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University of Ottawa fall graduates will be in good company

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October 27, 2005

Source: University of Ottawa:

University of Ottawa fall graduates will be in good company

OTTAWA, October 27, 2005 — The ranks of University of Ottawa’s alumni will swell by more than 715 after this Sunday’s Fall Convocation ceremonies at the National Arts Centre. Highlights include the conferral of honorary doctorates on Québecois cinematographer Denise Robert and Algonquin Elder William Commanda of the Kitigan Zibi Reserve near Maniwaki. Both are to speak at their respective ceremony.

Denise Robert

Cinematographer Denise Robert is a leading figure in Québec’s highly successful film industry, which continues to set new records in terms of popular appeal and financial return. She is co-founder of Cinémaginaire, a feature film production company that has produced such blockbuster hits as Les invasions barbares, Mambo Italiano, C’t’a ton tour Laura Cadieux and Le Confessionnal.

William Commanda

Over the years, William Commanda has become a highly respected spokesperson on such issues as intercultural harmony and environmental protection. Currently head of the Sunbow Five Walk for Mother Earth, he is often called upon to speak and perform native spiritual ceremonies at national and international gatherings and regularly attends peace vigils and spiritual ceremonies sponsored by the United Nations.

Both ceremonies are to take place Sunday, October 30 in the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall. Denise Robert is to receive her honorary doctorate at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, while William Commanda is to receive his at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Graduates who might be of interest to media include:

Don Buckingham – Faculty of Law – 9:30 a.m.

Don Buckingham has spent the last four years earning a doctorate in law and thinking of nothing but food. More precisely, he has been focusing his thoughts on food package labeling. Research for his thesis, which dealt with the co-existence of national food labeling regulations under the aegis of the World Trade Organization, took him to France and Ghana in order to compare their regulatory practices with those in effect in Canada. Buckingham is the first U of O doctoral candidate to receive a PhD under a joint agreement between the University of Ottawa and l’Université Montpellier 1, in France.

Marc-André Towner – Lettres françaises – 9 :30 a.m.

After spending a year studying law, Marc-André Towner rethought his career choice and switched to literature and creative writing. Now he has a BA in Lettres françaises to show for it and has never been happier. Although creative writing can be lonely, hard work, Towner has taken to it like a duck to water. In fact, he says he has fun playing with words to create new worlds or reinvent the one we live in. He has already written a play, Baseball Blues (special mention, 2004-05 provincial dramatic writing competition), which is to be performed as readings by the three professional Ontario French-language theatre companies who jointly sponsor the competition: Théâtre la Catapulte d'Ottawa, Théâtre français de Toronto and Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario de Sudbury. The readings are to take place in Toronto and Sudbury in the spring of 2006.



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