Five to be awarded honorary degrees at spring convocation

fivehonoredTRU students won’t be the only ones getting degrees at spring convocation this month. Five in­fluential individuals will also be awarded honorary degrees by the university.

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.