Lakehead Orillia announces honorary degree and Civitas Award recipients for 2016 Convocation

April 14, 2016 – Orillia, ON

Lakehead University will recognize two champions of education at this year’s Convocation Ceremony on Saturday, June 4 at Rotary Place in Orillia.

Bonnie Patterson, an outstanding leader in postsecondary education, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree for her contribution to the growth and development of universities in Ontario. She was president of the Council of Ontario Universities, president of Trent University, and also held national and international leadership roles in postsecondary education.

“Honorary degree recipients are chosen based on their excellent contributions to society and their remarkable service,” said Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead’s President and Vice-Chancellor. 

Lakehead will also recognize the hard work and dedication of Garfield Dunlop, who will receive the 2016 Civitas Award, which is awarded annually to a community member who has made a significant contribution to the University’s Orillia campus. 

“As the MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) for Simcoe North, Garfield played a critical role in the establishment of the Orillia campus,” said Dr. Kim Fedderson, Lakehead Orillia Principal. “From the outset, he provided us with exceptional leadership and guidance, which has been vital to the growth of the campus.”

 Bonnie Patterson

Honorary Degree  – Bonnie M. Patterson C.M. O. Ont. B.A. M.L.S. ICD.D 

Bonnie Patterson is a champion of higher education and a role model for women in leadership.  She has been recognized for a series of “firsts” in a highly successful career in the university sector that spans four decades.

As the first in her family to go to university, Bonnie began to carve her own path as a teenager. She obtained a B.A. and M.L.S. from Western University in London, Ontario, where she subsequently joined the faculty and thrived in the academic environment. After joining Ryerson University (then Ryerson Polytechnic Institute), she quickly moved into academic administration chairing the School of Administration and Information Management, serving as Special Advisor to the President during Ryerson’s transformation to full university status, and went on to become the first woman Dean of Business in Canada.

Bonnie’s impact continued to grow when she was named the first woman President of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) in 1995, followed by an appointment as the first woman President & Vice-Chancellor of Trent University in 1998, a position she held for 11 years before returning to serve at the request of Ontario’s university presidents as President & CEO of COU for an additional six years. While President at Trent, she was the first woman to Chair the Board of Universities Canada (then known as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.) 

Throughout her career, Bonnie has spearheaded several international education initiatives including working with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as an International Expert to develop a composite model for benchmarking university sustainability.

 Garfield Dunlop

Garfield Dunlop – 2016 Civitas Award

As the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Simcoe North from 1999 to 2015, Garfield has been an outstanding advocate for the communities in his riding for decades, and for Lakehead University’s Orillia campus since it was first proposed in 2003.

A long-serving and popular Coldwater-based politician, Garfield resigned from the legislature in 2015 to provide a vacancy so that Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown could seek a seat in the legislature. 

After attending elementary and secondary school in Simcoe North, and university in Waterloo, Garfield entered the family business, Glen Dunlop Plumbing, Heating and Supplies Ltd. in 1971. In 1980, Garfield began his career in politics when he was elected Councillor for the Village of Coldwater. From 1982 until 1994, he was Reeve of the village. In 1994, after the County of Simcoe was restructured, Garfield was elected Deputy Mayor of the Township of Severn, where he served until the 1999 provincial election. He was Warden of Simcoe County in 1998. In his role as an MPP, Garfield served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education; Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform; Education; and Training, Colleges and Universities.

Garfield was instrumental in the founding of Lakehead’s Orillia campus. His expertise and determination was critical in helping Lakehead’s senior administration successfully open the Orillia campus in 2006.  For the past decade he has provided the Lakehead community with exceptional leadership and service. His timely support has been vital to the growth of the campus – whether it was offering advice on local issues, supporting student projects, working to establish lobby days as an annual event at Queen’s Park, or providing guidance on special government projects and opportunities. His friendship, dedication, and support have made him a true anchor of Lakehead University’s Orillia campus. 

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Kathy Hunt, Communications Officer
705-330-4008 ext. 2014

Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2016 University Rankings place Lakehead University second in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and first among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2015, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities.