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Concordia awards honorary doctorates to 4 distinguished Canadians

A CBC foreign correspondent and a founding member of Arcade Fire are among the fall 2016 recipients
October 12, 2016
By Fiona Downey

Concordia’s fall 2016 convocation ceremonies are fast approaching.

On November 7, more than 1,600 students from all four faculties and the School of Graduate Studies take to the stage in Théâtre Maisonneuve at Montreal’s Place des Arts, to receive their diplomas.

Four highly distinguished honorands are also joining the Class of 2016. Concordia will present honorary doctorates to individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of journalism, philanthropy, academia and aviation.

Concordia’s 2016 fall convocation: the honorands


Nahlah Ayed

For her courageous and compassionate journalism

Ayed is a foreign correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the author of the memoir, A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring.

Ayed is best known for her reporting from the Middle East, notably during the United States–led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the 2006 war in Lebanon.

Ayed has also covered humanitarian crises, including the ongoing exodus of Syrian refugees to Europe.

Nahlah Ayed addresses the Faculty of Arts and Science at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 7.

Calin Rovinescu

For his inspired leadership in the aviation industry

Rovinescu has been president and CEO of Air Canada since 2009 and has served as board chairman of Star Alliance and the International Air Transport Association.

Under his leadership, the airline has undergone a complex transformation, built a strong international franchise and achieved record profitability. The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine named him Canada’s Best CEO in 2013 and he was number one CEO in the 2014 Financial Post rankings.

Prior to his tenure at Air Canada, Rovinescu was the managing partner of the law firm Stikeman Elliott, specializing in business law. He was also a co-founder of Genuity Capital Markets, a leading independent investment bank. 

Calin Rovinescu addresses the John Molson School of Business at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 7.

Régine A. Chassagne 

For her commitment to Haiti and her impact on the international music scene

A founding member of the music group Arcade Fire, Chassagne (BA 98) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. The band has won popular and critical praise around the world as well as a Grammy for Record of the Year in 2011.

Chassagne has also been a dedicated supporter of Haiti, the country where her parents were born. She has worked with Partners in Health as well as the KANPE Foundation, an organization she co-founded to battle poverty through sustainable solutions.

Régine A. Chassagne addresses the Faculty of Fine Arts at a joint ceremony with the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at 7:30pm on Monday, November 7.


Maria Klawe

For her scholarly work in the fields of computer science and mathematics as well as her advocacy on behalf of women and minorities in engineering, science and mathematics

Klawe is president of Harvey Mudd College in California. A computer scientist, Klawe worked in research and management at IBM. She also held professorships at Oakland University and the University of Toronto, and served as vice-president of Student and Academic Services at the University of British Columbia as well as dean of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University.

Maria Klawe addresses the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at a joint ceremony with the Faculty of Fine Arts at 7:30pm on Monday, November 7.


Do you know a new graduate? Find out the details of Concordia’s 2016 fall convocation ceremonies.



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