Convocation celebrates graduates, luminaries

Western’s 310th Convocation takes place during three days this week, with 2,600 eligible graduates and with honorary degrees awarded to six outstanding women and men from across the globe.

This autumn’s Convocation celebration includes honorary doctorates:

  • On Wednesday, to Mike Lazaridis, visionary, investor in quantum computer technologies and founder of Blackberry and of the Perimeter Insititute for Theoretical Physics; and to Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier, director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, and best known for her role in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 immune system and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing.
  • On Thursday, to Gilles Patry, a consulting engineer who specializes in modelling and simulating water- and wastewater treatment facilities and was most recently President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and to Richard Seewald, a professor emeritus in Western’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a pioneer in the field of pediatric audiology.
  • On Friday, to Nonie Brennan, CEO of the anti-poverty organization, All Chicago Making Homelessness History; and to Nancy Southern, a world-leading businessperson who heads ATCO, a huge Canadian holding company with subsidiaries in utilities and construction industries, and who has been named among Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women outside the US.

Western graduates about 10,000 students each year during spring and autumn convocation ceremonies. 

WHAT: Western University’s autumn Convocation

WHEN: October 25, 26, 27 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day

WHERE: Alumni Hall


MEDIA CONTACT: Debora Van Brenk, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85165, or on mobile at 519-318-0657 and

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