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Special Convocation

e-dition - October 3, 2007

UWinnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and Chancellor H. Sanford Riley with the Honorary Doctorate recipients (left to right) Ray McFeetors, Dianne Leggatt, Harvey Thorleifson, Hon. Ruth Krindle, Hon. Rev. Bill Blaikie, Margaret Bloodworth, David Bergen, Don Newman and John Roberts. Photo by Kelly Morton.

Outstanding Alumni Feted at Special Convocation

By Ilana Simon

The University of Winnipeg conferred honorary degrees upon nine outstanding alumni who have brought great distinction to the university through their notable careers and community service. The university celebrated the group at a Special Convocation ceremony held Sept. 14 in Convocation Hall, as part of the 40th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend Event.

The recipients were:

David Bergen (B.Ed. '85), Dip. Creative Comm. accomplished award-winning writer and 2005 winner of the Giller Prize for The Time in Between, is one of Manitoba's most prominent writers. Every book he has written so far has won an award. Bergen received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for his contributions to the literary landscape of Manitoba and the world.

Rev. William Blaikie (BA '73), M.Div. the longest-serving current Member of Parliament, is an outspoken social justice advocate and considered the "dean" of the House of Commons. For his service as an exceptional parliamentarian and outstanding public voice on the environment, globalization and human rights, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity.

Margaret Bloodworth (BA '70), LLB is the Government of Canada's Associate Secretary to the Cabinet, Privy Council Office and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. She has spent 30 years serving the government in many leadership roles and for many different departments. Bloodworth was recognized for her civic achievements and dedication to public service and her country with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Hon. Ruth Krindle (United College Associate Alumna), LLB was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for her pursuit of justice and equality, and contributions to her profession and to her community. The retired judge overcame countless barriers, becoming a woman of many firsts after she was called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1968 including the first woman Crown Attorney in Manitoba (1971), first woman federally-appointed Judge in Manitoba (1980) and first woman appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench (1984).

Dianne Leggatt (United College BA '64), M.Ed. a guidance counselor, teacher and principal, made a difference in the lives of her students throughout her 30-year career. Her current volunteerism and work with the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation inspires young people to reach their full potential and promotes peace and harmony. She will be honoured for her achievements with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Raymond McFeetors (Collegiate '65, BA '68), CFA President and CEO of Great WestLife Co., has achieved international recognition as head of the largest insurance company in Canada. Since taking over the helm of Great-West Life in 1992, McFeetors has overseen the acquisitions of London Life in 1997 and Canada Life in 2003 as well as the expansion into the wealth management sector. He is also Honorary Colonel for the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He was honoured for his great achievements in the business world and dedication to community by being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Don Newman, OC (Collegiate '59, United College Associate Alumnus) is an award-winning broadcaster, one of Canada's foremost political reporters and a respected expert on Canadian and foreign politics. He was honoured as a shining example of responsible journalism and role model for integrity in reporting with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

John Roberts (United College BA '67), BA Hons., MA, PhD is an internationally-acclaimed professor of economics and business at Stanford University, a respected researcher, author and expert on the application of economic and strategic analysis to management problems. He was recognized for his contributions to economic analysis and the business world with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Harvey Thorleifson (B.Sc. '78, BA Hons. '80), M.Sc., PhD is a distinguished geologist and sought after researcher and his vision and diligent work on sustainability and the water history of the Red River Basin and Lake Winnipeg have made him an international expert. The Geological Survey of Canada recruited Thorleifson to research water issues for the Winnipeg Region and he led a team of close to 100 scientists on this major and historic research. He was recognized for his significant achievements in his field with an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

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