Convocation 2011

Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis will address graduates.

Acadia University is set to award nearly 850 degrees during Spring Convocation May 15 and 16 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 to individuals and to society. They are: Stephen Lewis, Rev. Hugh A. McNally, Dr. Carolyn Watters, Paul Kells, Judith Maxwell, and Lucinda E. Low.

"Convocation is a special time of year as we gather to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our students," said Ray Ivany, Acadia's president and vice-chancellor. "Our distinguished honorary degree recipients demonstrate the heights one can achieve when you care about the people in your community and the world. We're proud to be sharing this Convocation with each of them."

Acadia’s newly-appointed Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60) will preside over her first Convocation ceremonies.

Three Convocation ceremonies will follow the Baccalaureate Service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 15 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 15, 2011 - 3 p.m.

Stephen Lewis, Doctor of Humanities 
Mr. Stephen Lewis is a Canadian politician, broadcaster, and diplomat. Formerly, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations and a prominent labour relations arbitrator, Mr. Lewis is currently a commissioner for the United Nations Development Program’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Through his foundation, he has been raising his voice in support of humanitarian causes around the world. Mr. Lewis will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities and provide the Convocation address on Sunday, May 15.                

Rev. Hugh A. McNally, Doctor of Divinity
On May 15, Rev. Hugh A. McNally will receive a Doctor of Divinity. He has served as a Baptist pastor, missionary, mentor, and policy governance advisor, as well as chair of the Baptist Historical Committee and Acadia Senate Archives Committee. Rev. McNally also lectures for the Acadia Divinity College.

Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10 a.m.

Dr. Carolyn Watters, Doctor of Science 
At the morning ceremony on Monday, May 16, Dr. Carolyn Watters will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science and deliver the Convocation address. One of the first women to graduate in computer science in Canada, Dr. Watters is the principal, co-founder, and a director of MathResources, Inc., one of the largest developers of educational math objects and interactive tools in Canada whose products are used worldwide.           

Paul Kells, Doctor of Civil Laws
At the same ceremony, injury prevention champion and culture change expert Paul Kells will receive a Doctor of Civil Laws. He is the founder of Safe Communities Canada and Passport to Safety national safety programs to protect workers of all ages. He is a Member of the Order of Ontario and has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal (Civilian) by the Governor General of Canada.

Faculty of Professional Studies
Monday, May 16, 2011 - 2:30 p.m.

Judith Maxwell, Doctor of Civil Laws
During the afternoon ceremony on Monday, May 16, Judith Maxwell will receive an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws and present the Convocation address. Ms. Maxwell is president and co-founder of the Canadian Policy Research Networks and is one of Canada’s top thinkers. The former Chair of the Economic Council of Canada, she is a highly regarded commentator on economic and social issues in Canada.   

Lucinda E. Low, Doctor of Civil Laws
At the same ceremony, advocate Lucinda E. Low will be presented with a Doctor of Civil Laws. Ms. Low founded Bridgeway Academy, which received the National Excellence of Education Award from the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. The Bank of Montreal Progress Women of Excellence award winner also founded Children’s Opportunities Mean Everything to support individualized learning needs of children. 

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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