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Friday, May 24, 1996
Convocation today for science
This afternoon's convocation ceremony -- 2 p.m., Physical Activities
Complex -- will see the awarding of degrees from the science faculty, and
a whole series of special awards:
Speaking to convocation as valedictorian, on behalf of the graduating
class, will be Kim Getty of biology.
- "Distinguished Professor Emeritus" status for
Don Brodie, retired from the department of physics, who was dean of
- "Distinguished Professor Emeritus" status also for Thammaiah
Viswanatha of the chemistry department.
- An honorary degree for Pierre Dixneuf, an organometallic chemist
from the Universite de Rennes, France. (Presenting Dixneuf to convocation
will be Arthur Carty, president of the National Research Council of
Canada, former chemistry professor and dean of research at UW.)
- An honorary degree for Digby McLaren, prominent Canadian earth
- The alumni association gold medal to Heather Dobson, of chemistry,
as the highest-ranking student graduating in science this year.
- The Governor-General's silver medal to John Lewis Brubacher,
- The Dean's Award for "creative research" in a master's thesis
to Patrick Goegan (biology, James Martin (chemistry), Ian Callow (earth
sciences), Bradley Goodyear and Serena Schlueter (both physics).
- The W. B. Pearson Medal for "creative research" in a doctoral
thesis to Janine Clemons (biology), Masao Tsukazaki (chemistry),
James Smith and Forrest Harvey (both earth sciences), and Michael
Tomorrow morning, it's mathematics
Saturday sees two convocation ceremonies, with the morning one (10 a.m.)
being for degrees from the faculty of mathematics. Among the special
honours to be handed out:
Valedictorian on behalf of the graduating class will be Craig
Kaplan (computer science and pure math).
- "Distinguished Professor Emeritus" status for Wes Graham of the
department of computer science, popularly known as "the father of
computing at Waterloo".
- An honorary degree for Anne Penfold Street, a combinatorics and
data security expert from the University of Queensland, Australia.
- The J. W. Graham Medal -- named in honour of the man who's just
become a Distinguished Professor Emeritus -- given this year to
William Reeves, who earned a BMath from UW in 1974 and, somewhat more
recently, has earned Oscars and other distinctions for computer
- The alumni association gold medal to Peter Milley (computer science
and pure math) as the top BMath graduate of the year.
- The Samuel Eckler Medal for highest standing in actuarial science,
to Aviva Shneider.
And in the afternoon, engineering
The last convocation ceremony of the spring, starting at 2 p.m.
tomorrow, will see degrees awarded in engineering. Among the special
honours tomorrow (and there may be others of which I'm not aware, since
the program hasn't come back from the print shop yet):
The weekend's convocation ceremonies will be the last at which
Trevor Boyes and Bruce Lumsden place hoods, representing newly-earned
degrees, over the heads of hundreds of graduates. Boyes, UW's
long-time registrar, is retiring this spring, and Lumsden --
formerly associate registrar, now director of co-operative
education and career services -- says he's dropping out of convocation
- An honorary degree to Leslie Shemilt of the chemical engineering
department at McMaster University.
- An honorary degree to Madan Singh, prominent systems design
engineering researcher who is based at the University of Manchester
Institute of Science and Technology.
- The Governor-General's Gold Medal to Vahid Tarokh, receiving a
PhD in electrical engineering.
- The alumni gold medal for top BASc graduate of the year, to
Gifford Shearer, chemical engineering.
Another convocation tradition comes to an end with the retirement
of Bruce Pinder, whose last duties for UW will involve the detailed
arrangements for tomorrow afternoon's ceremony. Pinder is the person
who supervises the marshals, sees that diplomas and hoods are in the
right places, keeps the lineups straight and counts the chairs. At
yesterday's ceremony, he could be seen frantically adding a few
chairs to the platform seconds before the procession came up the
centre aisle of the gymnasium -- and everything worked out perfectly,
as it generally does. Today being his last weekday in UW's employ, his
colleagues in the registrar's office have found time to decorate his
office fittingly. Now they have to figure out how to plan fall
convocation without him.
Birthday for a prominent figure
Ron Eydt, who will be front and centre as he carries the mace up
to the convocation platform, marks a birthday today (a date, though
not a year, he shares with the late Queen Victoria). Eydt is
retiring this spring after a long career not only as mace-bearer
but as UW's warden of residences; he was also formerly a professor
To celebrate his years in charge of the Villages, the annual
dons' reunion in June will be something special this year.
Organizers are describing it as "Eydt Night: The Ultimate Dons'
Reunion", with events June 7-9 that include a Saturday night
banquet and roast. To spread the word,
there's a Web
site and a toll-free phone number (800-565-5410).
Among honours Eydt has already received is the creation of the Ron
Eydt Travel Award, a bursary for students taking part in exchange
programs; former dons attending the June reunion are being encouraged
to boost the fund.
Also in today's news
And happy Shavuot, for those observing the "Feast of Weeks".
- The staff association is off on its Niagara Wine Tour
tomorrow, with stops at four wineries; the day ends with a chicken
- Electrical power, heating, cooling and ventilation will be
turned off in the Earth Sciences and Chemistry building tomorrow
(Saturday) from 8 a.m. to noon. "Computer equipment should be shut
down in an orderly fashion," a notice from the plant operations
- The 26th
Ontario Universities Computing Conference gets going in
the Village II conference centre on Sunday and runs through
Tuesday. About 110 participants are expected, apart from the
UW people taking part. Working sessions in the Davis Centre start
on Monday morning.
Chris Redmond -- firstname.lastname@example.org
and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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