May 22, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON
Lakehead University will recognize six exceptional people at this year’s convocation ceremonies on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.
Canadian Sports Broadcaster Ron MacLean, Porter Airlines’ President & CEO Robert Deluce, and former Ryerson University President and Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Dr. Sheldon Levy will each receive an honorary degree for their remarkable achievements.
“These individuals are being recognized for their exceptional accomplishments along with the achievements of our students who will graduate this year,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.
Lakehead will also honor the dedication of Beverly Sabourin, Jim Symington, and Pentti Paularinne by naming them Fellows of the University.
David Tamblyn, Chair of Lakehead’s Board of Governors, said Fellows are chosen due to their contributions to the growth and development of Lakehead University.
“For many years, Lakehead students have benefitted from their support and for that we are very grateful,” Tamblyn said.
More than 1,700 students will graduate during the three Thunder Bay ceremonies and more than 400 will graduate from the Orillia convocation ceremony that will be held on Saturday, June 9.
Friday, June 1 – 2 pm
Over professional and volunteer careers spanning five decades, Beverly Sabourin has made outstanding contributions to the cultural and educational advancement of Indigenous people and to the communities where she has lived.
From the Ojibwe community of Pic Mobert, Beverly has a BA in Sociology from Lakehead University and a BSW and MSW from McGill University.
Her distinguished career began in the 1970s as an Indigenous student counsellor at the Lakehead School Board and then at Confederation College. In the 1980s, she became the first Indigenous Coordinator/Counsellor for Indigenous Support Services at Lakehead University. She also served at the University of Calgary as an Indigenous counsellor and as Director of the Indigenous Access Program at Red River College in Winnipeg.
Beverly has left an indelible mark on each academic institution. She was appointed the first Vice-Provost of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead University in 2007, a position she held until her retirement in 2012.
She has made exceptional contributions to Lakehead by substantially increasing social and academic awareness of the Indigenous reality both on campus and in the community. She helped initiate and develop the University’s Gichi Kendaasiwin Centre, a hub for Lakehead's Indigenous students and wider community that the Province recently announced it intended to invest $10 million into over three years.
Beverly expanded Indigenous outreach, recruitment and retention initiatives. She was a strong advocate for Indigenous content in curriculum. She significantly enhanced and expanded Indigenous cultural support services and created a $5,000 scholarship for Indigenous women.
She advocated tirelessly for increased Indigenous staff and faculty and established positions in strategic areas to support students and faculty.
Beverly has augmented her career in education by serving in a volunteer capacity with numerous Indigenous organizations across Canada.
She will be named Fellow of the University during the convocation ceremony held on Friday, June 1 at 2 pm.
Saturday, June 2 – 9:30 am
Ron MacLean brings more than 30 years of award-winning experience to his role as host of Hockey Night in Canada, including Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry, and Rogers Hometown Hockey.
Ron began his broadcasting career in 1978 at CKRD Radio in Red Deer, Alberta, and in 1984 became host of the Calgary Flames television broadcasts on CFAC in Calgary. He joined CBC in 1986 as host of the Toronto Maple Leaf broadcasts on Hockey Night in Canada. In 1987, Ron became national host of Hockey Night in Canada, which included hosting the legendary Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry.
During his career with CBC, Ron also hosted 11 Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Championships, World Cup Hockey, the Calgary Stampede and Queen's Plate.
In 2015, Ron and Don Cherry were inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Ron has been recognized with a Canadian Screen Award for Best Host in a Sports Program or Series, adding to his 10 Gemini Awards and George Gross Award, among others.
He has published two books: “Hockey Towns: Untold Stories from the Heart of Canada” and Canadian bestseller, "Cornered", both co-authored by Kirstie McLellan Day.
Ron is a former Level 5 referee for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and lives with his wife, Cari, in Oakville, ON.
He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in absentia on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am.
Robert J. Deluce
Robert J. Deluce is a member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, and recognized as one of the country’s most knowledgeable and respected airline owners and operators. He is part of a decades-long Canadian aviation legacy that began when his parents started White River Air Services Limited in 1951.
Robert’s involvement in the aviation industry includes White River Air Services, norOntair, Austin Airways, Air Creebec, Air Ontario, Air Manitoba, Air Alliance and Canada 3000 Airlines.
