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One family, eight degrees from McMaster

November 17, 2006

Source: McMaster University

by Susan BubakNovember 17, 2006

Convocation will be a family affair for the de Bruins today. Tabitha de Bruin (now Marshall) will receive her PhD in history from her father, Hubert de Bruin, an associate professor in electrical and biomedical engineering, who received three degrees, including his PhD, from McMaster.

Hubert and Tabitha aren't the only de Bruins who graduated from McMaster. Tabitha's brother, David, graduated with a BA in religious studies in 2001.

Their mother, Joanne, graduated in 1998 with a BA in philosophy along with her daughter, who received a BA in history that year. As a part-time student, Joanne was also president of the McMaster Association of Part-Time Students.

"I'm very proud of them, and I'm very proud of McMaster," said Hubert.

When Tabitha and her mother Joanne graduated together in 1998, Hubert hooded both of them.

"It's absolutely marvelous," said Hubert of the opportunity to hood his daughter again at today's convocation ceremony. "We certainly owe McMaster a lot."

His wife Joanne added, "It's going to be a Kodak moment for us."

Tabitha and David have a lifelong connection to McMaster. They were both born at the McMaster University Medical Centre.

Their father has the longest connection to McMaster in the family.

"I've been here all my life," said Hubert.

He began his undergraduate studies at McMaster in 1965, graduating with a BEng in 1969. He went on to earn an MEng in 1971 and PhD in 1976.

Hubert said he was drawn to McMaster because of its interdisciplinary approach to academics. He began his academic career in medical science and switched to biomedical engineering in 2001.

McMaster's medium size also appealed to him.

"It's big enough to have lots of experts and resources, but it's small enough to be friendly," he said.

The morning ceremony for the Faculties of Business, Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts & Science Program will start at 9:30 a.m.

The afternoon ceremony for the Faculties of Engineering, Science, Health Sciences and the Granting of Certificates and Diplomas will start at 2:30 p.m.

A total of 1,055 students will receive their degrees today.



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