2008 Honorary Degree Recipients

2008 Fall Congregation Honorary Degree Recipients

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - John Blatherwick

John Blatherwick, C.M., O.B.C.

Dr. Blatherwick is Canada’s longest-serving medical health officer. He has served as a B.C. medical health officer for 36 years and as the Chief Medical Health Officer in Vancouver for 23 years. Dr. Blatherwick received his honorary degree on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at the 12:30 pm ceremony.

2008 Spring Congregation Honorary Degree Recipients

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Margaret-Ann Armour

Margaret-Ann Armour, C.M.

Margaret-Ann Armour is a University of Alberta Chemistry professor who has led the development of safety guidelines for recycling and disposing of laboratory chemicals.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Thomas Berger

Thomas R. Berger, O.C., Q.C.

Thomas R. Berger, one of Canada’s pre-eminent legal figures and human rights champions, was the youngest judge appointed to the Supreme Court of B.C. in the 20th century.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Terry Bourk

Terry Bourk

Terry Bourk, a UBC electrical engineering graduate, has been a leader in the development of innovative wireless technologies in satellite, cellular and personal area communications. His recent work in Bluetooth was recognized with his induction into the Bluetooth Hall of Fame.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien

Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien

Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien has created highly acclaimed human resources programs for leading organizations in Canada’s telecommunications industry.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien II

Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien II, O.C.

Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien II is an influential leader in the development of Canada’s communications system, including broadcast radio, magazine, cable, and cellular phone industries.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox, the award-winning actor living with Parkinson’s disease, has raised more than $120 million towards Parkinson’s research.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Christopher Gaze

Christopher Gaze

Christopher Gaze is the founder and artistic director of Bard on the Beach, theatre that pairs the magnificence of Shakespeare’s language with the stunning beauty of Vancouver’s ocean and mountains.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes, O.M.

Clara Hughes is a highly decorated Olympic champion (with five medals in both the winter and summer games), a philanthropist and an outspoken advocate for wilderness protection.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Joan Steitz

Joan A. Steitz

Joan Steitz, Prof. of Molecular Physics and Biochemistry at Yale University, is most recognized for discovering and defining the function of small nuclear riboneucleoproteins (snRNPs), work that could lead to new treatment for Lupus.

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients - Bing Thom

Bing Thom

Bing Thom, the renowned architect, has been designing award-winning buildings for 40 years, including the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC.

Special Honorary Degree Conferral – Professor Muhammad Yunus

As part of UBC’s Centenary celebrations, the degree Doctor of Laws was conferred upon Professor Muhammad Yunus at a special ceremony that was held on Friday, March 14, 2008.


Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a renowned economist praised for conceptualizing and building the field of “micro-credit,” which has created financial independence for thousands of people in the world’s poorest countries.

As Founder and Director of the Grameen Bank Project (Village Banks), Dr. Yunus provides small loans to support sustainable businesses, contributing particularly to the empowerment of women and families.

His fundamental shift in how banks and lending organizations operate has revolutionized the rural landscape in Bangladesh. His ideas and programs have had a profound impact on agriculture, clean water, economic self-reliance, health, community well being and human rights – achievements recognized by over 50 prestigious awards presented internationally over the last 30 years. In 2006, the Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development.