posted on May 30: McMaster’s 2001 Spring Convocations begin today


For 3,000 McMaster students, graduation day will be one of celebration and achievement. For their parents, families
and friends it will be a day filled with pride and joy.

Over the next three days (May 30, 31 and June 1) some 2,700 graduates will take home degrees from the six
ceremonies, McMaster's 377th-382nd Convocations, held in the Great Hall of Hamilton Place.

These grads, along with some 275 others who received their degrees earlier this month at Convocation ceremonies for
Divinity College (May 8) and the Faculty of Health Sciences (May 11), will become the University's newest alumni.

Bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees will be conferred on students in the Faculties of Business, Engineering,
Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and the Arts & Science Program.

At the ceremonies, McMaster will award honorary degrees to captains of industry, humanitarians, scientists,
scholars and a comedian.

The Faculty of Business Convocation takes place this morning with former professional referee Ron Foxcroft giving the Convocation address. World renowned comedian Martin Short will give the address at the Faculty of Humanities and Arts & Science Program ceremony this afternoon.

This year's honorary degree recipients are: Anthony Fell and Ron Foxcroft* (Business); William
Sinclair and Joseph Wright* (Engineering); Pierre Conlon and Martin Short* (Humanities and Arts & Science Program);
Robert Giroux*, Colin Millar, Mary Buzzell and Jack Pelech* (Social Sciences, morning and afternoon); and James
Bruce and David Strangway* (Science).

Also recognized at Convocations will be: Phillip Weicker, winner of the Governor General's Medal; John
Brash, University Professor; Jean Wilson, winner of the 2001 President's Award for Excellence in
Instruction (an article on Wilson appeared on the Daily News last month); and Karinne Chan, Alex Mazer, David Sandomierski,
Wai-Yin Shum and Meaghan Stovel, winners of the President's Awards of Excellence (Student Leadership).

*will give Convocation address

The honorary degree recipients at today's two ceremonies are:

Faculty of Business Honorary Degree Recipients

Anthony Fell

Doctor of Laws

Anthony Fell has enjoyed an illustrious career in the financial services industry since joining Dominion Securities 41 years ago. He became a director of the firm in 1969, executive vice-president in 1972 and president and chief executive officer in 1980. From 1992 to 1999 he was the company's chair and chief executive officer. He is currently chair of RBC Dominion Securities.

Fell also has a distinguished record working with organizations affiliated with financial services and public health. He was governor of the Toronto Stock Exchange (1976-77) and chaired the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (1987-88). He has chaired fundraising campaigns for the Canadian Arthritis Society (Ontario Division), the United Way of Metropolitan Toronto (1989), and the $50-million capital campaign for Princess Margaret Hospital. He is vice-chair of McMaster's “Changing Tomorrow Today” campaign which has raised about $112 million to date.

As well, he is currently a director of the Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada, CAE Inc. and Loblaw Companies Ltd. He chairs the University Health Network board of trustees, is honorary chair of the Providence Centre Capital Campaign and is a trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario Foundation.

Ron Foxcroft*

Doctor of Laws

As president of Fluke Transport and Warehousing, Ron Foxcroft now wears the clothes that befit a company executive. From 1963 to 1999, Foxcroft sported the black-and-white jersey of a referee, working as an international and NCAA Division 1 referee.

During his 35-year referee career, Foxcroft was the NCAA's only referee who hailed from Canada. He has officiated at more than 200 international basketball games in more than 30 countries and at events including the 1976 Montreal Olympics Gold Medal basketball game.

Foxcroft is also an inventor. He developed the Fox 40 Pealess Whistle that is now sold in 120 countries and is sanctioned by all major sporting organizations including the CFL, the NFL, the NCAA and the NBA. Foxcroft received the 1989 Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement awards for the whistle design.

The Burlington resident was named one of the top 10 Canadian entrepreneurs of the decade by Profit magazine and was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. He is a member of business advisory councils and boards for McMaster, Sheridan College and the University of Western Ontario's business school.

Faculty of Humanities and Arts & Science Program

Pierre Conlon

Doctor of Letters

Professor emeritus Pierre Conlon is one of the leading 18th-century French specialists of his generation and one of the most distinguished of all the French scholars who have taught at McMaster.

Born in New Zealand in 1924, he obtained his BA and MA at the University of Auckland and his PhD at the University of Paris (1954). He began his teaching career at the University of Birmingham and was appointed chair of French in New Zealand at the age of 31. He taught at Yale before joining McMaster in 1962.

Conlon is world renowned for his multi-volume bibliography listing every single work published in France from 1680 to 1789. Many of these works had never made their way into the National Library of France and Conlon has spent countless hours in small provincial French libraries unearthing treasures that had been unknown to scholars.

He has now single-handedly (with the assistance of his wife) produced 24 volumes of the bibliography, now at the year 1778, and opened new areas of research for modern scholars. His research has been funded uninterrupted for more than 30 years by the Canada Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In 1982 he was awarded a Killam Research Fellowship.

He retired from McMaster in 1988.

Martin Short

Doctor of Letters

Born in Hamilton, Martin Short chose the entertainment business for his career and embarked on a path that includes work as an international comedian, feature-film, TV and stage actor, writer, producer and talk show host.

Short was a mainstay of the Second City comedy troupe in the late 1970s where his work on SCTV won an Emmy and a Gemini award. His work garnered the attention of producers of the hit comedy show Saturday Night Live and Short performed on the show for the 1984-85 season. From there he moved into feature films appearing in the Three Amigos (1986), the Three Fugitives (1989), Father of the Bride (1991), Father of the Bride 2 (1995) and A Simple Wish (1997).

Short has always had an interest in stage work and shortly after graduating from McMaster he appeared in the stage production of Godspell. He appeared on Broadway in the musical version of The Goodbye Girl (1993), receiving a Tony Award nomination as well as the Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards for his performance. In 1999 he won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical for his performance in Little Me.

Short has written and produced three award-winning comedy specials. He is a member of the Order of Canada.