Thomas Berger, Cindy Blackstock, Kevin Krueger, Kenneth Lepin and Michaela Pereira will be presented with honorary doctorates.
Honoris causa, as they are also known, are degrees for which the usual requirements have been waived by the institution and honour the recipients’ long-term achievements in their particular fields.
According to the TRU website, the “highest form of recognition” awarded by the university is an honorary doctorate and they are given to those “who have demonstrated excellence in the field of public affairs, the sciences, arts, humanities, business or philanthropy, with achievements both relevant and appropriate to TRU.”
In addition to being the youngest judge appointed to the Supreme Court in the 20th century, Berger’s career also included time as a professor at the University of British Columbia and a stint in politics as an MP and MLA. He has also published more than 25 titles.
Among other awards, Berger received the Honour of Canada in 1990, and 22 years later, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. TRU’s commitment to equality and diversity is exemplified by Berger’s “dedication to the principles of Aboriginal and human rights,” as stated by the university.
An advocate for underprivileged youth, Pereira started her career as a journalist in Victoria, B.C. before working in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now she lives in New York City and works for CNN. She has also won several awards. It’s her philanthropic work with youth that caught TRU’s attention.
Blackstock, who is currently a tenured associate professor at the University of Alberta and the executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, dedicates her work to Aboriginal rights and educating Canadians on the struggles Aboriginals face.
Her work has been published more than 60 times and she has won more than 40 awards.
“TRU’s commitment to the betterment of society through Aboriginal learning, knowledge and research” is demonstrated with Blackstock’s extensive work, according to the university.
The Kamloops-North Thompson MLA for 17 years, Krueger has worked to establish TRU as a university and to develop its law school.
Krueger recently developed a consulting company centred on “economic development between First Nations, investors and governments.” TRU’s commitment to community through education and service is exemplified through Krueger’s leadership and work to improve Kamloops and the region.
Having donated more than $2.5 million to TRU in awards, Lepin is a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur whose work will have a long-term influence on Kamloops. He has also made donations to the Royal Inland Hospital.
The university says that Lepin’s actions support its “commitment to increasing student success through accessible education and Kamloops’ entrepreneurial spirit.”
The ceremonies will take place at the Fieldhouse at the Tournament Capital Centre, with Pereira and Krueger receiving their degrees on June 10, Blackstock and Lepin on June 11 and Berger on June 12.
Nominations for candidates for honorary doctorates can be made year-round by TRU employees, students, alumni and members of the Board of Governors, submitted through a form on TRU’s website.