Samantha Nutt to receive honorary degree at UBC Okanagan convocation

Dr. Samantha Nutt

Dr. Samantha Nutt, MD, MSc, CCFP, FRCPC, LLD, founder of the humanitarian organization War Child Canada, will receive an honorary doctorate from UBC during UBC Okanagan convocation ceremonies on June 11, 2010.

Over the course of her professional career and as the founder and executive director of War Child Canada, Nutt has spearheaded efforts to provide direct humanitarian support and long term programming to war-affected children and their families, and to promote greater awareness in Canada concerning the rights of children everywhere.

Nutt is a medical doctor specializing in maternal and child health in zones of armed conflict, family medicine, public health, refugee health and women's health. She is also on staff at Sunnybrook and Women's Health Science Centre and is an Assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Known for inspiring others to make a difference in the lives of those affected by war, Nutt works with the United Nations and non-governmental organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Iraq, Burundi, northern Uganda and the Thai-Burmese border.

Chosen by Maclean's Magazine for their Honour Roll as one of "12 Canadians making a difference," she has received numerous humanitarian awards for her work in support of war-affected children.

Nutt was a featured presenter in UBC Okanagan's Distinguished Speaker Series in January 2008, when she spoke in Kelowna on the topic of social responsibility and acting on our responsibilities as citizens.

At Spring Congregation ceremonies at the Vancouver campus, UBC will also confer honorary degrees upon:

  • Douglas Coupland, a Vancouver-based writer and artist
  • John Furlong, CEO of VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
  • Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer at TELUS Communications Inc.
  • Dr. James Cameron Hogg, founder of the Pulmonary Research Laboratory at St. Paul's Hospital (renamed in 2003) and a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
  • Maria Klawe, a former Dean of Science at UBC and the President of Harvey Mudd College in California
  • Rick Mercer, Canadian comedian, TV personality and political satirist
  • Louis Nirenberg (Fall recipient), an exceptional mathematician and committed educator
  • Alanis Obamsawin, a distinguished documentary filmmaker and advocate for Aboriginal filmmaking
  • Julie Payette, (Fall recipient) Chief Astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007
  • Dallas Murray Richards, the leader of the Dal Richards Orchestra, which has performed at the Pacific National Exhibition for 70 consecutive years
  • Dr. Nora Volkow, an internationally recognized leader in addiction medicine and Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Ian Wallace, an artist, theorist and scholar who has taught and mentored some of Vancouver's most noteworthy artists

The award of an honorary degree is recognition by UBC of distinguished achievement or of outstanding service. The criteria for the award of an honorary degree are excellence, eminence, and accomplishment. Nominees must be exceptionally distinguished: scholars, creative artists, public servants, persons prominent in the community and their professions, and others who have made significant contributions locally, nationally, or globally.

Nominations open to the public

The UBC Senates in the Okanagan and Vancouver welcome the nomination of worthy individuals for honorary degrees. Nominations submitted to UBC Okanagan are considered for UBC honorary degrees that will be awarded at graduation ceremonies in Kelowna.

Any member of the public may submit nominations. For a full list of criteria and description of the nomination process, visit the UBC Okanagan Senate's honorary degree website at

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