Queen’s names 2017 honorary degree recipients

Art MacDonald and Stephen J.R. Smith among listed notables

Image by: Jacob Rosen
Arthur MacDonald will receive his honorary degree on June 7.

In the 2017 slate of honorary Queen’s degree recipients released Tuesday, the University harks back to the successes of 2015 — naming Nobel Prize winner Arthur McDonald and Smith School of Business benefactor Stephen J.R. Smith among honourees. 

Members of the 16-person honour roll will be formally presented with their degrees during either spring or fall convocation events. 

May 20

The first honouree, Justice Kin Kee Pang, ArtSci ’70, is a member of Hong Kong’s senior judiciary. Pang has served as President of the Queen’s Alumni Association’s Hong Kong branch and a member of University Council.  

May 25

James Rutka is a Meds ’81 graduate and professor of surgery at University of Toronto. Rutka currently practices pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, is an Officer of the Order of Canada and played as quarterback for Queen’s during their ’78 Vanier Cup victory.

May 30

Stephen J.R. Smith, a Sci ’72 graduate, is set to be honoured for his contributions to information technology and financial structuring in the national mortgage field, as well as his $50 million donation to Queen’s business school — which is now named after him. 

May 31

Husband and wife Gurujai Deshpande, PhD ’79, and Jaishree Deshpande are set to be honoured for their contributions to the school on a financial level. The pair made a 2016 joint gift towards Queen’s innovation programming via the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. 

June 2

Sir David Skegg is currently based in New Zealand, at the University of Otago, as an epidemiologist and public health physician. As Vice-Chancellor, he began discussions that led to the establishment of the Matariki Network of Universities — of which Queen’s is a founder.

June 5

Baron John Alderdice is cited as playing a significant role in the development of the Irish peace progress and negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement as leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. 

June 6

Otto Naumann, according to The Gazette, is “the leading name in Old Master paintings in the United States.”  With a specialty in Dutch and Flemish art, Naumann is the only present-day art dealer to sell a painting by Vermeer and has handled more Rembrandts than any living person. 

On the same day, former Premier of New Brunswick Frank McKenna will be honoured. McKenna has served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group, Chairman of Brookfield Asset Management, and as a board member for Canadian Natural Resources.

June 7

2015 Nobel Prize winner Arthur McDonald is a professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, probing into unknown parts of neutrinos and dark matter. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics. 

June 8

Fredy Peccerelli is a founding member and executive director of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, which applies forensic anthropological and archaeological techniques to discover the identity of victims of mass human rights abuses. 

June 9

Donald Bayne holds three degrees from Queen’s and now practices criminal law for Bayne, Sellar, Boxall in Ottawa. According to The Gazette, Bayne has conducted trial and appellate advocacy at all levels of courts in Canada and at public inquiries around the world. 

In the fall, Queen’s will also award honorary degrees to educator and social worker Debbie Docherty, jazz pianist Oliver Jones, businessman John Rae, and author and educator David Bouchard.


Arthur MacDonald, Convocation, honorary degrees, Stephen Smith

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