May 18, 2022
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Founder of the Barenaked Ladies Steven Page and Princeton Research Scholar and former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada Carolyn Wilkins are among five accomplished Canadians who will receive honorary degrees at Wilfrid Laurier University’s spring convocation ceremonies celebrating the graduating class of 2022. Two Brantford campus ceremonies will take place at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts June 3 and 12 Waterloo campus ceremonies will take place at Lazaridis Hall June 13 to 17.
The honorary degree recipients are:
Laurier will also present the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University to David McMurray, former vice-president of Student Affairs, who retired in June 2020.
As a Palestinian physician and internationally renowned peace and human rights activist, Dr. Abuelaish has dedicated his life to promoting health as a vehicle for peace. Dr. Abuelaish was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and was the first Palestinian doctor to work in medicine at an Israeli hospital.
In his book, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity, Dr. Abuelaish talks of the tragic deaths of his three daughters during the 2009 Gaza War and his commitment to forgiveness. He has received several national and international awards and nominations in recognition of his advocacy and promotion of human rights, peace and health. Dr. Abuelaish is the founder and president of Daughters for Life.
Bachir, a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, is renowned for his philanthropic accomplishments in the worlds of art and social justice. A resident of the County of Brant, he is the former president of Cineplex Media and publisher of the Cineplex Magazine. Bachir was named a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston for “his leadership as an entrepreneur and for his commitment to the arts and to social justice.” He was named the Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade in 2005 and 2016 and has been a champion for 2SLGBTQ+ rights around the world.
Bachir’s support and fundraising efforts for causes such as Doctors Without Borders, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the 519, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and many more, have earned him the nickname “Gala Salah.”
Page was the lead singer, songwriter and founding member of the iconic Canadian band Barenaked Ladies and is recognized as an inspirational mental health advocate. Page and the band toured the world, selling out venues ranging from Madison Square Garden to the Royal Albert Hall, sold nearly 15 million albums and won numerous accolades. In 2017, Page visited Laurier and performed side-by-side with Laurier’s Faculty of Music. The performance included music that Page arranged and was conducted by his son Isaac Page (BMus ’18). He also visited Laurier during Orientation Week in 2012 where he spoke about his struggles with depression and other forms of mental illness as well as his passion for increasing mental health awareness and eliminating the stigma of seeking help.
Sinclair is a licensed psychologist who consults with individuals from the medical, corporate and entertainment worlds, as well as professional athletes in several national leagues. A former international athlete herself, Sinclair served as captain of the Canadian Field Hockey Team and played hockey for the University of Cambridge, UK. Sinclair is a founding member of Human Performance International, a global management-consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals perform better and manage emotions under pressure.
Sinclair’s expertise has been instrumental in the selection and management of new coaches in Laurier Athletics for over two decades.
After working at the Bank of Canada for 13 years, in 2014, Wilkins (BA ’87) became the first woman to be appointed as the bank’s senior deputy governor for a seven-year term. In presiding over the Bank’s strategic planning and operations, and in sharing the critical duty of delivering a sound monetary policy, Wilkins was responsible for the stability of Canada’s economy. Following her career at the Bank of Canada, Wilkins was named senior research scholar at Princeton’s Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies in 2022.
Wilkins sits on the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Dean’s Advisory Council in Ottawa and was the first economist-in-residence for Lazaridis in 2014. Wilkins won the J. Alex Murray Lazaridis School Alumni Award in 2015, recognizing her role as a trailblazer for women in her field, her outstanding career success and her service to Laurier.
The Order of Wilfrid Laurier University, which honours recipients with a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the university, will be awarded to McMurray in recognition of his two decades of leadership and commitments to students at Laurier.
McMurray served as Laurier’s Vice-President of Student Affairs from 2010 until his retirement in 2020 and is a nationally and internationally recognized student affairs professional whose work exemplifies an innovative and integrative approach within the post-secondary context. His vision, organizational leadership skills, partnerships and achievements have cumulated in Laurier’s reputation as a national leader in not only student affairs, but in the integration of curricular and co-curricular initiatives that contribute to the holistic development and future preparedness of students.
Laurier will also present the University Research Professor award, the Faculty Award for Service Excellence and Community Engagement and the Distinguished Governor Award at its convocation ceremonies.
– 30 –