Thompson Rivers University will bestow honorary degrees on five people during the convocation ceremonies, which will take place from June 5 to June 7.
An honorary degree is the highest form of recognition offered by TRU and awarded for demonstrated excellence in the fields of public affairs, the sciences, arts, humanities, business, law and philanthropy.
“The conferring of these degrees recognizes the tremendous contributions these individuals make to society, but it’s also an opportunity to inspire our graduating students as they leave this university and go on to contribute to our world,” TRU president and vice-chancellor Brett Fairbairn said.
Each honorary degree recipient will speak at the convocation ceremonies.
This year’s recipients and the respective ceremonies they will attend are:
• Charles Mossop, Doctor of Letters, addressing the School of Business and Economics convocation on Wednesday, June 5, at 2:30 p.m.
Mossop’s passion for the value of internationalization helped lay the foundations of B.C.’s international education system and make TRU a leading destination for students from around the world.
In 1983, Mossop became co-ordinator of what was a two-person International Education department at then-Cariboo College.
Over time, he increased faculty involvement in field schools abroad, as well as international student interest in TRU, developed specialized and culturally sensitive support for international students — a model adopted by other institutions across Canada — and helped establish a provincial post-secondary network on international education.
In 2014, the BC Council for International Education awarded Mossop the International Education Lifetime Achievement Award.
• Dr. Pauline van den Driessche, Doctor of Letters, addressing the Faculty of Science convocation on Thursday, June 6, at 10 a.m.
Van den Driessche, professor emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria, is an internationally renowned mathematician whose research continues to play a significant role in global health.
This includes her work in mathematical epidemiology, the application of mathematical modelling in the study and management of infectious diseases.
Van den Driessche is recognized for her devotion to teaching and mentoring countless young academics throughout her career at UVic.
She is the author of approximately 240 peer-reviewed publications and was named a Thompson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in 2014, as one of 99 of the world’s most influential mathematicians.
• Karl deBruijn, Doctor of Letters, addressing the joint convocation of the School of Trades and Technology and the School of Nursing on Thursday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m.
DeBruijn is an educator, community leader and philanthropist who has devoted his career to the development of education in the Kamloops area.
His contribution to community and service includes nearly four decades with School District 73, first as a teacher, then as a principal, followed by more senior roles, including CEO and superintendent of schools before his retirement in 2016.
DeBruijn’s community leadership has included being chair of the TRU board of governors and the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games and as past president of the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA board.
• Tantoo Caroline Rose Cardinal, Doctor of Letters, addressing the Faculty of Arts convocation on Friday, June 7, at 10 a.m.
Cardinal is Métis and a celebrated actress of stage, screen and television.
Throughout her career, Cardinal’s strong portrayals and determined pursuit of truth have helped break barriers in the onscreen representation of Indigenous people.
She has appeared in blockbusters such as Legends of the Fall, Dances with Wolves and Black Robe and in recurring roles in television series such as Blackstone, Arctic Air and North of 60.
Cardinal’s support for the growth and development of Indigenous performing arts has led to national recognition, including the Order of Canada in 2009 and a Canadian Screen Award for lifetime achievement.
• Mike Wiegele, Doctor of Laws, addressing the joint convocation of the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism and the Faculty of Law on Friday, June 7, at 2:30 p.m.
Wiegele is a ski coach, guide and entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the backcountry skiing industry in Canada.
In 1989, he established the Canadian Ski Guide Association, which became the industry standard for training ski guides.
A year later, he approached the University of Calgary to conduct research into avalanche safety, which led to the development of many of the protocols in place in the industry today.
Wiegele has been a strong supporter of TRU Adventure Studies programs, hosting courses at his Blue River heli-skiing operation.
His honours include induction into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, the Banff Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame.