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Accomplished UN lawyer, one of the world's best in basketball to receive honorary degrees

Linda Taylor a fearless trailblazer committed to helping others; Jay Triano a legendary basketball pioneer
June 9, 2016

Linda Taylor and Jay Triano will receive honorary degrees at the June 9 convocation ceremonies.

The honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, is the University of Calgary's highest academic honour, bestowed on individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition.

Linda Taylor and Jay Triano will receive honorary degrees at the June 9 convocation ceremonies for the faculties of Graduate Studies, Kineseology, Law and Science.

Taylor is a lawyer and scholar specializing in international and administrative law and human rights. She has spent more than 18 years serving in various capacities for the United Nations (UN), allowing her to combine her passion for law and international politics.

Taylor has worked closely with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and currently as the executive director, Office of Administration of Justice, she is responsible for co-ordinating the functioning of the internal justice system at the UN. Throughout her legal career, she has continually challenged herself to reach new heights professionally while taking time to reach out and help others.

Her passion for law, current events and politics brought her to the University of Calgary to acquire a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science. Taylor then became one of the first graduates of the University of Calgary's newly established law school in 1979, followed by a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge.

Starting out as a litigator with a pre-eminent Calgary law firm, she switched gears when an offer to work for the UN in Gaza became her opportunity to work internationally. Taylor has overseen matters ranging from human development and humanitarian services to compensation claims arising from Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait to terrorism against the UN in Algiers.

Today, Taylor is proud of her Calgary roots and attributes her success to her University of Calgary education. In 2014, she was awarded the University of Calgary's Distinguished Alumni Award. Throughout her extraordinary career, Taylor has been a fearless trailblazer who has notably improved both her profession and the global community.

Jay Triano is a lifelong basketball athlete, coach, and ambassador.

His sports career began at Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he studied business administration while breaking or equalling 11 school men's basketball records. Following graduation in 1981, he was drafted by both the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers and the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders. Triano chose to take the basketball route and has been making major contributions to the development of basketball ever since.

He has been an athlete and coach with Team Canada, a coach with SFU, community relations director and media commentator with the Vancouver Grizzlies, and the first Canadian-born coach in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors. He has represented Canada at three Olympic games — twice as an athlete (Los Angeles, 1984 and Seoul, 1988) and once as a coach (Sydney, 2000). Triano is currently assistant coach for the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and head coach of Team Canada for the second time in his career.

With no limits on his commitment to the game, Triano has volunteered as a coach for Basketball Without Borders, a basketball development and community outreach program for youth that has taken him to Istanbul, Senegal, Slovenia and Australia. He is a Hall of Fame member of Canadian Basketball, Canadian Olympics, Basketball British Columbia, Basketball Ontario and SFU.

Triano continues to push basketball to new levels in Canada and globally. He is recognized internationally by his peers as one of the world's best in basketball — a pioneer of the sport whose inspirational impact on the game is legendary.

For more more stories and information about Spring Convocation 2016 visit the Convocation website

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