York University will celebrate outstanding community leaders with honorary degrees during Convocation


TORONTO, June 10, 2019 – York University will award 10 honorary degrees during spring Convocation this year to recognize outstanding contributions to community building, social justice, health research and philanthropy.

“The individuals we are honouring are transforming the lives of teachers in the Dadaab refugee settlements and new Canadians in Toronto. They are leading the way on social justice and human rights issues, and providing the world with groundbreaking health research,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, president and vice-chancellor of York University. “Their achievements serve as inspiration for York’s newest graduates and for all of us.”

Convocation will be held at York’s Keele campus from Friday, June 14 to Friday, June 21, 2019 (see schedule). Ceremonies will be held at the Convocation Pavilion, Aviva Centre, located at 1 Shoreham Drive, on the west side of the Keele campus (See MAP).

Below are the honorary degree recipients in order of the Faculty ceremonies at which they will be honoured. Biographies of the honorary degree recipients can be found HERE:

Lynn Posluns (Faculty of Health, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Lassonde School of Engineering, Friday, June 14, 2019, 3:30 p.m.)
Lynn Posluns is founder and president of Women’s Brain Health Initiative, which she established to ensure researchers considered gender differences in the brain.

Paul Alofs (Faculty of Health, Monday, June 17, 2019, 10:30 a.m.)
Paul Alofs is a social sector champion and former CEO of Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, where he successfully led a Billion Dollar Challenge in fundraising.

Paul Gross (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Monday, June 17, 2019, 3:30pm)
Paul Gross is an eminent Canadian actor, writer, director, producer and arts supporter who brings Canada’s stories to Canadians.

Marcie Ponte (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 10:30 a.m.)
Marcie Ponte is executive director of the Working Women Community Centre and a community builder committed to new Canadians.

Anne C. Cools (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 10:30 a.m.)
Anne Cools was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1984, becoming the first black Canadian Senator, and served for 35 years until retiring last year. She is a social justice and civil rights advocate and pioneer in protection of women from domestic abuse.

Jennifer Doudna (Faculty of Science, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 10:30 a.m.)
Jennifer Doudna is a biochemist and leading genomics researcher whose co-discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 genetic engineering technology has had huge impact for biology and medicine.

Marangu Njogu (Faculty of Education, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 3:30 p.m.)
Marangu Njogu has provided leadership in the development of refugee education in Africa for three decades, including in the Dadaab refugee settlement where York University’s Faculty of Education delivers teacher education programs.

Cheryl McEwen (Schulich School of Business, Friday, June 21, 2019, 10:30 a.m.)
Cheryl McEwen is an entrepreneur and community leader. Cheryl and Rob McEwen’s philanthropy has made a tremendous impact on Canadian healthcare and education.

Kimberlé Crenshaw (Osgoode Hall Law School, Friday, June 21, 2019, 3:30 p.m.)
Kimberlé Crenshaw is a professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the University of California, Los Angeles, and leading scholar and thought leader in civil rights and black feminist legal history.

Glendon Campus opened Convocation season last Friday by awarding an honorary Doctor of Laws to businessman and philanthropist Gregory Belton.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Janice Walls, York University Media Relations, wallsj@yorku.ca, 416-455-4710.