Peter Mansbridge, Cynthia Dale and Sarah Polley to receive honorary McMaster degrees


Canadian broadcaster Peter Mansbridge and actor Cynthia Dale are to receive husband-and-wife honorary degrees from McMaster next month.

Canadian broadcaster Peter Mansbridge and actor Cynthia Dale are to receive husband-and-wife honorary degrees from McMaster University in ceremonies that will also honour actor-director Sarah Polley and internationally and nationally prominent figures in science, engineering and the liberal arts.

Here’s a look at McMaster’s honorary degree recipients for 2017 Spring Convocation ceremonies:

Faculty of Health Sciences (May 25, 2:30 pm): Abraham Verghese.

Verghese is a physician, author and educator who appears frequently in the media and is highly regarded as an advocate for empathy and humanity in doctor-patient relationships. Verghese, a professor at Stanford University, received a National Humanities Medal from US President Barack Obama in 2016.

Peter George: McMaster’s former president and vice-chancellor (1995-2010) received his honorary degree in a special ceremony March 31. He died April 27.

Faculty of Business (June 12, 2:30 pm): Peter Mansbridge and Cynthia Dale.

Mansbridge is CBC’s chief correspondent and anchor of its flagship evening newscast, The National, a role he first assumed in 1988. Mansbridge is set to retire after his final broadcast July 1. The recipient of 12 Gemini Awards, Mansbridge holds nine honorary doctorates and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.Cynthia Dale is a television and stage actor best known for her roles in Street Legal and at the Stratford Festival.

School of Nursing and Medical Radiation Sciences Program (June 13, 9:30 a.m.): François Brechignac

Brechignac is president of the International Union of Radioecology and deputy scientific director of France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety. The multidisciplinary field of radioecology takes in biology, biogeochemistry, physiology, ecology, oceanography and mathematical modelling, with the aim of understanding the fate and transfer of radionuclides in the environment, including the risks to humans and ecosystems.

Faculty of Humanities and Arts & Science Program (June 13, 2:30 p.m.): Sarah Polley

Polley is an award-winning actor, writer, director and political activist who rose to fame in the 1990s TV series Road to Avonlea and went on to appear in feature films such as The Sweet Hereafter and The Weight of Water. Polley has won Gemini Awards for acting and directing and has been nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. The Toronto Film Critics Association named her 2012 documentary The Stories We Tell best Canadian film of the year.

Faculty of Social Sciences (June 14, 9:30 a.m.): Michael Hayes

Hayes is DIrector of Health Education and Research at the University of Victoria. A social geographer, his research focuses on the relationship between health and urban structure and between social status and health, disability and public policy. A three-time McMaster graduate –from Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Science, Hayes was inducted into the Alumni Gallery in 2011.

Faculty of Social Sciences (June 14, 2:30 p.m.): Joseph. S. Mancinelli

Mancinelli is International Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and was instrumental in several projects to revitalize downtown Hamilton, including the restoration of the former CN Rail station (now LIUNA Station) and the Lister Block.

Faculty of Science (June 15, 9:30 a.m.): Daphne Maurer

Maurer is an emeritus professor in McMaster’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, whose research centres around how perception develops in newborns, and her findings have influenced care for babies. Babies born with cataracts for example, now have surgery as soon as possible so that the development of their audio perception does not race ahead of visual perception. Maurer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a Distinguished University Professor.

Faculty of Science (June 15, 2:30 p.m.): Bernhard Banaschewski

Banaschewski is an internationally renowned mathematician specializing in algebra and number theory. Banaschewski was the head of McMaster’s department of Mathematics & Statistics from 1961 to 1967 and from 1982 to 1987. His international colleagues commemorated his 90th birthday last year with a mathematics conference in his honour, and he continues to be active in the field. Banaschewski is Emeritus McKay Professor and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He received an honorary degree form the University of Cape Town in 2000.

Faculty of Engineering (June 16, 9:30 a.m): Michael Pley

Pley, who graduated from McMaster’s Electrical and Engineering and Management program in 1983, went on to become CEO of COM DEV International, a leading global supplier to space agencies and satellite developers, from which he retired in 2016.

Faculty of Engineering  (June 16, 2:30 p.m.): Hamish Robertson

Roberston is an experimental physicist specializing in neutrino physics who is the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. Robertson earned his PhD at McMaster in 1971 before going on to a distinguished career in the field, spending 13 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His previous honours include The American Physical Society’s Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics.

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