The ceremony takes place at the Shaw Centre just off campus. Photo: Scott Robertson.
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The University of Ottawa has released the names of the seven people who will share the stage with thousands of U of O graduating students at this year’s spring convocation to receive their honorary doctorates.

“Honorary doctorates are awarded for the substantial contribution made by the recipient to the University of Ottawa, to their profession, or to society at large,” the U of O said in a release.

This year’s recipients include Roger Paul, who will be honoured on June 16 by the faculty of education for his “protection and development of Ontario’s and Canada’s francophonie.” Paul joined the Franco-Ontarian Teachers’ Association near the beginning of his career and went on to head the National Federation of Francophone School Boards and the National Cluster of Directorates General Education in 2009 for almost a decade.

“Paul’s resilience was a catalyst in ensuring a strengthened and growing French-language education not only in Eastern Ontario but from coast to coast to coast,” the release says.

On June 17 the faculty of arts will recognize Amin Maalouf, an internationally acclaimed Lebanese-born French author. Maalouf started his career as a journalist covering major events including the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy in 1974. In the mid-1980s he transitioned towards writing novels, essays and opera librettos. He’s the author of The Rock of Tainos, winner of the esteemed Prix Goncourt, France’s highest literary honour.

On that same day, the faculty of health sciences will honour Dina Brooks, the vice dean of the faculty of sciences at McMaster University and executive director of its School of Rehabilitation Science. “Brooks is recognized internationally as a leader in cardiorespiratory rehabilitation,” the release says, highlighting her time as the Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation and Chronic Pulmonary Disease.

Brooks was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013 for the impact of her research on people living with lung disease and is a fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The faculty of engineering will award “telecom trailblazer” Veena Rawat an honorary doctorate on June 18, president and CEO of Expert Strategies International, “a technological consulting firm that advises national and international clients on telecommunication policies and regulations.” Prior to that, she held a number of executive positions in the public service related to radio frequency spectrum wireless and satellite communication services.

Rawat is the first female to complete a doctorate in electrical engineering from Queen’s University and was the first female president of the Communication Research Centre. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014.

Later that day the faculty of science will recognize Dianne Newman, a molecular biologist and professor at California Institute of Technology’s divisions of biology and biological engineering and geological and planetary sciences. Newman was named a top innovator under 35 in 1999 by the MIT Technological Review. She uses an interdisciplinary lens to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie ancient forms of metabolism.

On June 19 Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner will be honoured by the faculty of law. Wagner was called to the Quebec Bar in 1980 and was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2004. He was then appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012 and became Chief Justice in 2017.

The Telfer School of Management will close out spring convocation that day by honouring Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose, the outerwear company founded by his grandfather. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2016 for his entrepreneurial success and charitable in communities in the Canadian Arctic.

Reiss’s “passion for bringing Canada to the world has fueled the brand’s journey from the Canadian North to the streets of Toronto, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Beijing,” the release reads, describing him as “an unwavering advocate for made-in-Canada manufacturing.”