Trent University Announces Five Honorary Degree Recipients to be Recognized at 2010 Convocation Ceremonies


Former Ontario Premier The Honourable William G. Davis and Bhutan Canada Foundation Executive Director Nancy Strickland among those to be Honoured at June Convocation Ceremonies

Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Peterborough

On behalf of Senate, the president of Trent University announced today the outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees at convocation ceremonies on June 2, 3, and 4, 2010.

“The University Senate was unanimous in its approval of these five distinguished individuals as Trent University's honorary degree recipients for 2010,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor at Trent. “Each of these notable Canadians has made meaningful contributions to society, advancing the interests of humanity through education, be it through politics, research, post secondary education, or international work. No doubt their comments will be an inspiration to the graduates at the University’s 43rd convocation ceremonies in June 2010.”

Trent University’s 2010 convocation ceremonies will be held over a three-day period, with two ceremonies on June 2 and June 3, and one ceremony on June 4. 

Each of the following individuals will be presented with an honorary degree at this year’s ceremonies:

The Honourable Peter Adams
Wednesday, June 2 – Morning Ceremony

Peter Adams was the founding chair of the Geography Department and former Dean of Graduate Studies at Trent University. He was also the Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies. Dr. Adams has authored and co-edited many books and articles, including the very recent third edition of Peterborough and the Kawarthas.  In his political life Dr. Adams is a former Liberal Member of Canada’s House of Commons. He was a Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2005, representing the Peterborough riding.  Previously, Dr. Adams represented the Peterborough riding in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1987 to 1990. In 1981 Peter Adams was named Peterborough’s Citizen of the Year.  He is a Member of the Privy Council of Canada.

The Honourable William G. Davis
Wednesday, June 2 – Afternoon Ceremony

Best known as Progressive Conservative Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985, Bill Davis’ impact on the province has been profound. Born in Brampton, Ontario in 1929, Mr. Davis was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1959, and served as Minister of Education and Minister of University Affairs from 1962 to 1971. Mr. Davis played an important leadership role in the creation of Trent University. In his capacity as Minister of Education, Mr. Davis marched with T.H.B. Symons, Trent’s founding president, at the head of the procession during Trent’s opening ceremonies in October 1964. An architect of Ontario’s college system, Mr. Davis has remained a strong advocate for public education and the important role of educators in our society.  In 1985, Mr. Davis became a companion of the Order of Canada.

Nancy Strickland
Thursday, June 3 – Morning Ceremony

A global citizen committed to international development, Nancy Strickland, a geography major, graduated from Trent in 1978. Ms. Strickland is the founding Executive Director of The Bhutan Canada Foundation which is a newly established NGO focusing on educational links between Bhutan and Canada. She started her international work with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) as a geography teacher in rural Zimbabwe and then taught in Eastern Bhutan and later in the High Arctic of Canada. From 1992 to 2008 Ms. Strickland worked for the University of New Brunswick and headed the CIDA-funded Canadian Cooperation Office in Bhutan. In 2003, she was honoured with the WUSC Alumni Award in recognition of her consistent commitment to international development. Ms. Strickland has assisted in the production of a number of textbooks and wrote a children’s book about rural Bhutan entitled Going Home in the Rain, which she dedicated to the children of Bhutan.

John Mighton
Thursday, June 3 – Afternoon Ceremony

Believing that all children can be led to think mathematically, and that with even a modest amount of attention every child will flourish, John Mighton founded JUMP Math, a charity working to create a numerate society. As well as being an accomplished mathematician with a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and an NSERC fellowship for postdoctoral research in knot and graph theory, Dr. Mighton is also a renowned author and playwright. His works have been performed around the world and he is the winner of a Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, and a Dora Award. His play Possible Worlds was made into a full-length feature film directed by Robert Lepage. In 2004, Dr. Mighton was granted an Ashoka Fellowship as a social entrepreneur for his work with JUMP Math. Author of the national best-selling book, The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child and its sequel, The End of Ignorance, Dr. Mighton works tirelessly developing curriculum for JUMP Math workbooks and teacher's manuals. He donates all proceeds from JUMP publications to JUMP.

Robert Glossop
Friday, June 4 – Morning Ceremony

A pre-eminent researcher in sociology and family issues, Robert Glossop has helped shape social policy and influence Canadian family law. Dr. Glossop has examined how factors including work, economics, community, health and education affect the rapidly changing social ecology in which families live. Through his studies of demographic change, adolescent motherhood, parent support programs, taxation policy, new reproductive technologies, and child care, Dr. Glossop’s work has helped Canadians understand the evolution of the family. During his 30-year career with the Vanier Institute of the Family, Dr. Glossop positioned the Institute as a leading source of information on the Canadian family. Dr. Glossop received a B.A. from Trent University in 1971 and went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham. In 2005, he received the Lawson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2008, was made a Member of the Order of Canada. 

For a complete list of honorary degree recipients throughout Trent University’s history, please click here.


For more information about the tradition of honorary degrees and recipients at Trent, please contact:
Dianne Lister, vice president, External Relations & Advancement, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7207

To get in touch with the 2010 honorary degree recipients, please contact:
Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6184