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Friday, May 26, 1995

Convocation week continues

At the arts convocation yesterday a couple of people passed out, and one brand-new BA paused on stage to display a sign: "UW graduate for hire." Just your average convocation day. . . .

Friday afternoon

The convocation session at 2:00 today is for the faculty of science, and there are two honorary degrees to be given out. One is to Felix Franks of Cambridge University, an important figure in low-temperature chemistry and biology, and in technology transfer. The other is to earth scientist Digby McLaren, who will give the convocation address.

Erwin Dumbroff, retired from the biology department, will be made "distinguished professor emeritus", and Desmond Hemming of physics will receive one of this year's Distinguished Teacher Awards. The valedictorian, on behalf of the 544 students receiving their degrees, is Omar Rashid. There will be two gold medals: from the UW alumni association, for the highest undergraduate standing, to Stephen Bartlett, and from the Governor-General of Canada, for the highest standing in a graduate program at UW this year, to John Corrigan.

Saturday morning

The only morning session of convocation, at 10 a.m. tomorrow, will include some 599 degrees in mathematics -- one of them going to Michele Mosca, who will be valedictorian for her graduating class. There is just one honorary degree, to Hans Buhlmann, described as "the best-known actuary in the world", a pioneer in theoretical research in actuarial science.

Arthur Beaumont, retired from the applied math department after a long UW career in teaching and administration, will become an "honorary member of the university". Receiving the Governor-General's silver medal, for the highest standing in an undergraduate program at UW this year, is Ian Goldberg. The Samuel Eckler Medal for the highest standing in actuarial science will go to Alana Farrell.

To be presented for the first time is the J. W. Graham Medal, honouring contributions to computing in Canada by a Waterloo graduate.

Saturday afternoon

The 2 p.m. convocation session tomorrow will see 656 engineering degrees awarded, plus two honorary degrees. One goes to Norio Okada, disaster prevention and social systems engineer at Japan's Kyoto University, who has had much to do with UW's successful exchange program with Tottori University in Japan. The other honorary degree is for Chang-Lin Tien, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, who will give the address.

The alumni gold medal winner is Todd Veldhuizen, graduating in systems design engineering. Mike Yovanovich of mechanical engineering will receive a Distinguished Teacher Award.

Other things are happening

It's payday, for faculty and most staff members. And staff who are getting paid today will have noticed something nice in their pay slips earlier this week: there are no longer any little deductions because of the Social Contract. As of May 1, we're into a new fiscal year, and in 1995-96 there are to be no unpaid days for staff members. (Faculty are still taking five unpaid days this year.)

Wilfrid Laurier University holds its spring convocation today at the Waterloo Recreation Complex. It's giving out some 650 degrees and diplomas, with honorary degrees to Walter Kroll (head of the German Space Agency) and Landon Pearson (a Canadian senator "recognized for her life-long service to the advancement of children").

The Japanese Spring Festival continues, with today's seminar on "Creating and Maintaining Canada-Japan Business Connections". The ambassador of Japan to Canada, Noboru Nakahira, is the noon-hour keynote speaker. Tomorrow starting at 10 a.m., there are demonstrations (at Renison College) of such Japanese arts as flower arranging, calligraphy, origami, martial arts and the tea ceremony. And tomorrow at 8 p.m., a concert of Japanese folk and traditional dancing and drums takes place in the Theatre of the Arts.

Staff asked about compensation

Mark Walker, president-elect of the staff association, sends a final reminder that staff members are urged to fill out the recent survey about compensation issues. "We have had a good return rate to date," he says, "and we would like to ensure that all staff members have an opportunity to voice their opinions. You do not have to be a Staff Association member in order to fill out a survey form. If people have misplaced the form please contact the Staff Association Office at ext. 3566 and forms will be sent to you. The survey is also available on the uw.staffassoc newsgroup if that is more convenient."

Utility shutdowns are planned

Tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon, electrical power (and heating, cooling and ventilation) will be turned off in the PAS (Psychology) building. "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion," the plant operations department suggests.

All next week -- from 7:30 a.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Friday -- the water will be turned off in the north and west quads of Village 2, while valves are replaced and tanks inspected. There's nobody living in those quads at this time of year.

Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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