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Concordia awards honorary doctorates to 8 distinguished Canadians

Vinyl Café host, renowned art critic and pioneering neuroscientist are among the degree recipients
May 21, 2014


On June 9 to 11, more than 5,000 students from Concordia’s four faculties and School of Graduate Studies will collect their diplomas at convocation ceremonies in Montreal’s Place des Arts.

As they walk across the stage, so too will eight new — and highly distinguished — honorary doctorates.

This term’s honorary degree recipients come from all walks of professional life in Canada. They include two philanthropists, a political columnist, an art critic, a neuroscientist, two business leaders and one of the CBC’s most recognizable voices.

In all, eight ceremonies will take place. Here are the 2014 spring convocation honorands at Concordia.

10 a.m., Monday, June 9 — Faculty of Arts and Science

Stuart McLean, OC, LLD, will be honoured for his unique contribution to Canadian cultural life and his commitment to the education of young journalists. An award-winning journalist himself — as well as an author and humourist — McLean is the host of The Vinyl Café, a long-running variety show on CBC Radio.

He is also professor emeritus at Ryerson University, where he served as director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism.

3 p.m., Monday, June 9 — Faculty of Arts and Science

Chantal Hébert, OC, LLD, is renowned for her reasoned, insightful analysis of the Canadian political scene in both English and French. She is a national affairs writer and political columnist with the Toronto Star, as well as a guest columnist with L’actualité and a member of At Issue, a political panel on CBC’s The National.

Hébert also appears on Radio-Canada’s Les coulisses du pouvoir, and previously served as Parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse and Le Devoir.

7:30 p.m., Monday, June 9 — Faculty of Arts and Science

Bryan Kolb, MSc, PhD, is a professor at the University of Lethbridge known for his pioneering research in the field of neuroscience. His work explores how neurons in the cerebral cortex respond to developmental factors including hormones, stress, drugs and injury — and how the resulting changes affect our behaviour.

Kolb is also the founding director of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Canada Council Killam Fellow and a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s program on Child and Brain Development.

10 a.m., Tuesday, June 10 — Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science

Louis R. Chênevert, BComm, will be recognized for his leadership in the field of aeronautics and his commitment to philanthropy.

Chênevert is chairman and chief executive officer of United Technologies Corporation and chairman of HEC Montréal’s International Advisory Board. He is also a member of The Business Council and the executive committee of Business Roundtable, as well as a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, chairman of the advisory board of the Yale Cancer Center and a member of the board of directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

Previously, he served as president of Pratt & Whitney.

3 p.m., Tuesday, June 10 — Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science

No honorand.

10 a.m., Wednesday, June 11 — John Molson School of Business 

Gregg Saretsky, BSc, MBA, will be honoured for his dynamic and innovative leadership in the airline industry, most recently with WestJet, where he serves as president and chief executive officer. In 2012, he led the launch of regional carrier WestJet Encore, an idea he took the unusual step of putting to a company-wide vote.

Saretsky was previously executive vice-president of both Flight Operations and Marketing and Marketing and Planning at Alaska Airlines, as well as vice-president of marketing at Canadian Airlines.

3 p.m., Wednesday, June 11 — John Molson School of Business

Michal Hornstein, OC, GOQ, and Renata Hornstein have dedicated their lives to cultural and philanthropic causes.

Michal Hornstein is a real estate executive, while Renata Hornstein, a poet, is the author of two books, including 2008’s A Tumultuous Journey: Horror, Hope and Happiness. Together, they have been generous supporters of a range of cultural, health and educational institutions, among them the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Jewish General Hospital.

In 2012, they became the first couple to be named Great Montrealers by the Board of Trade for Metropolitain Montreal for their contributions to culture in the city.

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 11 — Faculty of Fine Arts

Chantal Pontbriand has, through her work, contributed to our understanding of some of the most pressing issues in the art world — namely globalization, artistic heterogeneity and contemporaneity.

Pontbriand is a contemporary art critic and curator. She is the founding editor of PARACHUTE magazine, co-founder of the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the founder of PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S. (We_Others and Myself_Research_Knowledge_Systems). She is also an associate professor of curatorial studies at the Sorbonne (Paris IV), and was formerly head of Exhibition Research and Development at Tate Modern in London, England.

All Concordia spring convocations will be held in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts (175 Ste-Catherine St. W.).

Consult the complete Concordia spring 2014 convocation schedule.


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