Acadia Convocation celebrates achievement

Accomplishments and care for our communities tie honorary degree recipients with grad class

May 9, 2012

Acadia University is set to award approximately700 degrees during Spring Convocation May 13 and 14 at Convocation Hall in Wolfville. Students will graduate from the faculties of Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology. During the ceremonies, Acadia will also grant honorary degrees to six individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their communities and beyond. They are:  Dr. Rev. Allison Trites, Dr. George Elliott Clarke, Dr. Allen Eaves, Mr. Hans Klohn, Ms. Alexa McDonough, and Dr. Dennis Magill.

"Convocation marks the culmination of years of effort and accomplishment by each of our students,” said Mr. Ray Ivany, Acadia's president and vice-chancellor. "Like our distinguished honorary degree recipients, our graduates have made a difference through their individual contributions to society. We're proud to be sharing this Convocation with each of them."

Acadia Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60) will preside over her second Convocation.

Three Convocation ceremonies will follow the Baccalaureate Service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 13 in Convocation Hall. Each of the Convocation ceremonies will be live-streamed on Acadia’s Alumni Affairs website. Following each Convocation ceremony, participants and their guests are invited to join the Acadia community in the Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons for a reception.

Conferring of Honorary Degrees

Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Arts
Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 3 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Allison Trites, Doctor of Divinity
The Rev. Dr. Allison Trites will be awarded a Doctor of Divinity. He has made a lasting contribution to the Wolfville and Acadia communities through his ministry and teaching. In the span of his 37-year career in Acadia’s Faculty of Theology, Trites has published works, been a visiting lecturer, and a leader of the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches.

Dr. George Elliott Clark, Doctor of Letters
Revered poet Dr. George Elliott Clarke will be awarded a Doctor of Letters. He is currently the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. Among his many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement, Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, and appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia. In 2008, he was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada. He will deliver the Convocation address to Acadia’s graduating class in the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Theology. 

Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
Monday, May 14, 2012 - 10 a.m.

Mr. Hans Klohn, Doctor of Civil Laws
Engineer Mr. Hans Klohn will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws. He first came to Canada from Germany to assist with the expansion of the Irving Pulp & Paper Mill. Over time, he developed a close working relationship with K.C. Irving, which helped shaped the construction industry in the region. An honorary lifetime member of the Saint John Construction Association and selected as an Industry Titan in the advancement of Canadian precast concrete, Mr. Klohn is a man whose expertise has touched many of the places where we work, live, and play.

Dr. Allen Eaves, Doctor of Science
A leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Allen Eaves (’62), will receive a Doctor of Science. He founded the Terry Fox Laboratory for Hematology/Oncology Research, now an internationally-recognized centre for the study of leukemia and stem cell research. He also headed Hematology at UBC, the Vancouver General Hospital, and the British Columbia Cancer Agency; building one of the first Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) programs in Canada. Dr. Eaves is also the founder of STEMCELL Technologies Inc., the largest biotech company in BC. He will deliver the Convocation address to Acadia’s graduating class in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science.

Faculty of Professional Studies
Monday, May 14, 2012 - 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Dennis Magill, Doctor of Humanities
Distinguished scholar and teacher Dr. Dennis Magill (’61) will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities. His areas of academic expertise are urban sociology, ethnic relations, and Canadian communities. He has given a lifetime of commitment to education – teaching, research, and university administration.   He is one of the founders of the Wellesley Institute, a major Canadian, Toronto-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy institute. Recently, Toronto City Council named one of the city’s newest parks the Wellesley Magill Park.

Ms. Alexa McDonough, Doctor of Civil Laws
Transformational political leader Ms. Alexa McDonough will receive an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws. She made significant contributions to public life in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada as the only woman to have successfully led a provincial and federal political party. As a New Democratic Party leader, she concentrated on foreign affairs, international development and peace advocacy. An officer of the Order of Canada, Ms. McDonough chose not to re-offer in 2008 to create opportunities for younger and more diverse candidates to succeed her.  She will deliver the Convocation address to Acadia’s graduating class in the Faculty of Professional Studies.


About Acadia University
Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada's premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes, and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at


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