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Date: October 31, 2007

Honorary Degrees For 3 at UVic's Fall Convocation

Conservationist and former federal cabinet minister David Anderson, renowned marine scientist Timothy Parsons and influential landscape design architect Don Vaughan will receive University of Victoria honorary degrees at Fall Convocation ceremonies, Nov. 13-14, in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

Entering politics in 1968 as the Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Saanich, David Anderson quickly became distinguished by his concerns for the environment—principles that would become the hallmark of his careers in federal and provincial politics and away from the political arena.

Anderson was a driving force behind the creation of Pacific Rim National Park, founded and chaired the special committee on environmental pollution, and fought for the protection of coastal marine life from oil transportation and exploration.

In the latter stages of his political career Anderson held high-profile federal cabinet posts, leading efforts to conserve Pacific salmon and helping to establish the first marine protected areas.

Anderson was born in Victoria, earned a law degree from UBC, and won silver medals in rowing at the Rome Olympics and Chicago Pan-Am Games. In February he was appointed the founding director of the Guelph Institute for the Environment.

Timothy Parsons is one of Canada’s leading marine scientists, known internationally for his work in biological oceanography. His contributions to his field are numerous and varied.

His research career began in 1958 at the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in Nanaimo (forerunner to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans) before he joined UBC’s Department of Oceanography in 1971, remaining with the school until retirement in 1991.

Along the way, Parsons’ work was set apart by his conviction that oceanography should be conducted at the ecosystem level. Such approaches to fisheries management have become standard practice in Canada and around the world.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society, officer of the Order of Canada, and holder of the Japan Prize for original and outstanding achievements in science. Parsons is also an honorary research scientist emeritus at DFO’s Institute of Ocean Sciences, in Sidney.

Don Vaughan is a nationally respected landscape architect. The beauty of the University of Victoria campus, which opened in 1963, and its transformation from a barren former army camp and farm land to a rich and diverse 160-hectare setting, is in large part due to Vaughan’s vision and expertise.

He worked on the initial landscape plan for the campus and served as its landscape consultant for more than 40 years.

As the campus grew, Vaughan encouraged the development of ecological restoration areas, experiential learning opportunities and outdoor gathering places.

The campus’s main quadrangle, the fountain at the McPherson Library, Finnerty Gardens, the pond surrounding the University Club, and the courtyard of the Clearihue Building are examples of his concept of a learning environment that is distinguished by its natural surroundings.

Elsewhere, Vaughan led site development for Expo ’86, Whistler Village and Granville Island. He operates a landscape planning and design company in West Vancouver.

The UVic senate awards honorary degrees on the basis of exceptional distinction and achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts, or public service.

Honorary degree presentation schedule, Fall Convocation:
    Dr. Timothy Parsons, Honorary Doctor of Science: 10 a.m., Nov. 13
    David Anderson, Honorary Doctor of Laws: 2:30 p.m., Nov. 13
    Don Vaughan, Honorary Doctor of Laws: 2:30 p.m., Nov. 14
Media contacts:
Mike McNeney (Alumni Communications) at 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)