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October 24, 2002 Science College bridges the gap



Dr. Gregory Baum

Dr. Francesco Bellini

Gregory Baum

Dr. Gregory Gerhard Baum, professor emeritus of McGill University’s Faculty of Religious Studies, is one of Canada’s leading contemporary theologians and an important contributor to the understanding of religion and spirituality in the context of modern human experiences.

Born in Germany in 1923, he came to Canada in 1942. He earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1946; and a master’s degree in mathematics from Ohio State University the following year. His academic interests then turned to Christian theology, which he studied at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He received a doctorate in theology in 1956.

Dr. Baum became a professor of theology and religious studies at the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College in 1959. In 1962, he became editor of The Ecumenist, a lively critical review of theology, culture and society, which continues to thrive under his guidance. While teaching at St. Michael’s College, Dr. Baum pursued graduate studies in sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York City, completed in 1971. In 1986, Dr. Baum came to Montreal. He was professor of religious studies at McGill University until 1995, when he was appointed professor emeritus of the Faculty of Religious Studies.

Dr. Baum is the author of more than 20 books and numerous groundbreaking works that have focused not only on the contemplative dimension of religion, but its social and political dimensions as well.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, he has also received honorary degrees from universities across North America in recognition of his lifelong achievements.


Francesco Bellini

Francesco Bellini is the co-founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of BioChem Pharma. Over the course of 25 years, his research and leadership have led to major advances in medical science, in the fields of therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics.

Born in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, Franceso Bellini came to Canada in 1967. He studied at one of Concordia University’s founding institutions, Loyola College, earning an undergraduate degree in science in 1972. In 1977, he received a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of New Brunswick.

In 1984, Dr. Bellini established the biochemical division of the Institut Armand-Frappier at the Université de Québec, which specializes in research, manufacturing and commercialization of fine chemicals. He left this post in 1986, when he co-founded BioChem Pharma. Under Dr. Bellini’s direction, the Montreal-based pharmaceutical company has become a leader in biochemical research and development, which have propelled Canadian biopharmaceutical research to global prominence.

Dr. Bellini now heads a new biopharmaceutical company, Picchio International Incorporated, dedicated to acquiring, developing and commercializing new therapeutic products and technologies. The author or co-author of more than 20 patents and many articles based on his research, Dr. Bellini has been recognized internationally with numerous honours. These include the Onorificenza Di Grande Ufficiale, in 1997, the highest distinction awarded by the Italian government to civilians for their contributions in or outside Italy. He received the National Merit Award from the Ottawa Life Sciences Council in 1998. In the year 2000, Dr. Bellini was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, cited for his visionary role in building a world-leading biotechnology company.


Fall Convocation

Friday, November 15, 10 a.m.
Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, Place des Arts
Honorary doctorate recipients: Gregory Baum and Francesco Bellini
Valedictorian: Theodora Welch