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Source: University College of Cape Breton

Inaugural CBU Fall Convocation Celebration This Saturday

October 24, 2006

Cape Breton University will celebrate its first Fall Convocation this Saturday, October 28. The celebration takes place at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre starting at 7:00 p.m. CBU Chancellor Annette Verschuren will confer the parchments. Approximately 250 students are eligible to graduate. This will be the fourth time that a Convocation ceremony will take place in the community.

Cape Breton University will also recognize five distinguished individuals with honorary degrees.

A degree first this year will be presented to Derrick Cathcart, of Port Morien, NS. He is the first graduate to obtain a Bachelor of Arts – Honours, major in Communication at Cape Breton University.

On Friday, October 27, CBU has several graduation activities scheduled. Graduates and their families are invited to attend a Meet & Greet at the on-campus Pit Lounge starting at 5:30 p.m. Following the Meet & Greet, the Pit is hosting a special ‘Rock the Pit’ theme night for grads at 9:00 p.m. CBU will also host a dinner that evening to recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments of the honorary degree recipients.

Convocation activities begin Saturday at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre with the Graduate Assembly at 6:00 p.m., ceremony at 7:00 p.m. and a reception at approximately 9:00 p.m.

The five individuals to receive honorary degrees represent communities near and far. Magdy Elkady, founder and President of the Canadian International College in Cairo, Egypt; Dr. Joseph Nearing, originally from Cape Breton, has a distinguished career in occupational health and resides in Vancouver, BC; Mary-Ellen Googoo, an honoured elder of the Mi’kmaq community of Membertou, NS; George Unsworth, a respected professional Chartered Accountant and community volunteer from Sydney, NS, and Dr. Janice Stein, Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management and Negotiation in the Political Science Department at the University of Toronto, will each be recognized for individual contributions to the global community.

Dr. Stein will address the graduating class and speak to current events and how they affect students.

Magdy Elkady (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa) is a pioneer in post-secondary education. His exemplary leadership was vital to the establishment of the Cairo Campus of Cape Breton University. Throughout his career, Elkady has provided students with countless educational opportunities that will advance Egyptian society. At the same time, he has built strong international relationships with CBU faculty and students by facilitating participation in international education and partnerships in the Middle East. His success is attributed to his entrepreneurial spirit and his abilities as a project manager to support and develop professionals with a global perspective who can take an active role in Egypt’s international progress.

Dr. Joseph Nearing (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa), originally from Cape Breton, credits his upbringing for his determination to succeed in medicine. During the course of his career, Dr. Nearing developed numerous standards on occupational and environmental health directly related to mines and mining. As Acting Director of Occupational Health with Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia, Dr. Nearing conducted workplace visits and gave medical opinions on claims, advice to industry on occupational health education programs, and helped develop policies and regulations. Through his leadership efforts in occupational health and safety, he was awarded a much-deserved Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. Dr. Nearing has donated nine Chinese porcelain pieces to this year’s art gallery gala.

Mary-Ellen Googoo (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa), an avid promoter of aboriginal culture and heritage, is a shining example to students and people everywhere. Her long and distinguished career in education has enabled her to accomplish a number of essential and significant goals for the Aboriginal community. As Cultural Coordinator with the Cape Breton Regional School Board, she helped develop a high school course called "Mi’kmaq Studies 10" for the provincial Department of Education, and was instrumental in developing the course "First Nations 11" for the local school board. In 2004, Googoo was appointed Director of the Mi’kmaq College Institute at Cape Breton University. She completed a two-year term during which she made positive connections among Aboriginal groups in Canada and around the world and was able to introduce local programs and achievements to wider audiences.

George Unsworth (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa) has an extraordinarily admirable record of volunteerism in the community, in which he has given freely of his time and expertise. As a distinguished Chartered Accountant, many of Unsworth’s clients represent the largest industries in Cape Breton. He has successfully led efforts to establish audit committees and in 1991, was awarded the highest honour when he received a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) designation from his professional colleagues. Unsworth has dedicated a vast portion of his time to a variety of causes including, but not limited to, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, Cape Breton County School Board and the Canadian Cancer Society. Recognized as a substantial asset to Cape Breton University, Unsworth has been a valuable member of the university’s highly successful Future First fundraising campaign.

Dr. Janice Stein (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa) is a noted author and educator in international affairs and conflict management. She has authored, co-authored or edited over 100 books and articles on intelligence, international security, international negotiation techniques, peace making and public policy. Dr. Stein is the founding director of the Munk Centre for International Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and elected Honourary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 1981, she began teaching full-time at the University of Toronto, where she remains a designated University Professor.

Dr. Stein believes that the study of international affairs is an important facet of citizenship. A pioneer in three sub-fields of political science – negotiation theory, foreign policy decision-making, and international conflict and conflict management – she believes passionately in extending public education outside of post-secondary institutions. Through her dedicated work in international affairs, Dr. Stein was awarded the Order of Canada.

Shangqing Wang from China, will deliver a speech to the fall graduating class as this year’s Valedictorian. Wang will graduate from CBU with her Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in Information Technology.

Graduating from CBU with a Bachelor of Arts Community Studies major in English and minor in Human Kinetics, Dean Morley will greet his fellow graduate as Salutatorian. Morley, who originates from England, played with the CAPERS men’s soccer team during his five years at the university.

Cape Breton University will celebrate another Convocation ceremony this fall at a special community-based event on the Indian Brook First Nations reserve Saturday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m.


For more information on Convocation visit

Citations for the honorary degree recipients are also available.

Membertou Trade and Convention Centre located at 50 Maillard St., Sydney.

Kelly Rose
Communications Officer
Cape Breton University
Tel: (902) 563-1638



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