Distinguished individuals from public service, education, and science to receive honorary degrees

Ranks of Acadia alumni to swell by more than 800 with Convocation 2022

On May 8 and 9, 2022, more than 800 graduates from Acadia University’s four faculties – Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology – will receive their undergraduate and graduate diplomas, joining Acadia’s more than 40,000 alumni worldwide. In addition, Acadia will confer five honorary degrees on individuals who have distinguished themselves in public service, education, and scientific research. This year’s honorees are:

Elder Lorraine Whitman (“Grandmother White Sea Turtle”) – Doctor of Humanities (’22)
President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Lorraine Whitman works to preserve Indigenous culture and advance the well-being of all Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people, as well as their families and communities.

Michael Bawtree – Doctor of Letters (’22)
Michael Bawtree’s career as a writer, director and professor has led him to invest personally and professionally in diverse projects that build community through the arts

Colonel (The Reverend) Barbara L. Putnam – Doctor of Divinity (’95, ’22)
A senior Canadian Armed Forces officer, Col. Putnam is a Baptist chaplain serving in Ottawa. A veteran of Afghanistan, she works in the CAF's Restorative Engagement program, helping to transform culture relating to sexual misconduct.  

Hans-Otto Pörtner – Doctor of Science (’22)
Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II that is assessing the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, Dr. Pörtner is informing the debate between science, policy and society to overcome the present societal inertia in the development and implementation of climate change solution strategies.

Vianne Timmons – Doctor of Humanities (’80, ’22)
A noted researcher, author and lecturer in educational inclusion, Dr. Vianne Timmons, OC, is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

“I want to extend best wishes and sincere congratulations to the Class of 2022,” said University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter Ricketts. “Their perseverance and resilience embody the essence of an indomitable Acadia spirit and exemplify our motto, In Pulvere Vinces: through effort, we will succeed. They have met every challenge with grace and determination, and I’m sure the foundational experiences they have enjoyed at Acadia will serve them well as they join our alumni community and prepare to make their mark as Acadia University graduates.

“I would also like to acknowledge and applaud our honorary degree recipients, whose remarkable achievements illustrate how academic rigour and deeply personal commitment can be applied to great societal and communal benefit, effecting widespread and meaningful change at a fundamental level here at home and around the world. They, too, embody the essence of the Acadia spirit and bring great honour, prestige and distinction to the Acadia family.”  

Convocation weekend schedule

  • Baccalaureate Service
    Sunday, May 8, 2022 - 10:30 a.m.

  • Faculty of Arts, Theology and School of Education
    Sunday, May 8, 2022 - 3 p.m.

  • Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
    Monday, May 9, 2022 - 10 a.m.

  • Faculty of Professional Studies
    Monday, May 9, 2022 - 2:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Convocation program or to watch a live-streaming webcast of each Convocation ceremony, visit the Convocation website.

To see complete biographies on this year's Honorary Degree recipients, please click here.


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