Orillia Campus to honour former mayor and veteran broadcaster at convocation ceremony

June 4, 2024 – Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University will celebrate the achievements of over 700 graduates at its Orillia campus convocation ceremonies on June 7.

“I am so proud of our graduates,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gillian Siddall. “Over the last four years they have experienced an unprecedented educational journey - one of extreme challenges but also immense victories. These experiences have shaped who they are today and who they will be in the world. Congratulations to the class of 2024!”

In addition to celebrating the graduating class of 2024, Lakehead will honour veteran broadcaster and journalist Valerie Pringle with an honorary degree. Steve Clarke will receive the Civitas Award for his contributions to the growth and development of the university.

“The Lakehead community is looking forward to acknowledging the life’s work of Steve Clarke and Valerie Pringle - people who have made vital contributions to their local and global communities,” said Dr. Siddall. “We look forward to hearing from our Valerie, who will share her wisdom with our graduates as they move on to the next phase of their lives.”

Honorary Degree Recipient

Valerie Pringle
Doctor of Humane Letters

Valerie PringleValerie Pringle enjoyed a distinguished career as a broadcaster for 50 years. She was a well-known anchor of two national news programs - Midday on CBC and Canada AM on CTV where she covered major stories of the day, from national elections and Royal weddings to space launches and the Olympics. Valerie is currently host and producer of Canada Files on PBS.

She has championed AIDS research for CANFAR, played a key role in building the Trans Canada Trail across the country, and tirelessly advocated for the treatment of mental illness, currently serving as Chair of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation.

In 2006, Valerie was honoured with the Order of Canada for her work in broadcasting and philanthropy. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2010 and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters will be conferred on Friday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

Civitas Award

Steve Clarke

Steve ClarkeSteve Clarke, prominent local business leader and former mayor of Orillia, is an advocate for Lakehead University. He was engaged in strong lobbying activities for provincial government support of the Orillia Campus and the Lakehead University-Georgian College Partnership. As mayor, he consistently supported and promoted the University through his public platform. Through his business, Brewery Bay Food Co., Steve is actively involved in Lakehead’s Humanities 101 program, hosting fundraising events and providing meals for students.

Steve’s service also extends into the community, where he supports local sports teams, causes and charities. He has been recognized with the Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Award; the Orillia and District Chamber of Commerce’s Strengthening Our Community Award and the Hats Off Award; the Queen’s Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Awards; and Orillia Citizen of the Year. Additionally, Steve and his wife Chris were named Business Person of Year. Steve and Chris have called Orillia home for over 30 years.

Steve will be recognized with the 2024 Civitas Award on Friday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

For more information, visit lakeheadu.ca/convocation.