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June 11, 1998

Increase in student graduates this spring

Excited congratulations and quiet pride will prevail at Place des Arts over the next few days, as thousands of graduates file across the stage to pick up their hard-won diplomas from Chancellor Eric Molson.

The five spring convocation ceremonies will begin tomorrow and end on Tuesday, and a total of 3,134 graduates are eligible to attend.

These comprise 2,606 undergraduate degrees and 528 graduate degrees (151 diplomas, 339 Master's degrees and 38 PhDs). This represents an increase of 218 graduates from last year.

Three successful business executives will receive honorary doctorates at the convocation at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier tomorrow morning for Commerce and Administration.

They are Dominic D'Allessandro, an alumnus who now heads Canada's largest insurance company, Manulife Financial; John Economides, who has spent much of his retirement actively helping others, notably Concordia; and William Yip, also an alumnus and an active friend of the University in Hong Kong.

Arts and Science is such a large Faculty that there are two ceremonies, both on Friday at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier. At the morning edition, the speaker and honoree will be historian David Bercuson, author of books on the Winnipeg General Strike and Canada's university system.

In the afternoon, the recipients are novelist Carol Shields, who has won unprecedented honours -- the U.S. Pulitzer Prize, Canada's Governor-General's Award and Britain's Orange Prize -- and child psychologist Mary J. Wright.

Engineering and Computer Science will hold a convocation ceremony on Tuesday morning in the Théâtre Maisonneuve, and present an honorary doctorate to André Bazergui, Director-General of the École Polytechnique.

The Fine Arts convocation, to take place Tuesday afternoon in the Théâtre Maisonneuve, will honour visionary architect Douglas Cardinal, best known for the undulating curves of the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. (For more about these distinguished honorees, please see page 8.)

On June 16 and 17, the Art History Department will present Ahkssissttstatoaa (a Blackfoot word meaning "to honour") in recognition of the central role that Cardinal's First Nations heritage plays in his work.

The event, which will take place at the Visual Arts Building, 1395 René-Lévesque Blvd. W., will begin with a lecture on Tuesday morning by Mr. Cardinal on "Architecture as a Living Process."

The following day will see presentations by faculty and graduate students on First Nations issues, particularly in relation to art and architectural history, archaeology and cultural studies, land rights and innovations in aboriginal communities.

Another speaker will be Haisla artist Arthur Renwick, whose large-scale photo installations are on display in the VAV Gallery for the month of June. There will also be a screening of Magnus Isacsson's film Power, which documents Cree resistance to the Hydro-Québec development in northern Quebec, and the Montreal filmmaker will be on hand.

For more information about
Ahkssissttstatoaa, please contact Caroline Stevens ( or Cynthia Hammond (, or call 288-0086.

Copyright 1998 Thursday Report.