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October 24, 2002 Honorary doctorate recipients, spring 2003  

Gilles Ouimet

Gilles Ouimet is chairman and former president and chief executive officer of Pratt & Whitney Canada, a leader in aviation and aeronautics.

Born in Montreal, he received an undergraduate degree in engineering physics from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1967, and worked as an aeronautics engineer in the Canadian Air Force. He earned an MBA from Queen’s University in 1972.

In 1977, Mr. Ouimet joined Pratt & Whitney Canada as controller. Over the span of the next quarter-century, his engaging leadership style lifted him swiftly through the ranks.

Between 1980 and 1989, he was vice-president, finance, then vice-president, operations, senior vice-president, marketing and customer support, and executive vice-president. He was named president and COO in 1994, and became CEO in 2000. He has been chairman of Pratt &Whitney Canada since May 2002.



Robert E. Brown

Robert E. Brown is widely respected for his contributions in public service, corporate leadership and social responsibility. He earned an undergraduate science degree from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1967.

He served in the Canadian Armed Forces for several years, then entered Canadian public service in 1971. Over the span of 16 years, he held several senior positions in federal ministries and with Atomic Energy Canada, the Public Service Commission, the Treasury Board, and the Council of Maritime Premiers.

In 1987, Mr. Brown joined Bombardier as vice-president, corporate development. In 1990, he was appointed president of Canadair and two years later, president of the Bombardier Aerospace Group. His leadership was marked by phenomenal growth and performance. In April 1996, he was named president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace. Mr. Brown capped his career at Bombardier as president and chief executive officer from 1999 to 2002.



Eric Kandel

Scientist Eric Kandel is Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and Senior Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his contributions to the discovery of signal transduction in the nervous system, which has been pivotal in understanding learning and memory processes.

He earned an undergraduate degree in history and literature from Harvard College in 1952, and earned a medical degree from the New York University in 1956. Early in his career, he was a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard Medical School, and a staff psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. He was professor of physiology and psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine from 1965 to 1968. In 1974, he joined Columbia University, founding the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.

His seminal work has contributed to advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Sidney Altman

Sidney Altman is Sterling Professor of Biology at Yale University. In 1989, he was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking work on the chemical reactions that occur inside cells. This work led to the discovery that RNA (ribonucleic acid) is at the essence of the life-forming process known as catalysis.

Born in Montreal, he earned an undergraduate degree in physics from MIT in 1960, and a PhD in biophysics from the University of Colorado in 1967.

Early in his career, Dr. Altman worked at the Medical Research Council Laboratory in Cambridge, England, where he started the work that led to the revolutionary discovery of the catalyst properties of the enzyme ribonuclease P.

He joined Yale in 1971, becoming a full professor in 1980, chair of the biology department from 1983-85, and dean of Yale College from 1985-89.


Richard Monette

Richard Monette majored in English at Loyola College, earning his undergraduate degree with honours in 1967. He worked in London for two years, performing with the Welsh National Theatre, the world-class Regent’s Park Theatre, Open Space Theatre, and Duchess Theatre.

\He returned to Canada in 1972 and was soon regarded as one of the country’s great actors. Over the course of 31 seasons at Stratford, he has played more than 40 roles, including leads in Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, and Filumena. While winning audiences with his onstage performances, he has directed more than 40 productions over the years.

Mr. Monette was appointed Stratford’s artistic director in 1994. In January 1998, he was named a member of the Order of Canada.


Larry Swanson

Neuroscientist Larry Swanson is professor of biological sciences, psychology and neurology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Over the course of his 30-year research career, he has become an important contributor to the modern understanding of structure and mechanisms of the brain.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1968, and a doctorate in neurobiology from the Washington University School of Medicine, in 1972. He was assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Washington University until 1979.

From 1980 to 1990, Dr. Swanson worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, while serving as an adjunct professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Swanson’s extensive work on the neural circuits responsible for motivation, emotions, eating and drinking, and reproductive and defensive behaviours has provided keen insight into the field of neuroscience.


John Tyler Bonner

Biologist and author John Tyler Bonner is professor emeritus at Princeton University. His career has spanned half a dozen scientific generations, and he has both witnessed and contributed to many of the exciting advances in biology of the 20th century.

He earned an undergraduate degree in biology, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1941, completing a master’s degree there the following year. After serving in the United States Air Corps, then earned a PhD from Harvard in 1947, and joined Princeton the same year.

He has published extensively and is considered one of the great developmental biologists of modern time. Dr. Bonner’s autobiography, The Lives of a Biologist: Adventures in a Century of Extraordinary Science, is hailed as an illuminating look into a life in science.




Stephen A.Jarislowsky

Stephen Jarislowsky is an investment analyst and counsellor with a legendary reputation in Canada, and an exceptional civic leader.

He earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University, and a master’s degree in Far Eastern studies, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Chicago. He followed this with a masterŐs in business administration from the Harvard Business School, in 1949.

He founded Jarislowsky, Fraser and Company Limited in 1955. In the years since, he has nurtured the firm from an initial $100 equity investment to a multibillion-dollar firm famed in the industry for its excellent research and top performance. He is a great supporter of Concordia University, where, with his wife, he has established the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art.

His support to universities across Canada has been vital to the continuity of innovative research in many areas.

Mr. Jarislowsky is an active member of a dozen civic, charitable and corporate adminsitrative boards.



Tom Brzustowski

Tom Brzustowski is president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. He is credited with championing the drive for enhanced funding for university research grants and revitalizing NSERC.

He earned an undergraduate degree in engineering physics from the University of Toronto in 1958. He earned a master’s degree in 1960, and a PhD in aeronautical engineering in 1963 from Princeton University.

From 1962 to 1987, Dr. Brzustowski pioneered research in thermodynamics and combustion as professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo. He also served in several senior positions in university administration, including vice-president, academic, and provost.

In 1987, Dr. Brzustowski was appointed Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister in charge of the Premier’s Council on Economic Renewal, responsibilities that expanded to include the Premier’s Council on Health, Well-Being and Social Justice in 1991.

Dr. Brzustowski has been president of the NSERC since October 1995.


Convocation schedule, spring 2003

Faculty of Arts &Science - Thursday, June 12, 10 a.m. Honorary doctorates: Neuroscientist and Nobel laureate Eric Kandel and neurobiologist Larry Swanson

Faculty of Arts & Science
- Thursday, June 12, 2:30 p.m. Honorary doctorates: Molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Sidney Altman and biologist John Tyler Bonner

Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science -Thursday, June 12, 7 p.m. Honorary doctorates: Gilles Ouimet, chairman of Pratt & Whitney Canada, and Tom Brzustowski, president of NSERC

John Molson School of Business - Friday, June 13, 9:30 a.m. Honorary doctorates: Investment counsellor Stephen A. Jarislowsky and Robert E. Brown, former CEO/president of Bombardier Aerospace

Faculty of Fine Arts - Friday, June 13, 3 p.m. Honorary doctorate: Actor/artistic director Richard Monette

Ceremonies will take place in the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts.