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Trent University Announces Five Honorary Degree Recipients to be Recognized at 2011 Convocation Ceremonies

Former Canadian Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, and Mr. Craig Kielburger, founder of Free The Children among those to be honoured at June convocation ceremonies

On behalf of Senate, Dr. Steven E. Franklin, the president of Trent University announced today the five outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees at convocation ceremonies on June 1, 2 and 3, 2011.

“The University Senate was unanimous in its approval of these distinguished individuals as Trent University's honorary degree recipients for 2011,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor at Trent. “All distinguished Canadians who have contributed significantly to our society and our world, each will represent a unique and powerful perspective to our graduates at Trent’s 44th convocation ceremonies.”

Trent University’s 2011 convocation ceremonies will be held over a three-day period, with two ceremonies on June 1 and June 2, and one ceremony on June 3.

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

Mr. Rick Beaver
Wednesday, June 1 – Morning Ceremony

An internationally-recognized Mississauga Ojibway artist and trained biologist from Alderville First Nation in Ontario. Mr. Beaver has been painting professionally for more than 30 years and his passion for nature, combined with his native heritage, is exemplified in his unique celebration of its flora and fauna. His work as a biologist and his strong feelings for the environment are manifest in his environmental work nationally. In the 1980s he spearheaded and organized fellow artists to paint for an exhibition to aid famine in Ethiopia and traveled the world to promote it. He has served as a member of the design team for the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. He was awarded the Governor General’s commemorative medal for community service in 1993. He has appeared as a personality on television and radio, and he has illustrated several publications. In 2005, the University of Alberta presented him with the Alumni Honour Award, recognizing the significant contributions he has made in this country. He has worked as a consultant in Aboriginal tourism and has been a tour guide and host for “Spirit Walks,” a tourism initiative. He has been actively involved in the arts, in the promotion of cultural history and in environmental management, and continues to support these endeavors. Currently Mr. Beaver serves on the board of the Alderville Black Oak Savanna, a natural heritage site; he paints and creates, and is involved in design work for a number of Canadian manufacturers.

“I am thrilled and honoured to receive this acknowledgment of my engagement with life and learning," said Mr. Beaver. "It is an incredible privilege to be acknowledged for the simple pleasure and entertainment of learning things."

Ms. Sandra Laronde
June 1 – Afternoon Ceremony

Internationally-acclaimed, award-winning director, producer, choreographer, performer and creative leader. Ms. Laronde created Red Sky, Canada¹s leading company for contemporary world Indigenous performance in dance, theatre and music on national and international stages. Since its inception in 2000, Red Sky performances have captured the imagination of close to 350,000 people from six countries on four continents. Her world stage line-up includes the multi-award winning Tono at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad; opening for the 2010 World Expo Shanghai in China; 2008 Beijing Cultural Olympiad; and the International Arts and Culture Festival in Inner Mongolia, among others. Currently, Ms. Laronde is also the Director of Aboriginal Arts at The Banff Centre, the globally respected arts and cultural institution. She is also the founder of Native Women in the Arts, an organization that has played a significant role in fostering the careers of thousands of Indigenous women artists. Her awards include: the Dora Mavor Moore Award for excellence in the performing arts; two awards at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, Good Citizenship Medal; Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in the Arts from The Banff Centre; Toronto City Council¹s Aboriginal Affairs Award; and was one of 225 promising leaders selected to participate in the Governor-General¹s Canadian Leadership program. Ms. Laronde holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, and studied Spanish Language and Literature overseas for one year at the University of Granada in Spain. Ms. Laronde is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.
"I have had a rich history with Trent University,” said Ms. Laronde, “and I'm truly honoured to be associated with an outstanding institution that is renowned for its leadership, inspiring vision and vibrant education."

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell
Thursday, June 2 – Morning Ceremony

The first woman to hold Canada’s highest elected office, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell was Canada’s 19th prime minister, serving until November 1993. From Vancouver, British Columbia, Ms. Campbell was the Progressive Conservative member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, in office from 1988 to 1993. She was appointed minister of state for Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1989, the year she was appointed to the Canada Privy Council. She became the first female minister of justice and attorney general in Canada serving from 1990 to 1993, when she was appointed the first female minister of national defence. In 1996, Ms. Campbell was appointed consul general to Los Angeles where she remained until 2000. Today she chairs the international advisory board of the Foundation for Effective Governance in Ukraine as well as the Steering Committee for the World Movement for Democracy. She serves on the board of the Forum of Federations and many international organizations. She is the former chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, and the former president of the International Women’s Forum. Ms. Campbell is a founding member, who also has served as acting president, vice president and secretary general, of the Club of Madrid, an independent organization of former heads of state and government, which seek to strengthen democracy.

"I am honoured to be included among this year's honourary degree recipients at Trent University,” said Ms. Campbell. “Commencement ceremonies are always uplifting and I look forward to celebrating the achievements of the graduates and being inducted into the Trent family."

Ms. Lauren Woolstencroft
Thursday, June 2 – Afternoon Ceremony

Athlete and electrical engineer, Ms. Lauren Woolstencroft won five gold medals at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, B.C. Born in Calgary, Alberta, 24 November 1981, Ms. Woolstencroft graduated with distinction in 2005 from the University of Victoria, with a Bachelor of Engineering. She is currently an electrical engineer for British Columbia Hydro and was a member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team from 1998 - 2010. During her career, Ms. Woolstencroft has won over fifty world cups and numerous athlete awards. A three-time Winter Paralympics competitor, Ms. Woolstencroft competed in 2002 in Salt Lake City, winning two gold and one bronze medal, in 2006 in Turin, winning one gold and one silver, and in 2010 in Vancouver, where she won five gold medals – a record for any Canadian Winter Paralympian or Olympian.

Mr. Craig Kielburger
Friday, June 3 – Morning Ceremony

A member of the Order of Canada, children’s rights activist Mr. Craig Kielburger has been awarded the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award, the Community of Christ International Peace Award, the World Economic Forum Global Leaders of Tomorrow Award, the Roosevelt Freedom Medal and many other awards for his work with Free The Children, an international network dedicated to eradicating child labour which he founded in 1995. Growing since 1995, Free The Children now operates in 45 countries, and involves over one million youth in its programs, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to build over 650 schools and school rooms in the developing world, while working to provide access to clean water, education and medical supplies. Mr. Kielburger is also the co-founder of Me to We, a social enterprise that donates half of its profits to Free The Children by selling socially conscious and environmentally friendly clothes, books and accessories – as well as life-changing leadership training, inspiring speakers and transformative travel experiences.

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

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011.

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