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Date: May 19, 2005


–University of Victoria holds graduation ceremonies June 7 to 10–

Roméo Dallaire, the retired Canadian Armed Forces Lt.-General who stood alone in pleading for international intervention in the Rwandan genocide, will be among six honorary degree recipients during the University of Victoria’s spring convocation ceremonies, June 7-10.

The university’s highest honour for achievement will also be presented to Victoria city councillor Helen Hughes and her husband, former B.C. conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes; Tom Brzustowksi, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; acclaimed classical bassist Gary Karr; and mining executive/philanthropist Edgar Kaiser Jr.

Dallaire is the author of Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, a vivid account of the tragedy in Rwanda and the profound toll it took on his psyche as the commander of UN’s observer mission.

Helen Hughes, first elected to Victoria city council in 1990, is known for her community service and youth programs, including the creation of the “Souper Bowls of Hope” fundraiser for the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society.

Through his career in law and the civil service, Ted Hughes has been a lawyer, judge, public inquiry commissioner and treaty negotiator, earning a reputation for his integrity and work ethic. In 2003 he was appointed the federal chief adjudicator for the alternative dispute resolution program for residential school abuse claims.

Tom Brzustowksi has been president of NSERC since 1995, overseeing an annual budget of $850 million for university-based researchers and graduate students in the natural sciences and engineering. He has been a strong national proponent for university research.

Time magazine once called Gary Karr “the world’s leading solo bassist.” He first came to international attention in 1962 when he debuted at Carnegie Hall with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. He hosts Kamp Karr, an annual summer training program for bass players at UVic.

Known for his corporate citizenship and generosity, Edgar Kaiser Jr. is chairman and CEO of Kaiser Resources and founder of the Kaiser Foundation for preventing and reducing harm from substance use and addictive behaviours. He was a key supporter and catalyst behind the creation of the Centre for Addictions Research (CARBC) at UVic and he serves on CARBC’s advisory board.

The university will also award honorary degrees to Lucien Ukaliannuk and Madam Justice Beverley Browne at the convocation ceremony for graduates of the Akitsiraq Law Program. The ceremony will be in Iqaluit, Nunavut on June 21.

Earlier this month, honorary degrees were conferred in Beijing to community leader Annie Suk-Ching Wu and amateur sport patron Albert Hung.

Based on nominations received from the university community, the UVic senate awards honorary degrees for distinction and achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts and public service.

Backgrounder attached: Schedule of 2005 Spring Convocation Ceremonies
Media contacts:

Mike McNeney Alumni Communications (250) 721-7642 or mmcneney@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)