, the global collaboration for accelerating the development, manufacturing and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Dzau played a key role in initiating the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Event, led by the European Commission, which raised a total of almost $18 billion.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his extraordinary scientific achievements and his exemplary leadership in global health, we are pleased to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. VICTOR JOSEPH DZAU.



Mr. Chancellor,

Rare are the circumstances in which the name of a public health officer becomes universally known. Yet such is the case here in British Columbia, and for sound reason. Doctor Bonnie Henry is the calm voice and assured face of the COVID-19 pandemic response, and she has led the government response from a rational, scientific perspective, helping to save the lives of countless British Columbians.

Dr. Henry received her medical training at Dalhousie University, followed by residencies in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of California San Diego and the University of Toronto. She worked with the World Health Organization in 2000 and travelled to Pakistan to take part in the polio eradication program. Her next assignment was in Uganda to support the response to the first Ebola outbreak.

Back in Canada she joined Toronto Public Health where she was the operational lead of the response to the SARS outbreak in 2003. In 2005 she came to BC as a physician epidemiologist for the BC Centre for Disease Control where she led the response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. After a series of escalating leadership positions, she was named Provincial Health Officer in 2018.

Recently described by The New York Times as "one of the most effective public health officials in the world," Dr. Henry has exemplified both the expertise and the courage required to endure the glare of public light during a challenging and politically tumultuous time. She is also a gifted communicator and the author of two books: Soap and Water and Common Sense, and Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe: Four Weeks That Shaped the Pandemic.

I hasten to add - with more than an inkling of pride - that she is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her committed expertise, courageous service, and unwavering humanitarianism, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Dr. BONNIE HENRY.



Mr. Chancellor,

Garry Merkel is a member of the Tahltan Nation and a Registered Professional Forester who has made remarkable contributions to advance culturally relevant education and economic self-determination of Indigenous peoples.

A small sampling of his numerous activities includes chairing the Aboriginal Forestry Education and Training Review that fostered a collaborative national post-secondary approach to improving Indigenous resource management education in Canada. He also worked with the UBC First Nations House of Learning to establish an Indigenous Forestry Initiative at UBC, and he is the co-founder and co-chair of the First Nations Council of Advisors for the UBC Faculty of Forestry.

He also supported the development and ongoing implementation of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology as a board member, vice-chair, chair and acting president over a 24-year period. During this time, he conducted two independent reviews of the implementation of BC's Aboriginal post-secondary education strategy for the Ministry of Advanced Education.

He has also led numerous initiatives to further support social and economic well being of Indigenous peoples, including the BC Aboriginal Housing Strategy, BC Aboriginal Governance Initiative, and BC First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Council, which he currently serves as the Senior Negotiator.

It is important to further note that he was instrumental in the creation of the Columbia Basin Trust, and then served as elected Vice Chair of the Trust when it was passed into legislation in 1995, and as Chair from 2005 to 2013.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his long and influential record of service in support of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous post-secondary education, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon GARRY EVERETT MERKEL.




Mr. Chancellor,

Deborah Lipstadt is a Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University and one of the world’s most eminently regarded Holocaust historians.

She is the author of many of the most revealing and insightful books in Holocaust Studies, including Beyond Belief: the American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1933-1945; History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier; The Eichmann Trial; and Antisemitism: Here and Now.

Long renowned for her fiery and yet methodical pursuit of truth, she achieved international celebrity status when the British writer and Holocaust denier David Irving sued her for libel. Her landmark court case in London and sweeping victory were depicted in the 2016 film Denial, in which she was portrayed by Academy Award winner, Rachel Weisz.

Widely sought after by media, she has appeared on major network programs in both in the USA and England and has frequently contributed to a variety of newspapers and journals, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

She has also loaned expertise to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was appointed for two terms by President Clinton to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. She has been called upon by members of Congress to consult on political responses to Holocaust denial, and by the US State Department to advise on matters of religious persecution abroad.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of her contributions to preserving the truth concerning one of the darkest chapters of human history, and also the voices of countless silent victims, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Deborah Esther Lipstadt.



Mr. Chancellor,

Ever since his arrival at UBC as an Arts undergraduate student in 1962, Paul Thiele has been an influential advocate for the blind and visually impaired. With only enough vision to read print, he pursued his studies and led an active student life, particularly in support of other visually impaired and blind students.

After graduating, he pursued a master’s degree in Comparative Literature, but put his studies on hold when he was appointed as head of the Charles Crane Memorial Library and curator of its collection. Under his guidance, the library grew and evolved to become the valued resource that it is today.

He also participated in a continuous range of advocacy initiatives outside of UBC, which included his appointment by the provincial Ministry of Education to an interprovincial board to coordinate and manage resources for blind and visually impaired students in the public school systems of the western provinces.

In addition, he founded and chaired The Committee on Library Services for the Visually Impaired, a sub-committee of the Canadian Library Association. He also became the Canadian representative on the International Library Services for the Blind, an organization that influenced the provision of library services to visually impaired and blind communities in other parts of the world.

After retirement he continued to serve numerous organizations, including local housing societies that provide guidance and services to disabled communities, and as a government appointed member of the Board of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his leadership towards making UBC a supportive learning environment for vision-impaired students, and for his indelible contributions to the profession of library management and to invoking legislative changes throughout Canada, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Paul Ernest Thiele.