Source: Dalhousie University
Dal Grants Honorary Degrees to Three Exceptional Canadians
October 16, 2006
convocation ceremonies, October 21st and 22nd, 2006, Dalhousie University
will award honorary degrees to three prominent Canadians in recognition of
their significant accomplishments.
The following individuals will receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Vincent Audain, Saturday, Oct 21 at 9:30 am - Architecture and Planning,
Engineering, Health professions, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Medicine and
Law. In a career that spans over 30 years, Dr. Audain has built a thriving
ophthalmology practice in Halifax. Throughout that time, he has maintained
strong connections with Dalhousie. Dr. Audain’s efforts over many years led
to the creation of a much-needed vision care centre in his native Caribbean
island of St. Kitts-Nevis. Before the centre was established, there were no
tertiary eye care facilities in the Caribbean. Almost single-handedly, Dr.
Audain gathered support for the project from a variety of sources and
arranged for ophthalmologists from Dalhousie to travel to the island to
perform procedures. And on November 8, 2001, the St. Kitts-Nevis Eye Care
Centre officially opened in Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts. In 2003,
he received the first annual Dr. John Savage Memorial Award in International
Health. This award recognizes outstanding humanitarian contribution to
James (Jim) Balsillie, Sunday, Oct 22 at 2:30 pm - Management. In 1992, Mr.
Balsillie mortgaged his house and poured much of his net worth into a
then-fledgling company called Research In Motion Limited (RIM). Recognizing
wireless e-mail as "one of the most profound medium shifts we’ll ever see,"
he based his gamble on the belief that people would one day want constant
and portable access to e-mail and time-sensitive information. Today, RIM is
a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless
solutions for the mobile communications market. Its award-winning products
and services – such as the Blackberry wireless platform and the RIM Wireless
Handheld line – are used by more than four million people and thousands of
organizations worldwide. During his tenure as RIM’s chairman and co-chief
executive officer, the company has grown by at least 100 per cent per year
and now sees revenues of about $2 billion annually, with more than 95 per
cent of sales to export markets. RIM’s new technical support centre in
Halifax is expected to employ up to 1,200 people in the coming years. Mr.
Balsillie is a member of Ontario’s Task Force on Competitiveness,
Productivity and Economic Progress and a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of
Dr. J.C. (Tito) Scaiano, Saturday, Oct 21 at 2:30 pm - Arts and Social
Sciences, Physical and
Life Sciences and Computer Science. Dr. Scaiano arrived in Canada from
Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1975 as a visiting scientist at the National
Research Council in Ottawa, where he took up a permanent post in 1979. He
pioneered the use of laser flash photolysis and modern computer technology
in the study of reactive intermediates, building a unique instrument that
gave NRC a major lead in newer areas of chemistry research. In 1991, Dr.
Scaiano became a full-time professor at the University of Ottawa, where he
serves as Canada Research Chair in Applied Photochemistry. In 2002, he
became the first person to hold the title of Distinguished University
Professor at the university. Career milestones also include founding Luzchem
Research, Inc., an Ottawa-based company that develops and markets
photochemistry instruments. Dr. Scaiano’s research expertise and ingenuity
have had important implications for the development of better sunscreens,
anti-inflammatory drugs, and therapies for treating age-related macular
degeneration and cancer. His work has expanded our understanding of free
radicals and antioxidants. It has also had direct impact on industrial
issues, from impeding the photo-yellowing of pulp and paper to creating
better photoresists for the semiconductor industry. He maintains a
leadership role within the Reactive Intermediate Student Exchange (RISE)
Program, which places summer research students among 15 of Canada’s leading
research centres, including Dalhousie. This past year, Dr. Scaiano was
appointed an officer of the Order of Canada.
Dalhousie’s Class of 2006
Dalhousie’s fall convocation ceremonies will be held in the Rebecca Cohn
Auditorium of the Dalhousie Arts Centre where nearly 900 Dalhousie students
will graduate. Dalhousie is a comprehensive, research-intensive university
with an enrolment of more than 15,000 students.
Media inquiries, contact:
Phone: (902) 494-1269
Fax: (902) 494-1472