Queen's University

Obama's Economic Advisor among Queen's honorary degree recipients


Queen's University will confer an honorary doctorate of laws degree to U.S. economist Paul Volcker at Fall Convocation ceremonies this week.

Mr. Volcker is Chair of President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He worked in the United States Federal Government for almost 30 years, and served as Chair of the Federal Reserve between 1979 and 1987.

Queen’s will also confer honorary degrees to Canadian author, educator and activist Jeanette Armstrong, brain scientist and bestselling memoirist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, former CAW president Basil (Buzz) Hargrove, Toronto United Way President Frances Lankin, environmental and aboriginal activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier and former Queen’s principal Tom Williams.

Chancellor David Dodge will preside over the ceremonies, which will be webcast live from Grant Hall on the Queen’s campus on October 26, 29 and 30.

Convocation celebrations start Monday, October 26 at 5 p.m. with the installation of Queen’s 20th Principal Daniel Woolf. At that ceremony, honorary degrees will be conferred to Ms. Armstrong (LLD), Dr. Bolte-Taylor (DSc) and former Principal Williams (LLD).

Jeanette Armstrong writes poetry, fiction, essays and children’s literature, and teaches creative writing and performance. An Okanagan Indian from British Columbia, she is a visual artist who speaks internationally on native issues including native education and indigenous rights.

Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor is an American neuroanatomist who was one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world last year. In 1996, she suffered a rare form of stroke and, over eight years, rebuilt her brain noting how her “right side” blossomed as a result of the trauma to her “left side.” She has written a bestselling memoir, My Stroke Of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.

Tom Williams, Queen’s 19th Principal (2008-2009), served in many key leadership roles over the course of his career at Queen’s University, which started in 1977 when he was appointed Dean, Faculty of Education. He was also Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance), Vice-Principal (Institutional Relations), Acting Director of the School of Policy Studies and honorary president of the Alma Mater Society. His areas of academic expertise include education policy, administration and governance.

On Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 a.m., Frances Lankin will receive an LLD.
Ms. Lankin is widely recognized as a leader in the non-profit sector. As CEO of United Way Toronto since 2001, she has guided it through a strategic transformation into an organization that works to change social conditions. Ms. Lankin has a long record of community service, and was a member of provincial parliament for 11 years before joining the United Way.

On Thursday Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m., Basil (Buzz) Hargrove will receive an LLD.
Mr. Hargrove is one of Canada’s figureheads in the fight for workplace and social justice. His roots in the national labour movement began on a Windsor, Ontario auto assembly line, and he served as National President of the Canadian Auto Workers Union between 1992-2008, when he retired. He now has a national TV show and is Ombudsman to the National Hockey League Player’s Association.

On Friday, Oct. 30 at 9:30 a.m., Paul Volcker will receive an LLD.
Mr. Volcker is Chief Economic Adviser to the President of the United States.
He also serves as Chair of the Trustees of the Group of 30, and Honorary chair of the Trilateral Commission. He is associated with the Japan Society, the Institute of International Economics, the American Assembly and the American Council on Germany. He retired as Chair of Wolfensohn & Co. upon its merger with Bankers Trust.

On Friday, Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m., Sheila Watt-Cloutier will receive an LLD.
Ms. Watt-Cloutier is a renowned environmental activist and champion of Inuit human rights. Born in Nunavik (Northern Quebec), she was a political spokesperson for the Inuit people for over a decade and participated in global negotiations that led to the 2001 Stockholm Convention that bans the generation and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). She is the recipient of several national and international honours and awards in environmental leadership.

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