Five Honorary Degrees to be Conferred at 2005 Convocation

Posted: 
Monday, February 21, 2005

The Senate of the University of Prince Edward Island has selected the recipients of honorary doctoral degrees to be conferred for the 2004-2005 academic year. Five honorary degrees will be conferred at two convocations on Saturday, May 14. The recipients will be Honourable James Lee, Colin MacDonald, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha, John Joe Sark, and Charles Stewart Scranton.

"Over the years, UPEI has been proud to recognize outstanding achievements by Prince Edward Islanders and others through the awarding of honouring degrees," says UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan. "Our 2005 recipients are wonderful role models for our graduates and for the entire community; we are happy to celebrate their successes and contributions."

Hon. James Lee served as an MLA for 11 years, as Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister of Tourism, and Premier of PEI (1981-86). After he became Premier, he seized the establishment of the Atlantic Veterinary College as the top in his mandate. His determination to expand post-secondary education and foster development on PEI has been recognized as a primary factor leading to Ottawa and the Atlantic provinces signing an agreement to build the college at UPEI. Mr. Lee has been active in numerous organizations, including the Canadian Unity Council, Veterans Review and Appeal Board and Canadian Pension Commission, Canadian Jaycee Senate, North Shore Community Council, Stanhope Historical Society, 4 H, and Hillsborough Rotary. He has recently retired as Chair of the Workers' Compensation Board of PEI.

Colin MacDonald has had an extensive career in the international seafood industry. He is President and CEO of Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership, and is co-owner and director of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. An active community member and volunteer, his activities include serving as Chair of the IWK Children's Hospital Foundation, and chairing the Chester and Area Family Resource Centre and the Wherehouse Youth Centre. Mr. MacDonald is a strong supporter of the Atlantic Veterinary College and UPEI through his leadership and vision as a founding member of the AVC Lobster Science Centre. He has also served as President of the Canadian Lobster Producers' Association.

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha, commonly referred to as "The Marthas", was founded in 1916. The activities of the Congregation have had a powerful and positive influence in PEI. They have participated extensively in higher education at St. Dunstan's University and UPEI, and in primary and secondary education as teachers and administrators. The Sisters of Martha have made significant contributions to health care in their diverse roles in the Charlottetown, Queen Elizabeth, and Western hospitals. They have also contributed to the social welfare of Islanders through their activities involving child welfare, treatment centres, and health care for seniors, as well as parish and prison ministry. They have lived up to their motto, "to love and serve," throughout PEI and beyond.

John Joe Sark was the first Island Mi'kmaq graduate of UPEI in 1979. He is the Keptin of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council and one of the foremost authorities on the Mi'kmaq people. Sark has led the way in speaking out against racist attitudes and actions on PEI. He is well-known across Canada for his work on campaigns in support of human rights and against racism. As a representative of the Mi'Kmaq Council, Sark has lobbied for rights and recognition internationally, including audiences with the Pope regarding residential schools. He was involved in the drafting of the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples of the World. In February 2005, he was recognized for his accomplished career with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Charles Stewart Scranton had a 32-year career in agriculture, first as a poultry fieldman and later as Inspector in Charge of the Poultry Division of Agriculture Canada for PEI. He retired early to devote his time to the raising and promotion of Hereford cattle. The high quality Herefords of Scranton Park Ranch have captured numerous national honours. Mr. Scranton has served as a director of many agricultural organizations, including the PEI Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Hereford Association. In 2005, in his 90th year, he will serve as President of the Easter Beef Show and Sale, a role that he has played for many years. Mr. Scranton has spent much of his life supporting his community and church. He was a founder of Camp Segunakadeck (Seggie), one of the largest Baptist camps in Atlantic Canada. A new chapel on the camp site bears the name "Scranton Chapel" in recognition of Charles and his wife, Helen Scranton's many years of service and support.

Anne McCallum
Department: 
Media Relations and Communications
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