Mount Allison University Convocation ceremonies set for May 15

08 May 2017

Jurist Louise Arbour, mental health advocate Michael J. L. Kirby among honorary degree recipients

Convocation 2017Approximately 425 Mount Allison University students will graduate during the 2017 Spring Convocation ceremonies being held Monday, May 15 in Convocation Hall. Master of Science, Commerce, and Science students will receive their degrees during the morning ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m., while Arts, Fine Arts, and Music students will graduate in the afternoon ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Mount Allison University Chancellor Peter Mansbridge and President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell will preside over the May 15 events.

“The Class of 2017 has been part of our community for the past four years and we have appreciated the chance to get to know them, to work with them, and to watch them learn and grow during their time with us,” Campbell says. “I congratulate each of our graduates on their achievements and wish them the very best as they move on to new challenges.”

This will be Mansbridge’s final Convocation as Chancellor as his term ends Dec. 31, 2017.

“I have often said that Convocation Day is my favourite day of the year. Over the past eight years it has been a privilege to meet the exceptional students, faculty, staff, and honorary guests who have come across the Convocation Hall stage,” Mansbridge says. “I am proud to serve as Mount Allison’s Chancellor and look forward to one more opportunity to celebrate Convocation with the University community.”

Mount Allison will also recognize four distinguished Canadians, conferring honorary doctorates at the events. The 2017 recipients include:

  • Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Regina and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Michael J. L. Kirby, founder and Founding Chair of Partners for Mental Health, a national charity that aims to improve mental health in Canada
  • Louise Arbour, former Supreme Court justice, jurist in residence at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and ad hoc judge in the International Court of Justice
  • Barbara Hannigan, soprano, conductor, and one of the world’s leading performers of contemporary classical music

“Each year we choose honorary degree recipients who reflect Mount Allison’s values and vision,” Campbell says. “This year’s recipients come from very diverse fields and backgrounds, but collectively represent areas that are dear to Mount Allison: education and inclusion, mental health, and justice. It is also fitting to honour a distinguished musician this year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mount Allison’s first Bachelor of Music degree. We are proud to welcome these four outstanding individuals into the Mount Allison University community.”

Isaac Gazendam of Kingston, ON has been selected by the graduating class as the 2017 valedictorian. Gazendam is graduating with a double major in Commerce and economics with a minor in environmental studies. He is planning to pursue a master’s in urban planning or sustainable urban development.

A number of Mount Allison faculty members will be recognized during the Convocation ceremonies. The 2017 Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award, one of the University’s highest teaching honours, is being awarded to Dr. Jennifer Tomes, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Vett Lloyd, a professor in the Department of Biology, is the 2017 Paul Paré Medal recipient. The Paré Medal is awarded annually to a faculty member at Mount Allison University who has best exemplified outstanding teaching, research, scholarship, and/or creative activities, and who has an exemplary record of service.

For more information about Convocation and this year's honorary degree recipients, visit

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