Orillia Campus to celebrate three community leaders at 58th Convocation

May 11, 2023 – Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead will celebrate the exceptional achievements of over 500 graduates in Orillia this year at the 58th Convocation ceremony, to be held on Saturday, June 3. The University will also bestow honours on three influential and highly-respected members of the Orillia community.

Juno-award winning music producer and performer Lance Anderson will receive an honorary doctorate in music; founding Orillia Campus Principal Dr. Kim Fedderson will be named a Fellow of the University; and community advocate and retired teacher Fred Larsen will receive the 2023 Civitas Award.

“Our 58th Convocation is about celebrating and acknowledging the exceptional achievements and potential of our graduates,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor.  "The most recent years are likely the most challenging any Lakehead graduate has had to face and overcome, and we could not be prouder of each of them.”

“Our Lakehead community is also looking forward to acknowledging the vital contributions to our society and communities of this year’s awards recipients,” she added.

Dr. Linda Rodenburg, Interim Principal of the Orillia Campus, explained, “This year’s recipients have all had a tremendous impact on the Orillia Campus community in various ways. I’m pleased that we’re celebrating their commitment and outstanding leadership in a way that is not only meaningful but establishes their lasting legacy with Lakehead University.”

The Orillia Campus convocation ceremony will occur on Saturday, June 3 at 10 am at Rotary Place in the West Orillia Sports Complex.

Lance Anderson
Honorary Degree – Doctor of Music

Lance Anderson

Lance Anderson is a Juno award-winning music producer, film composer and a multiple nominee and recipient of the national Maple Blues Award for Keyboard Player of the Year.

He holds an Honours Bachelor of Music (Composition) degree from Western University and has enjoyed a professional career as a sought-after performer and partner with some of Canada’s most respected artists.

Lance was music producer and performer on the 2015 recording, ‘Oscar With Love,’ a critically acclaimed 3-CD package commemorating Oscar Peterson’s 90th birthday. Lance also co-produced the ground-breaking ‘Multi-media Oscar Peterson CD-Rom,’ which is considered to be one of the best resources for jazz piano in the world. More recently, Lance has arranged the first-ever orchestral score for Peterson’s ‘Canadiana Suite,’ which premiered in 2017.

Through his work as a professional musician/composer/performer and producer, Lance has shared his passion and musical expertise with his local community. As an artistic director, Lance has brought world-renowned artists to Orillia. His musical leadership has enhanced the cultural fabric of the community and provided education, entertainment and inspiration to fellow musicians and artists, students and countless audience members.

Dr. Kim Fedderson
Fellow of the University

Kim Fedderson

Kim, Annie and their children moved to Thunder Bay when he landed his dream job as an assistant professor in the Department of English at Lakehead University. He went on to become Chair of the Department and was later honoured to receive the University’s Distinguished Instructor Award in 1995. Throughout his career, he pursued his interests in rhetorical theory and practice and published extensively on Shakespeare with his colleague and friend, Dr. J.M. Richardson.

On two occasions the family lived in Asia during his visiting appointments at Yunnan University in China and Gifu University for Education and Languages in Japan.

As Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, he worked closely with colleagues on a variety of initiatives, including the development of interdisciplinary programming for the University’s proposed new campus in Orillia.

The family returned to southern Ontario when he was appointed Dean, and later Principal, of the Orillia Campus. Here, he worked with faculty, staff, students and the community as they successfully established the university in Simcoe County.

He served, and continues to serve, on a variety of boards—Campus Co-op Daycare, Magnus Theatre, the North of Superior Film Association, Mariposa Folk Festival, the Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture—and is happiest playing his guitar for his grandchildren.

Fred Larsen
2023 Civitas Award

Fred LarsenBorn and raised in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Fred and his late wife Patricia planted roots in Orillia back in 1971. It was here they raised their three children: Chris, James and Joe.

He spent 30 years as an English teacher and department head at Twin Lakes Secondary School before retiring in 2001.

In 2005, Fred was one of five community members asked to sit on the Orillia Mayor’s University Task Force, chaired by then Mayor Ron Stevens. As a result of the work of this group, Lakehead University’s Orillia campus opened in 2006.

Fred has a long history of engagement with the Orillia community. He is past president of the Orillia Kiwanis Club; president of the Orillia Vocal Ensemble Board of Directors; chairman of Arts Orillia; chair and founding member of the Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture – now Arts Orillia; treasurer and founding member of Sustainable Orillia; and active volunteer for the Simcoe North Provincial Liberal Association. He also spent many seasons as an actor with the Mariposa Arts Theatre company.

Fred currently lives with his wife Lois and their poodle, Jack, in Oro-Medonte.

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Media contact: Jaclyn Bucik, Media, Communications & Marketing Associate, 705-330-4010 ext. 2014, or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.