University of Calgary

Convocation

November 10, 2009

Convocation a day of “firsts”

shiffman

Violinist Barry Shiffman, director of music programs at The Banff Centre, has performed at concerts around the world.
/ Photo: The Banff Centre
World-renowned violinist Barry Shiffman will be honoured at the University of Calgary’s fall convocation ceremonies Thursday and astronaut Robert Thirsk, BSc’76, LLD’09, will deliver his address while providing a behind-the-scenes tour of the International Space Station.

Shiffman will receive an honorary degree for his work in the music industry. At 15, he debuted with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has since appeared in thousands of concerts around the world. He is currently director of music programs at The Banff Centre. Shiffman will perform a piece as part of his convocation address—a first in U of C convocation address history.

“Convocation at the University of Calgary is a magnificent occasion of celebration,” said U of C Chancellor Joanne Cuthbertson. “Our November graduates complete the 2009 class of 6,000-plus students, bound for positions in our community and beyond.”

During the morning ceremony, Thirsk, who was given an honorary degree in July, will present his convocation address via prerecorded video. The video was made specifically for the November graduates by Thirsk, who is just finishing a six-month mission on the International Space Station.

“Education is the key to making your dreams come true,” said Thirsk in July from the space station. “My career in exploration began as a student in the engineering laboratories of the University of Calgary. I am humbled at this, the apogee of my space exploration adventure, to receive such a prestigious honour from my alma mater.”

Andrew Barry will receive the President’s Award from President and Vice-Chancellor Harvey Weingarten. Barry is involved in human rights activities on campus, in Calgary and around the world.

Also at this convocation, Ian Herring a respected mentor in the oil and gas industry with a strong connection to the Schulich School of Engineering will be inducted into the Order of the University of Calgary.

Ame-Lia Tamburrini will receive the Governor General’s Gold Medal—Master’s, Emma Stewart will receive the Governor General’s Gold Medal—Doctoral, Isabella Figueroa will receive the Chancellor’s Graduate Medal—Master’s and Robashar Hussain Butt will receive the Chancellor’s Graduate Medal—Doctoral.

The University of Calgary’s fall convocation ceremonies will take place Thursday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. Both ceremonies are held in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium in the Kinesiology Complex and are open to the public. A total of 1,377 students are graduating this November.

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