News Release

For more information   contact:

Sheri Woodland

Office of Public Affairs

Acadia University

Phone: (902) 585-1362

Fax: (902) 585-1072


Acadia University honours accomplished Canadians

For Release:  May 8, 2003

(Wolfville, NS) -  At spring convocation, May 11 - 12, Acadia will honour its most recent graduates. Joining this year's graduating class are eight honourary degree recipients who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian society.

During convocation ceremonies on Sunday, May 11, a Doctor of Civil Laws will be bestowed on James, Arthur, and John Irving, and Reverend Dr. Samuel Mikolaski will receive a Doctor of Divinity. On Monday, May 12, Dr. David Schindler will receive a Doctor of Science, and John Dobson, R. Gail Fraser and Bruce Galloway will receive a Doctor of Civil Laws.

James K. Irving has spent over 50 years of his life working in the woods of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine. It was his perseverance that resulted in the first reforestation efforts in Atlantic Canada and the planting of over 600 million trees. Under his leadership, the Irving company has also been a pioneer in the area of forest genetics and the cross-breeding of hardy, disease resistant trees. Irving has also been recognized for his long-standing efforts to protect the wild Atlantic salmon, an association that began in his youth.

Arthur Irving attended Acadia before joining Irving Oil in 1953. Under his leadership, Irving Oil built Canada's largest oil refinery and grew to be the leading marketer in Eastern Canada and New England. An avid sportsman and outdoor enthusiast, Irving served on the Board of Directors of Ducks Unlimited and as president from 1986 to 1988. In 1996, Irving became Chancellor of Acadia. In 2002, the three brothers James, Arthur and John and their families gave Acadia an unprecedented gift, the K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, named in honour of their parents.

From an early age, John E. Irving established a reputation as a diligent and hardworking team player. His special area of interest has been building and construction where his attention to detail has resulted in innovative advancements to Irving's various facilities, improving workplace efficiency and productivity. Irving has developed a keen interest in conserving areas of ecological and cultural significance, and is also a strong supporter of the Arts in the Maritimes.

Reverend Dr. Samuel Mikolaski, born in Serbia and raised in Canada since the age of four, is a recognized and highly respected scholar in his field of theology and ethics. He is a graduate of Oxford University where he received his D.Phil. Mikolaski has served at several universities throughout North America including the North America Baptist Theological Seminary and Atlantic Baptist University, in Moncton, NB.

Dr. David Schindler, a Rhodes Scholar, is recognized internationally for his research in freshwater ecology. He has changed the nature of freshwater science and the way systems are managed. Currently, he is the Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta. Schindler received the 2001 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, considered the highest honour for Canadian researchers.

Born in Montreal, John Dobson graduated with a MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is founder of The Formula Growth Fund, one of Canada's earliest and most successful long-term mutual funds. Dobson has also spent many years devoting resources and energy to university work, primarily in the area of business education and entrepreneurship. In 1997, he was bestowed the Order of Canada.

R. Gail Fraser, an Acadia graduate, is a well-known community volunteer and Nova Scotia business woman. Living in Chester, NS, Fraser has played an active role with several community groups including the Children's Aid Society and the Chester Arts Guild. In 1978, she was elected president of the Associated Alumni of Acadia University, later receiving the Exceptional Volunteer Award. She has also served twenty years on Acadia's Board of Governors.

Bruce Galloway, a native of Montreal, graduated from Acadia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Galloway spent a successful career with the Royal Bank, holding many significant roles including Vice-Chairman. He, along with four other members, was responsible for setting overall strategic direction for the Royal Bank Group. Galloway was chair of the Acadia Advantage campaign and currently serves on the Board of Governors.

During spring convocation, over 900 students will graduate from Acadia University in the faculties of Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies and Theology.


For more information contact:
Sheri Woodland
Communications Manager
Office of Public Affairs
Acadia University
(902) 585-1362

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