En’owkin director and former OUC president to receive UBC honorary degrees

North America’s first Aboriginal woman novelist and a former president of Okanagan University College will receive UBC honorary degrees at the first ever Spring Congregation June 9 at UBC Okanagan.

The degrees are awarded for distinguished career achievements, as well as service to UBC and to Canada.

Dr. William Bowering, UBC alumnus and a former president of Okanagan University College (OUC), has been an instrumental figure in expanding and developing post-secondary education in the Okanagan Valley during the past 28 years.

Bowering played a key role in the transition of Okanagan College to OUC. He then helped to develop OUC, introducing baccalaureate programs, expanded trades and technologies programs and building five regional OUC campuses throughout the Okanagan Valley. He will accept his degree during the morning ceremony on June 9.

Jeannette Armstrong is a writer, teacher, artist, sculptor and activist and considered North America’s first Aboriginal woman novelist. In 1978, she obtained a BFA from the University of Victoria.

In 1986, Armstrong became the director of the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, and is also the first director of the En’owkin International School of Writing, a creative writing school organized by and for Aboriginal people. She will accept her degree during the afternoon ceremony on June 9.

In addition, the following recipients will receive honorary degrees in Vancouver at UBC’s Spring Congregation in May:

  • Former UBC professor Dr. Neil Bartlett, and professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, changed the face of chemistry by producing compounds of rare gases
  • Linguistics expert Dr. Michael Halliday developed a new grammar model, one that considers how languages offer speakers certain choices.  He will receive his honorary degree during 2007 Congregation
  • Dr. Evelyn Hart is a former principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
  • Dr. John Hood, Vice-Chancellor at Oxford University and former president and CEO of New Zealand firm Fletcher Challenge
  • Dr. Finn Kydland, economics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics for shedding light on the dynamics between public policies and business
  • Tenor Dr. Richard Margison is one of the most famous Canadian opera singers in the world today
  • Medical law professor Dr. Alexander McCall Smith is author of the bestselling series, The No. Ladies’ Detective Agency
  • Prof. Dr. Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher and ethicist, teaches at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Dr. Donald Rix is a medical professional and one of the founders of MDS Metro Laboratory Services, the largest independent community laboratory in B.C.
  • Dr. Indira Samarasekera is the president of the University of Alberta and former UBC vice president, Research

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