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Concordia awards 3 new honorary doctorates

An internet Hall of Famer, a Quebec business leader and the Grey Nuns accept their degrees on October 28
October 1, 2014
By Fiona Downey

The university’s latest honorands: Michael Sabia, Sister Jacqueline St-Yves and Richard Stallman.
The university’s latest honorands: Michael Sabia, Sister Jacqueline St-Yves and Richard Stallman.

Concordia is granting three honorary doctorates at the fall convocation ceremonies on October 28 in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier at Place des Arts.

These distinguished recipients will join more than 1,900 students from across the university’s four Faculties and School of Graduate Studies who are eligible for graduation this fall.

The honorands at Concordia’s 2014 fall convocation

Sister Jacqueline St-Yves will accept the degree on behalf of the congregation of the Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns) of Montreal, in recognition of the order’s work in healthcare, in the field of education, in spiritual leadership and in community service.

Founded in 1737 by Saint Marguerite d’Youville, the Grey Nuns congregation was established to care for the sick, the orphaned and the poor. It founded such major Montreal institutions as Hôpital Notre-Dame, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont and the Montreal Heart Institute. The nuns’ work in education and health care later took them to the United States, Africa and South America.

Sister St-Yves is currently fulfilling her second five-year mandate as the Grey Nuns’ congregational leader. She worked in teaching and hospital administration in Manitoba for 32 years before coming to Montreal in 1996, when she was elected Secretary General of the Congregation.

Sister St-Yves will receive the degree at the Faculty of Arts and Science convocation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 28.

Michael Sabia, president and chief executive officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is being recognized for his community involvement and business leadership. 

Prior to joining the Caisse, Sabia acted as president and CEO of Bell Canada Enterprises. He has previously occupied various roles with the Canadian National Railway Company (CN Rail) and spent a decade working as a senior official in the Government of Canada. Sabia’s service to the community includes work with the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Maison Saint-Gabriel, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Sabia will receive his degree at the John Molson School of Business convocation ceremony at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28.

Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, is being honoured for his dedication to giving the users of computing the freedom to control what the programs they run actually do.

Stallman launched the free software operating system GNU in 1984. Today, the GNU/Linux system is used on tens of millions of computers.

In 1989, Stallman founded the League for Programming Freedom, which campaigned against legal threats to programming, and principally to software patents. Stallman invented the technique known as “copyleft” (as opposed to “copyright”), which makes code or text free and requires subsequent works that incorporate a significant part of that code or text to be free in the same way.

Stallman is the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship and, with Linus Torvalds, the 1998 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award. In 2013, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature possible.

Stallman will receive his degree at the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science and the Faculty of Fine Arts (combined) convocation ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28.

Who do you think should get an honorary doctorate? Nominate Concordia’s next honorands.


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