Western to honour international players at 303rd convocation

Fourteen distinguished individuals will receive honorary degrees when Western University hosts its 303rd Convocation this June.

The ceremonies, featuring convocation addresses by the honorary degree recipients, are scheduled for the following days:

Shawn Atleo
Tuesday, June 10, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

As National Chief, Shawn Atleo has set an ambitious and comprehensive agenda for the Assembly of First Nations. A hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation, Atleo has been a negotiator, facilitator, mediator, educator, strategic planner and community activist over the past 20 years, working tirelessly for the rights and freedoms of First Nations.

Sheila Fraser
Tuesday, June 10, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Sheila Fraser served as Auditor General of Canada from 2001 to 2011, the first woman to hold this position. During her term, Fraser issued several highly-publicized reports, including the 2003 sponsorship program audit. Before her political posting, Fraser enjoyed a successful career with Ernst & Young, where she became a partner in 1981.

Sylvia Chrominska
Wednesday, June 11, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Sylvia Chrominska is an inspirational business leader who, as Group Head, Global Human Resources & Communications at Scotiabank, has been instrumental in advancing women, leadership, diversity and inclusiveness in Canada. A dedicated Western alumna, Chrominska has served as a member of Ivey’s Advisory Board and as Vice‐Chair of Ivey’s Campaign for Leadership.

Francis Zwiers
Wednesday, June 11, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D. Sc.)

An internationally recognized leader in climate research, Francis Zwiers’ work has greatly advanced our understanding of climate change. He has served as the Director of the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada and currently leads the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at the University of Victoria.  He also serves on the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Robert Langer
Thursday, June 12, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D. Sc.)

With approximately 1,050 issued and/or pending patents worldwide, Robert Langer is considered one of the most important biotechnology engineers in the world. The David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, Langer has received more than 200 major international awards, including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, which is dubbed the Oscar for inventors, and the United States National Medal of Science.

Sir David King
Thursday, June 12, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D. Sc.)

Sir David King has enjoyed a landmark career in the field of surface science. He served as the 1920 Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge before joining Her Majesty’s Government as Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science from 2000 to 2007. He now serves as the Climate Change Envoy in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Rick Mercer
Friday, June 13, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

A recipient of more than 25 Gemini Awards for television writing and performance, Rick Mercer is host and creator of “The Rick Mercer Report,” Canada’s most-watched television comedy. In 2006, he and Belinda Stronach founded the charity Spread the Net, which raises funds to stop the spread of malaria by providing mosquito nets for African children.

Lord Julian Hunt
Friday, June 13, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D. Sc.)

Throughout his academic career studying climate change, Lord Julian Hunt has developed new approaches to modelling turbulence, atmospheric flows and the dispersion of environmental pollution. Professor Emeritus of Climate Modelling in the Department of Earth Sciences and Honorary Professor of Mathematics at University College London, Hunt is currently a Project Advisor for the Global System Dynamics and Policies Project.

Madam Justice Elaine Adair
Monday, June 16, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa (D.C.L.)
An alumna of Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, Madam Justice Elaine Adair currently serves on the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Prior to her appointment, Madam Justice Adair practiced law in Vancouver for more than 25 years as a partner with McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Clark Wilson LLP.

Stacey Allaster
Monday, June 16, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Sports,” Stacey Allaster has held virtually every position imaginable in the world of tennis. Currently serving as the Chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Allaster holds a BA in Economics and Physical Education from Western and an MBA from the Ivey Business School.

Glenn Stevens
Tuesday, June 17, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Consistently named among the most powerful people in Australia, Glenn Stevens has been Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia since 2006. The Western alumnus is also Chairman of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children and a Director of The Anika Foundation, launched in 2005 to raise funds for the purposes of supporting research into adolescent depression and suicide.

Bob Barney
Tuesday, June 17, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Bob Barney is the founder of the world’s first and the only current independent research facility studying the Olympic Games, Western’s International Centre for Olympic Studies. A distinguished professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences and an award-winning author, Barney arrived at Western in 1972 as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (1972-1979).

Dr. Catherine Zahn
Wednesday, June 18, 10 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), is steering mental health into the mainstream of healthcare and into the public spotlight.  Zahn is internationally recognized for scholarship in healthcare quality improvement and neurologic education and has led system change in the fields of technology assessment, chronic disease management and her specialty, epilepsy.

Glen Pearson
Wednesday, June 18, 3 p.m.
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.)

Glen Pearson has served the London Food Bank, which he founded with his wife Jane Roy, as its Executive Director since 1987. A retired professional firefighter and former Member of Parliament for London North Centre, Pearson has led Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan as Executive Director for the past 15 years.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud


Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.