Honorary Degree Recipients Named

Retired Professors Also to be Honoured

February 3, 2010
Recipients of the University of Northern British Columbia’s top public awards in 2010 have played inspiring roles in shaping knowledge about the region’s political, cultural, and environmental significance. All will be receiving Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees during the University’s May 28, 2010, Convocation ceremonies in Prince George.

Wade Davis is seen by many to be a citizen of the world but his roots and heart very much remain in northwestern BC. A Harvard University graduate, Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence for the National Geographic Society and has travelled around the world, photographing and writing about the state of the world’s indigenous cultures and the sustainability of the environment. He delivered the 2009 Massey Lectures for the CBC. He maintains a home in the Stikine Valley.

Roger Gibbins is a leading scholar on Western Canada, especially the policies that either enable or hinder its development. After growing up in Prince George, Gibbins attended UBC and Stanford University and – in 1973 – started an academic career at the University of Calgary. Since 1998, he has been the President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation, one of the foremost public policy research groups in Canada.

Sophie Thomas is a Healer and Elder of the Saik'uz First Nation west of Prince George. She is a living encyclopedia of traditional ecological knowledge and provided much of the content and inspiration for the book, The Plants and Medicines of Sophie Thomas, prepared by UNBC professors Jane Young and Alex Hawley and published in 2002. It is currently in its third printing, with 2000 sold to date. She is the mother of 15 children and the traditionally adoptive mother of 15 more.

In addition to providing honorary degrees, the University will be bestowing the title “Professor Emeritus” on two UNBC pioneers who have recently retired from the University. Charles Jago served as a professor of History while in his position of UNBC President. He is a specialist in Spanish history but rose to prominence within Canada during his time at UNBC as an important contributor to northern development. William Morrison has also served as a professor of History with UNBC and was the University’s Founding Dean of Graduate Studies. He specializes in the history of the Canadian North, and recently shared the most prestigious award for a book on Canadian public policy for the book, Arctic Front, dubbed “a clarion call for all Canadians about our endangered Arctic region.”
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