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Date: May 22, 2008

UVic To Award Four Honorary Degrees At Spring Convocation

The University of Victoria will present honorary degrees to four individuals for their dedication to public service in areas ranging from public administration in Canada to the grassroots empowerment of India’s poor. The degrees will be conferred during 2008 Spring Convocation ceremonies, June 3 to 6, in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

Here are brief profiles of the recipients, with dates and times of their degree presentations:

Eliza Chan (honorary doctor of laws, to be presented at 10 a.m., June 6) graduated from UVic in 1988 with a bachelor of laws degree and has since established an impeccable record of public service and private practice in Hong Kong and Mainland China. A past recipient of the UVic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Chan has also been recognized with China’s Top 100 Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Award and the Bronze Bauhinia Star, conferred by the chief executive of Hong Kong for her contributions to the education and health care sectors.

Ian D. Clark (honorary doctor of laws, 10 a.m., June 5) is a former Rhodes Scholar for BC who rose quickly through the ranks of the federal civil service to become one of Canada’s most respected public servants. Clark’s career has included postings as secretary of the federal treasury board, Canada’s executive director to the International Monetary Fund, and president of the Council of Ontario Universities. He was the first senior official to develop organized links between the federal public service and the academic community in order to improve public policy-making.

Donald B. Rix (honorary doctor of science, 2:30 p.m., June 6) is a medical doctor, scientist, entrepreneur and humanitarian devoted to improving the lives of British Columbians. A pioneering “venture philanthropist,” Rix was the founder of MDS Metro Laboratory Services (now known as LifeLabs), the largest independent medical laboratory in BC. He has been an investor, advisor and board member of companies and organizations engaged in the province’s life sciences sector. Rix has also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and has actively promoted the importance of supporting higher education and research.

Rajesh Tandon (honorary doctor of laws, 2:30 p.m., June 5) was raised in the industrial city of Kanpur, India, and became one of the more respected world leaders in the areas of civic engagement and governance, and community-based research. As founder and president of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), he has strengthened the capacity of grassroots non-governmental agencies in India and other parts of the world by addressing rural development, poverty and exploitation issues in collaboration with the poor and the marginalized.

An honorary degree is the university’s top honour and is awarded by the university senate based on the recipient’s distinction in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts or public service.

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Media contacts:
Mike McNeney (Alumni Services) 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

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