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Spring Convocation honours the pursuit of lifelong learning

June 6, 2017

Victoria – Two distinguished Canadians whose achievements exemplify the best of lifelong learning, inside and outside the classroom, will share the spotlight with 788 graduates at Royal Roads University’s spring convocation ceremonies at the Royal Theatre June 13, 2017.

Acclaimed science journalist Bob McDonald and constitutional scholar Dr. J. Peter Meekison will join the graduates at the Royal Theatre in downtown Victoria to celebrate the university’s forty-first convocation. The ceremony will also feature the installation of Royal Roads’ Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors, Kathleen M. Birney.

“Royal Roads is honoured to recognize two distinguished Canadians as we celebrate our sesquicentennial year. We are privileged to award our highest honour to two eminent individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to our country and our understanding of it,” says Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor. “These distinguished Canadians join Chancellor Birney as ideal role models for our graduates of Canadians who are making a difference.”

Kathleen M. Birney will be Royal Roads’ sixth chancellor. Called and admitted to the British Columbia bar in 1994, Birney is a senior litigation counsel at Cox Taylor in Victoria, where she regularly advises public interest groups and corporate and individual landowners on land use and development issues as well as environmental and regulatory concerns. She joined the university’s Board of Governors in 2014.

J. Peter Meekison, PhD, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his significant role in the shaping of the modern Canadian constitution and enduring influence on post-secondary education in western Canada. Meekison served as Chancellor of Royal Roads from 2010 to 2013 and has held academic and executive roles at numerous universities. As a constitutional expert, Meekison is recognized as the architect of the amending formula of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks and chief science correspondent for CBC TV’s The National, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his work to promote science and scientific literacy to Canadians of all ages. He has hosted two television shows on science for children, numerous television documentaries and more than 100 educational videos. He is the also author of four bestselling science books.

This spring’s convocation ceremonies will recognize the achievements of graduates who have earned degrees, certificates or diplomas in the Faculty of Management, the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. The graduates join more than 24,800 alumni of Royal Roads University in 60 countries worldwide.

The ceremony for the Faculty of Management graduates takes place at 9:30 a.m. and will include the installation of Chancellor Kathleen M. Birney and conferral of an honorary degree on Dr. J. Peter Meekison.       

The ceremony for the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences graduates and graduates of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies takes place at 2:00 p.m. and will include conferral of an honorary degree on Bob McDonald.

Both morning and afternoon ceremonies will be available to view live on Royal Roads University’s broadcast channel.