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Trent University Announces Four Honorary Degree Recipients to be Recognized at 2013 Convocation Ceremonies

Distinguished Canadian parliamentarian, The Honourable Ed Broadbent; His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, former president of Guyana; international developer Justin Chiu; and ornithologist Dr. Bruce Falls to be honoured at June convocation

The Honourable Ed Broadbent
The Honourable Ed Broadbent

On behalf of Senate, Dr. Steven E. Franklin, the president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, announced today the four outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees at Trent’s 46th Convocation ceremonies to be held on June 5 and 6, 2013.

“This year we are honouring an international group of individuals for their remarkable achievements and their extraordinary contributions to making the world a better place,” said Dr. Franklin. “All have had an enormous impact, both as leaders in their respective fields, and as advocates for causes such as the environment, education and social justice. Their accomplishments will be an inspiration to the graduands attending the Convocation ceremonies.”

Each of the following individuals will be presented with an honorary degree at this year’s ceremonies (full profiles follow on each recipient):

Justin Chiu Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Morning Ceremony
Doctor of Laws degree to be awarded for his significant achievements in international business and his leadership in supporting post-secondary education

His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Afternoon Ceremony
Doctor of Laws degree to be awarded in recognition of his leadership achievements and his advocacy for the environment

The Honourable Ed Broadbent – Thursday, June 6 – Morning Ceremony
Doctor of Laws degree to be awarded in recognition of his political achievements and leadership

Dr. J. Bruce Falls Thursday, June 6 – Afternoon Ceremony
Doctor of Science degree to be awarded for his contributions as a founding member of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and his achievements in science


Justin Chiu
Since graduating from Trent University in 1978, Justin Chiu has become one of Asia’s most respected real estate professionals, recognized for his leadership, values and commitment to building a better world. Mr. Chiu is an executive director of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong. He is also the chairman of a number of companies listed on the Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges, including ARA Asset Management Limited, Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust, Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust, and Prosperity Real Estate Investment Trust.

Mr. Chiu holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from Trent. His passion for Trent University is exemplified by his generous contribution to Trent’s Athletics campaign and his support of the Justin Chiu International Scholarship and the Rita Chiu Study Abroad Bursary. His philanthropy was recognized in the naming of Trent’s new Justin Chiu Stadium. In 2009, he received Trent’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2010, Mr. Chiu established a family charitable foundation, Pecan Foundation Ltd., with the objective of making worldwide contributions and donations to charity and education. A fellow member of the Hong Kong Institute of Real Estate Administration. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Director of the Year Award from Hong Kong Institute of Directors, Mr. Chiu has been a member of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, providing advice to the Chinese government.  Mr. Chiu was conferred an Honorary Degree of Social Science by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2012.

“I am indeed honoured to receive this Honorary Degree from my alma mater,” said Mr. Chiu in reference to his honorary degree from Trent. “As an international student joining the Trent community back in 1976, I was really impressed by Trent's commitment to making the world a better place through education and research. I have, since graduation, used the knowledge I attained on the other side of the Ocean, and I’m really glad that my contributions to humanitarian work has been recognized by my alma mater. I sincerely thank Trent University for giving me this honour.”

His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo
When he became president of Guyana in 1999, His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo was one of the youngest heads of state in the world. He was twice elected president before leaving office, in 2012, in accordance with term limits he signed into Guyana’s constitution. During his tenure, Mr. Jagdeo oversaw a period of strong economic growth in his country and the introduction of major social reforms in health, education, and housing.

A global champion for the environment, Mr. Jagdeo has advocated for international action to avoid the worst extremes of climate change. During his presidency, Guyana embarked on one of the world’s most ambitious low carbon development strategies, maintaining 99.5 per cent of its rainforest, and is on track to become the world’s number one user of clean energy by 2017. In 2008, TIME magazine named Mr. Jagdeo a “Hero of the Environment.” In 2010, he was a recipient of the United Nations Champion of the Earth Award, and he was asked to serve on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance.

In 2012, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature appointed him high level envoy for Sustainable Development in Forest Countries and a Patron of Nature. He was a founding board member of the Global Green Growth Institute, the world’s newest international organization, and was elected as its first president in 2012. At the request of leaders of forest countries across the world, he serves as roving ambassador for the Three Basins.

From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Jagdeo was chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In 2006, he was named by the World Economic Forum as an inaugural Young Global Leader. "I am delighted to accept this honour - but I interpret it as recognition of the vision and hard work of everyone in Guyana who is striving to show the world that it is possible to create a new global economy built on clean energy and sustainable land use,” said Mr. Jagdeo. “Creating this new economy is one of the defining challenges of our generation, and we need centres of learning like Trent University to continue to lead the way to the innovations that the world urgently needs."

The Honourable Ed Broadbent
A former leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, The Honourable Ed Broadbent was a highly respected member of Parliament for 21 years. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1968, and represented his hometown riding of Oshawa until 1989.

From 1975 to 1989, Mr. Broadbent was leader of the federal New Democratic Party. Under his leadership, the party experienced major growth, winning 43 seats in the 1988 federal election. His tenure in federal politics was spent working on progressive issues, including Aboriginal and economic rights, women's equality, ethics in government, and an equitable tax system. As founding president of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development from 1990 to 1996, Mr. Broadbent helped to sharpen global focus on such critical areas as workers’ rights, child poverty and women's economic security.

Mr. Broadbent has a Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Toronto. He has been a visiting professor at a number of Canadian universities and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.  He has inspired generations of students to think critically about social justice and equality and to take action to build a more compassionate society. Mr. Broadbent was made a member of the Privy Council in 1982, an officer of the Order of Canada in 1993 and a companion of the Order of Canada in 2002. He is chair of the Broadbent Institute, a progressive think tank focused on social democracy.

“I've always admired Trent for its innovative curriculum, the emphasis on undergraduate learning, and also for its magnificent location on the Otonabee River. In short, it's the ideal place to stimulate the minds of young men and women. And, of course, having a campus in Oshawa, my home town, makes it very special to me,” said Mr. Broadbent.

Dr. J. Bruce Falls
For more than 50 years, Dr. J. Bruce Falls has been active in protecting Canada’s natural landscapes. As president of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Dr. Falls was instrumental in the 1962 founding of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), an organization that he went on to chair. The NCC has played a major role in land conservation, helping to protect more than one million hectares of ecologically-significant land nationwide.

Dr. Falls began teaching in 1954 at the University of Toronto, where he was a professor of Zoology for 35 years. He helped to initiate field courses at U of T because he believed that contact with nature stimulated students' interests. He is currently professor emeritus in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During his academic career, Dr. Falls spent time as a visiting scientist at other institutions, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization in Australia, the University of British Columbia, Rockefeller University, and Oxford University. Dr. Falls is the author of more than 100 scientific publications. He is known for his work on small mammal population fluctuations in Algonquin Park, and his research on dimorphism in White-throated Sparrows. He was a pioneer in the study of bird song and its relation to territorial behaviour. A member or fellow of several scientific societies and a past-president of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Dr. Falls was co-chair of the conservation panel of the International Biological Programme for Ontario and a founder of Bird Studies Canada.

“I feel greatly honoured to receive an honorary degree from Trent,” said Dr. Falls. “I have long held Trent University in high esteem because it combined the intimacy of a small campus with high standards and a specialty in environmental studies. Because I have a special interest in Peterborough County (my wife and I are trying to preserve a natural area in Chandos Township) it's like joining the home team. Parts of my work have been recognized before but this is the icing on the cake. Thank you!”
For a complete list of honorary degree recipients throughout Trent University’s history, please visit

Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

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