Acadia to confer six honorary degrees during Convocation 2016


During Convocation on May 15 and 16, Acadia University will grant honorary degrees to six outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to society through their work in communities near and far and their advocacy to build a better life for others. They include: Lynn Jones, Rev. Gato Munyamasoko, Dr. Dale Frail (’83), Dr. Deborah MacLatchy (’85), Dr. Howard Wightman, and Stephen Wetmore (’76).

"It has long been a tradition at Acadia to ask our graduating class to reflect on how they can positively impact the world,” says Ray Ivany, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “Our 2016 honorary degree recipients have found ways to improve the lives of those around them – some in the face of adversity, and others by way of never settling for less. Their dedication to improving our society, whether through scientific inquiry, business leadership or community activism, serves as a reminder to our graduating class of what lies before them – an opportunity to apply the benefit of their Acadia experience to make a difference.”

Honorary Degree Recipients:

Lynn Jones

Lynn Jones - an activist, community organizer, labour leader, and inspiring speaker who has shared her experiences, wisdom and expertise in Canada and on the world stage. In 1991, she was the first African Canadian to join the executive of the Canadian Labour Congress and was elected a general Vice-President.

Rev. Gato Munyamasoko
Rev. Gato Munyamasoko
 - a Christian leader committed to peace-building and reconciliation in one of the most violent areas of Africa – the Great Lakes region –which covers Rwanda, the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Dr. Dale Frail
Dr. Dale Frail
 – an astronomer known for his joint discovery of the first extra-solar or pulsar planets and helping the world better understand the origin of gamma-ray bursts – massive explosions in space that occurred millions or even billions of years ago.

Dr. Deborah MacLatchy
Dr. Deborah MacLatchy
– an academic leader, scholar, and enthusiastic promoter of women in science. She currently serves as the Vice-President, Academic and Provost as well as a professor of biology at Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Dr. Howard Wightman
Dr. Howard Wightman
 - a consummate health care professional and community health promotion activist. He serves as a role model for healthy active living, a tireless mentor of Acadia's kinesiology and community development students, and a booster and fundraiser for the S.M.I.L.E. program.

Stephen Wetmore
Stephen Wetmore – 
a leader of iconic Canadian firms like Canadian Tire and Bell Aliant distinguished him as one of Canada's most outstanding CEOs. His executive leadership earned him the 2013 Distinguished Retailer of the Year award from the Retail Council of Canada.

Association Alumni of Acadia University Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching:

  • Dr. Randy Lynn Newman, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science

Professor Emeriti Appointments:

  • Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, Professor Emeritus of Biology
  • Dr. Anthony (Tony) Thomson, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
  • Dr. Shelley MacDougall, Professor Emeritus of the Fred C. Manning School of Business


Acadia’s Baccalaureate Service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 15 in Convocation Hall. The cap and gown speaker, elected by the graduating Class of 2016, will be Oshawa, Ontario’s Jenna Northcott who will be graduating with a bachelor of business administration. The guest speaker at the service will be Rev. Dr. Bruce Mathews, distinguished scholar and former dean of Arts at Acadia.

Acadia Chancellor Dr. Libby Burnham (’60) will preside over her sixth Convocation during the three ceremonies and each will be live-streamed on Acadia’s Convocation website.

Following each 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 15, 2016 - 3 p.m.

Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
Monday, May 16, 2016 - 10 a.m.

Faculty of Professional Studies
Monday, May 16, 2016 - 2:30 p.m.

To learn more information, or to watch live-streaming webcast of each Convocation ceremony, visit: the Convocation website.

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