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U of G to honour Indigenous advocate, agricultural leader at convocation

Claudette Durmont-Smith and Deborah Whale will be receiving honourary degrees
20160202 University of Guelph 04 KA
FILE PHOTO: University of Guelph. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday



Two extraordinary Canadian women — one a champion for Indigenous peoples, the other a leader in environmentally sustainable agriculture — will receive honorary degrees at the University of Guelph’s fall convocation.

Convocation ceremonies take place Saturday, Oct. 21 at War Memorial Hall.

Claudette Dumont-Smith has worked for more than three decades to enhance Indigenous health across Canada, and to reduce violence against Indigenous women and girls. She served on the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

As the executive director of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, she helped lead an initiative that documented more than 1,000 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in this country. Dumont-Smith was trained in nursing and public administration.

She will receive her honorary degree and give a public address during the convocation ceremony for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Deborah Whale, vice-president and co-owner of Clovermead Farms Inc. in Alma, Ont., is a sixth-generation farmer. Clovermead, a mixed operation, serves as a model of environmental farming.

An advocate for agri-food research and education, Whale successfully lobbied for the Animal Health Act for Ontario, and for the creation of the Office of the Chief Veterinarian of Ontario. She was a founding director of the Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council.

She will receive her honorary degree and speak during the 2 p.m. convocation ceremony for the Ontario Agricultural College.

Four longtime U of G professors will be named professors emeriti during fall convocation.

  • Jacek Lipkowski, Department of Chemistry, is an international leader in electrochemistry. He spent 33 years at U of G.
  • Ric Knowles, School of English and Theatre Studies, is recognized as Canada’s leader in theatre studies scholarship. His work has been published and taught around the world. He began teaching theatre at U of G in 1992.
  • Peter Krell, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is a world authority on viruses that infect insects. He joined the University in 1981.
  • Mansel Griffiths, Department of Food Science, is a global leader in dairy microbiology and food safety. He joined the University in 1990.

Convocation ceremony times are as follows:

  • 9 a.m. College of Biological Science, Ontario Veterinary College
  • 11:30 a.m. College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
  •  2 p.m. College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, Ontario Agricultural College
  • 4:30 p.m. College of Business and Economics (except MA Leadership and MBA)
  • 7 p.m. College of Arts, College of Business and Economics (MA Leadership, MBA)



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