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Four Distinguished Canadians to Receive Honorary Degrees at Trent University's 2005 Convocation Ceremonies

General Romeo Dallaire among list of those to be honoured

March 9, 2005, Peterborough

On behalf of Senate, the President of Trent University today announced the outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees at convocation ceremonies on June 2 and 3, 2005.

"The Committee on University Honours has been very successful in identifying an outstanding list of accomplished individuals," said President Bonnie Patterson. "The achievements of his year's honorary degree recipients is extraordinary—and highly appropriate in reflecting the potential of a liberal arts and science degree. Clearly, our graduating students will be eager to hear from these distinguished citizens."

After last year's move to a two-day convocation format with three ceremonies, in 2005 the University will hold four convocation ceremonies to accommodate increased numbers of graduates.

The following individuals will be honoured, each with a Doctor of Laws degree, at this year's convocation ceremonies:

June 2, 2005 Morning Ceremony

Mrs. Erica Cherney is a Peterborough businesswoman, volunteer and honorary member and former chair of Trent University's Board of Governors. She has distinguished herself as a community leader in the city of Peterborough. As a successful entrepreneur and as a volunteer and supporter of countless organizations, she has made significant contributions to the arts, education and business communities over the years and continues to do so. A managing partner at H&M Cherney Realty since 1985, Mrs. Cherney has also had more than 30 years experience in the retail furniture business. Her extensive involvement in governance and volunteer activities, including serving as member of boards of TV Ontario, United Way of Peterborough and District, Showplace Peterborough, Peterborough Symphony and many others has earned her various awards and citations, including the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award in 2000.

June 2, 2005 Afternoon Ceremony

Mr. Jake Eberts is a Canadian film producer and founder of Allied Filmmakers. His career highlights include such films as Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, The Killing Fields, Driving Miss Daisy, Dances with Wolves, and A River Runs Through It. Together these and his other films received 34 Oscar nominations, winning 15, including two for best picture. His outstanding contributions to the world of arts and entertainment are well known. Internationally recognized in the film industry, he has nurtured young writers, directors and actors. In 1992, Mr. Eberts became an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is the author of My Indecision is Final, an autobiography about his life in the film industry.

June 3, 2005 Morning Ceremony

Ms. Mary Simon, Canada's former Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs and former Chancellor of Trent University, has made important contributions to the recognition of Aboriginal rights and the study of Northern affairs. She was the first Inuk to hold ambassadorial rank. Ms. Simon has demonstrated outstanding leadership as a respected international advisor on vital issues such as the environment, human rights, development and peace, and continues to provide guidance to help address the needs of Arctic children and youth. She was appointed a Member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee on Environmental Cooperation of NAFTA and was elected Chair in the same year. In 1996, Ms. Simon received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her work.

June 3, 2005 Afternoon Ceremony

General Romeo Dallaire (Ret'd) is a celebrated Canadian, known not only for his courageous and principled leadership as former head of the UN peacekeeping Force in Uganda and Rwanda, but also for his ongoing commitment to promoting a more progressive, integrated and humanitarian concept of conflict resolution and his determination to keep the hard learned lessons of Rwanda from being forgotten. His advisory role to CIDA on the plight of war-affected children around the world and his work in advancing the understanding of matters related to post-traumatic stress are also significant contributions, worthy of recognition. General Dallaire's book, Shake Hands with the Devil, is an account of his experiences in Rwanda; the book became a bestseller in Canada 2003.

For a complete list of honorary degree recipients throughout the University's history, please visit


For more information, please contact:

Don Cumming, senior director, public affairs (705) 748-1011 ext. 1224


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