As Porter’s founding president and CEO, Robert is responsible for overseeing the airline’s strategy, finances, commercial objectives and operational performance. His leadership has been recognized through a number of awards, including the E&Y Ontario Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, the Canadian Marketing Association Marketer of the Year, and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Entrepreneur of the Year).
Robert is a Bachelor of Science graduate from McGill University. He has also been granted honorary doctorates from Laurentian University, McGill University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
In 2012, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution and achievement to Canadians.
He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Commerce on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am.
Jim Symington was born in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ont. and spent his elementary school days in Hurkett, where his parents ran the local general store.
Jim completed his high school education and was a member of the first graduating class of Lakeview High School (now St. Ignatius). He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University, then trained as a Chartered Accountant with a major Accounting firm in Toronto.
This led to a rewarding career in Accounting and Finance, including as Controller of a major investment dealer in Toronto, proprietor of his own public accounting firm, and Secretary-Treasurer of a regional trucking and real estate company upon his return to Thunder Bay.
Jim’s connections with Lakehead University go back many years. His first two years of high school were completed at Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, which now houses Lakehead’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.
He took one year towards his Commerce degree at Lakehead College of Arts, Sciences and Technology in the early stages of its conversion to Lakehead University. Later, he spent a year as a lecturer of Accounting and Finance at Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration in its fledgling years.
Since his retirement, Jim and his wife, Shirley have travelled to many parts of the world. They have also given back to the community. As well as supporting Lakehead, Jim and Shirley have supported other local organizations, including The Thunder Bay Community Foundation, The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists.
He will be named Fellow of the University on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am.
Saturday, June 2 – 2 pm
Dr. Sheldon Levy is CEO of NEXT Canada, which helps promising young Canadian innovators start and scale their own ventures. A long-time champion of innovation and builder of start-up ecosystems, Sheldon also serves on the Advisory Board of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and on the Leadership Council of Scale Up Ventures, Inc.
From 2015–2017, Sheldon served as Deputy Minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, where he helped drive innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Ontario’s postsecondary education and training system.
Over the years, Sheldon has been a true friend of Lakehead University. With a deep appreciation for our University’s focus on research, student engagement and accessibility, he has generously made himself available to offer his wisdom and experience to our senior administrators and Board of Governors.
From 2005 to 2015, as President & Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University, Sheldon initiated Ryerson’s many initiatives to foster student innovation. Under his direction, Ryerson created the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), an early-stage incubator for student entrepreneurs which has since become an international success. Sheldon is also a founder and advisor to Ryerson Futures Inc., an accelerator that has exported the DMZ concept to such locations as Calgary and Mumbai.
Sheldon’s prior positions have included President, Sheridan College; Vice-President Finance and Strategy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Vice-President Governmental and Institutional Relations, University of Toronto; and Vice-President Institutional Affairs, York University.
He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Education at 2 pm on Saturday, June 2.
Pentti Paularinne graduated from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in 1969.
Pentti began his career at Lakehead as Admissions Officer in May 1969, moving up to Assistant Registrar Admissions in June 1975, Director of Continuing Education in May 1978 and Registrar in June 1979. He retired in August 2003 as University Registrar and Secretary of Senate. Among his most gratifying tasks was organizing Convocation ceremonies for 24 years.
Throughout his career, Pentti was motivated by his unwavering belief in the mission of Lakehead University and deep commitment to serving the needs of students. He influenced their lives, either directly, through one-on-one consultations, or indirectly, through the policies and procedures he instituted.
In 2002 Pentti was the first recipient of the Lakehead University Staff Award for Outstanding Performance. He marked the occasion by establishing the Paularinne Bursary.
Pentti’s record of community service is extensive, much of it linked to the well-being of Lakehead. He has served as a Director of the Canadian Suomi Foundation for 38 years (currently as President), which has raised over $500,000 to support the Chair in Finnish Studies at Lakehead and funds several student awards.
In 1996 the City of Thunder Bay presented Pentti with a Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Award.
During his career, Pentti served as President of the Ontario Registrars Association and Chair of the Ontario Universities Application Centre Advisory Group.
Pentti and his wife Marion reside in Thunder Bay. They have three children and five grandchildren. He will be named Fellow of the University on Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm.
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Lakehead University has approximately 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.